Designing to Dancing – One on One with Tina Kuwajerwala

tina


Tina Darira Kuwajerwala, the pretty and talented wife of well-known television anchor-cum-actor Husein Kuwajerwala, came into the limelight with the famous dance reality show – Nach Baliye 2, in 2006. The couple eventually was crowned winner. And till date, Husein credits his lovely wife for their victory. Find out why…

NG: Nach Baliye was the platform which gave you instant fame and recognition. You managed to win the prestigious show despite being an outsider to the show-business, and Husein still credits you for the victory.

TDK: Nach Baliye is a huge platform to debut on, and it was really scary. Husein may credit me for the victory, but I have four people to credit. First being Husein obviously, because of whom I got the opportunity to perform on such a huge platform; also because he showed so much faith in me by accepting the offer, in spite of knowing that I was the only one who had never faced the camera before.

I still remember his words when he was convincing me to accept the challenge; he said “I know it’s tough and I wouldn’t do it if I was in your place but I don’t mind even if we get out in the first round.. I trust you to do full justice”.

Second, our choreographers – Harshall and Vitthal – who also showed immense faith in me and put in that extra hard work that was required for someone who was a complete non dancer. They rehearsed with me for 6-8 hours daily and then again 3-4 hours with Husein and never once did I hear them say ‘pack up, we are tired’. They took care of me like a new born baby.

Third are the sweetest fans who,  time and again, have given us so much love and supported us in all that we attempt. The number of votes, the messages, the mails, and the forums created – it is all so humbling; that at times Husein and I wonder what we have done to deserve so much love. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them.

Fourth, I would credit the entire team of Nach Baliye – Star, production house Sol and all employees of Star and Sol, the judges, the Director – Mr. Deepak Gattani, our co-contestants  –  who gave me so much confidence that I could be amongst them. The light men, camera men, spot boys – because they all took care of me like I was their child. I still remember the light men, spot boys clapping when we had done our first technical rehearsal for the blind fold act; everyone was so supportive. I don’t think I could’ve done anything or come out victorious without all this love and support.

NG: According to you, how important is hard-work; and how far do other factors like luck and destiny influence the outcome?

TDK: I am a complete believer of hard work. Yes, other factors like luck, fate, and destiny do influence the outcome, but none of these factors work without the one main factor, and that is hard work. Like the saying goes – ‘God helps those who help themselves’. It’s like saying ‘I’ll pass without studying’. No amount of luck or destiny can make anyone pass without putting in the effort to study. So according to me, hard work is 100 percent important. Once that is achieved, you can about 10 percent depend on other secondary factors like luck, fate, destiny etc.

NG: You and Husein were the only couple who managed to stay away from all the controversies on the show. What do you attribute this to?

TDK: From the very beginning, Husein and I had decided that, come what may, we are going to enter the contest for having fun; and that is exactly what we did. We went through a lot of hardships (which is a part and parcel of anything in life), but it was our decision to never let anyone know of it. Both Husein and I had a positive approach to the entire contest and so I guess the results were positive.

For the first 2 rounds, I was burning with fever, during the blindfold act, Husein had carried me and injured my ribs; and a lot of other things happened, but we never let the judges or the audiences get to know all this. We wanted to always be satisfied that the scores given by the judges and the votes by the audience are purely on our performance and not out of sympathy. We were there to enjoy ourselves. We never saw anyone as a threat, never underestimated anyone. Everyone was a friend. We clapped when they performed well, we cried when they cried and we were upset when anyone was eliminated. I think when you have nothing to complain about, controversies can’t creep up.

NG: Today you are largely known as the winner of NB2. Not many people know that you have been a successful entrepreneur before your foray into television. Would you like to tell us about that aspect of your life?

TDK: Yes, throughout the competition, and even now, most people think that I am a housewife. Well, I have always been interested in fashion. I, after doing my fashion course, with the help of my parents opened an export firm called Seventh Avenue Fashions. We export ladies western garments to the U.S. under the brand name ‘Casual Studio’.

