Meher Malik- queen of belly dancing
Indian women are getting mastered in every field. They are not behind men in any race possible. You name it and they got it! Be it sports, dancing, politics or even wrestling- they are quite a pro. And then there are some who choose to go against all the stereotypes and create their own race. But Meher Malik chooses the odds and made her name like no one else!
Expert in Belly Dancing She Leaves no room for Criticism.
Meher Malik grew up in Middle East (Oman) where belly dancing was not performed openly, she could only witness it in informal parties. In that area women are meant to be only stay at home and do womanly things, but then we witness some whose desire to do something big over cross the social stigma. There she would try to copy their moves and enjoy dancing with them. She never thought that her childhood passion would turn into her full time profession, because her inner desire was want to be someone else. Initially, she wanted to become a fashion designer and took admission in NIFT, but within the period of 5 months she realized that it is not a profession for her and she quit her studies. She then went to London to get professionally trained in belly dancing and that’s how the journey began. Ten years back in India, belly dancing was considered an immoral art form and often taken as a synonym for prostitution. People hesitated accepting it and would often ignore choosing it as a profession. And that’s why she was mocked several times, but her love for dancing kept her going. At first nobody acknowledged her talent but later with the help of television, Meher proved that belly dancing is indeed a respectable dance form.
“I always wanted to tell the world that belly dancing is a true art form and with the help of television I think I have proved it”, says Malik.
She appeared in ‘India’s got talent’ in 2009 and ‘Just Dance’ hosted by Hrithik Roshan, though she didn’t won the contest but was loved by many and gained fame from there only. Her popularity took her to the glamour industry. She has choreographed for Rani Mukherjee for ‘Aga Bai’ and was herself offered several time from Bollywood to do an item song, but she consistently rejected them. Because she believes that all such songs are meant to appease men and portray women in bad light.
“I have a serious problem with the setting and associations of these songs that are just aimed to appease men,” states Meher. The only reason for choreographing ‘Aga Bai’ was that the song didn’t depict anything unpleasant to her.
Today she has her own dance studio “Banjara” in Gurgaon. Here she teaches several children belly dancing. She said that, in the starting, people only joined the academy either because they had friends over there or just to lose weight. Today people willingly chooses to learn this dance form. With fame come competition and expectations. Especially in a creative field like Meher’s, there’s always someone who seems to be doing better or bagging bigger shows and projects. But for her, dancing is not about running a race and winning any competition. She just wanted to be natural and do things according to her comfort.
She is currently travelling the world and teaching her dance form and enjoying every bit of her work.
“Nothing compares to the feeling of dancing in your own studio. Just building and creating. Even though you’re attached to something, you still feel free.” Says Meher.
We just hope that she keep on growing like this and keep setting an example of womanhood all across the world. In the world full of dominance and violence against women, women like Meher gives strength to the less courageous one’s to come out of the shell which is somehow created around them.