photography by www.jassophotos.com
Next up in the Fabulous Trio is Rucha!
What is your ethnic/cultural background?
I was born and raised in Texas, and have lived here my entire life except for a brief period of time when I was two, we moved to New Jersey, but moved right back to Texas a year later. My parents were both born in India/Gujarat, and although most of my family now lives in Texas, I have many memories visiting my family in Ahmedabad.
What do you do now and what do you hope to do in the future?
I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and am currently interested in pursuing a degree in the health care field. I am especially interested in raising awareness about various mental health illnesses, specifically in the South Asian community. I believe that within the South Asian community, there is a lot of resistant and unwillingness to acknowledge mental health issues. I hope to work towards reducing this stigma and the misconceptions, which are so prevalent in our community.
What are some of your hobbies or talents?
I have always been very interested in dance and music and spent much of my childhood staging performances for my family- in my living room. I started learning Bharatanatyam when I was six and continued learning until I was sixteen and had my arangetram. I also danced at UT as a part of Nritya Sangam and for various talent shows. Playing the sitar has also always been a passion of mine. I started learning the sitar while I was in middle school, and am currently still taking classes in hopes of someday becoming the next Anoushka Shankar.
What do you think is the best part about being a Brown Girl?
I believe that the best part about being a Brown Girl other than the obvious (pani puri) is the clothing! If I could, I would wear Indian clothes to class, the grocery store, to dinner, the mall, and even just around the house. I also love everything about the weddings. I love that they last for days and are full of so many colors, rituals, food, dancing and masti.
Who would be your Brown Girl Idol (a brown girl you think rocks?)
My current Brown Girl Idol would be Anoushka Shankar. She is an immensely talented musician/composer, and is a brown girl that I find inspiring. I love that the root of her music is very Indian classical, yet she brings in elements such as jazz, flamenco, and electronica. I love the fact that her music is constantly evolving and that she continues to explore music from all over the world and incorporate it into her own music.