In the beginning, I handled the firm all alone, I had just one master for cutting and three tailors for sample making and one artist to make sketches. I used to look after everything else – designing, stock, accounts, fabrics, answering phone calls etc. Sometimes I used to even sweep, swab and dust the office. Slowly and steadily I increased my staff, and now have a full set up of very efficient people who manage without me, thus giving me time to work and design for Husein, get into the local market and high end designing. According to me no work is degrading and I believe ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’.

NG: The trend is usually for female designers to retail in the local market. What made you opt to take the business route instead and export your designed garments to the West?

TDK: I think business opportunities made me choose export instead of local market. Just when I finished my fashion study, an uncle who is settled in the U.S. offered me to work for his clients and I readily agreed and opened my export firm. Also, export teaches you a lot about finishing, color trends, perfection etc. In India, we don’t wear colors according to seasons, but there, they have color forecasts for seasons and even a small thread hanging could end in cancellation of the entire order. So overall, the experience teaches you to do all work perfectly, and that is something I apply even now when I design for Husein or the local market.

NG: Participant in NB2, Host of NB3, innumerous shows across the country and worldwide, and also an established garment business – how did you manage to do it then and continue to do so even now?

TDK: Oh, I think I have just been blessed with very efficient and understanding people; also, technology like the Internet helps a lot. I could never manage all this alone. When I was participating or hosting Nach Baliye or when we travel for shows, my staff is constantly in touch with me over the phone and they execute like pros. Even my local market partner, Satyam, who designs with me for Husein,  just co-ordinates on the phone or mail and we exchange everything from notes to scanning fabrics and deciding what the look will be. Like I said earlier ‘Where there is a will there is a way’.

NG: What according to you is most difficult – designing clothes, managing business, dancing or facing the camera?

TDK: Oh this is a tough question! I think all of the above are difficult. In fact, I believe nothing comes without hardships; everything in life is difficult. But with a focused mind and hard work, anything can be achieved. If I have to choose from the above four, I would say designing clothes is the most difficult, because one needs to keep a lot of factors in mind – like, the structure of a person, likes and dislikes, personal style of the person, etc; and also, different people have different tastes; plus fashion changes every day, so one is constantly working and experimenting with new looks and styles.

NG: What is your personal style mantra?

TDK: My personal style mantra is very clichéd. Wear what suits you and what you are comfortable in. Don’t just try to copy or be someone else.

NG: What tips would you like to give to those youngsters who want to get into the field of fashion designing?

TDK: For all the people who want to pursue fashion designing as their profession, I think the first most important thing is to study from a reputed school. Because designing is not only about having fashion sense or making designs on paper, there are lots of other important factors that make a good fashion designer. Be focused and be ready to work 24×7.

NG: What do you think about the youth of today and what message would you like to give them?

TDK: I think the youth of today is blessed with a lot of opportunities. They should grab these opportunities with both hands and make a success; not only of themselves, but also a success of a beautiful country like India. I also feel that too much negativity prevails in society, especially amongst the youngsters with competition and other such factors. Having the competitive spirit is extremely good, but it has to be healthy. The idea is to think positive and be positive at all times. Lastly let us not ape the West. Drinking, driving fast, smoking and doing drugs is not part of our culture. Let’s save our culture.

Well, this proves that the charming lady is not just a fashion designer-cum-entrepreneur, who also found a standing in the small screen; she is hardworking and positive, and also a responsible and sensible citizen, proud of her roots and her country, and inspires the youth to respect and save their culture!

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This interview is an ORIGINAL interview, taken by me; and is not copied from anywhere else.

This interview has been submitted to theviewspaper.net as a part of the writer’s internship.

Special Thanks to Eks aka Ekta for helping me throughout in all the assignments, and especially this one *hugssss*

And Yes, how can I not thank the very person without whom it had been impossible.. Tina herself! Loads and loads of hugssss and manyy manyy thank you for bearing with me for so long 😛

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    • Ruhi gandhi
    • January 25th, 2009

    Hey nidhi, very nice intervoew dear…the questions u asked and the answers she gave r just too good…tina gave excellent answers..

    • Verni
    • January 27th, 2009

    wowwwwww….. nice one bachchaaaa..

    • nitya
    • January 29th, 2009

    soo sweet of tina
    lovely qust nids
    ans r really good

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