“The early part of my life revolved a lot around playing cricket in school and college. I captained my college on numerous occasions and played for at state level too. But while this was happening, I spent a lot of time styling and colouring my hair. I come from a family of hairdressers, so maybe my family molded me to be what I am now.”
“The transition from cricketer to hairdresser was a nightmare. From hitting the ball out of the ground to gently cutting hair. I realised I didn’t put in as much hard work in cricket as I did in hairdressing. Later on, I felt as though I had taken my talent in cricket for granted. I realised it’s not just talent that will take you to places. One should be grounded, focused and dedicated and I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. I channelised that regret on learning the art of hairdressing. I used to practice hairdressing through late nights when my friends came home. They became my models.”
“When I was 14/15 years old, I became addicted to alcohol. It was due to some power play that had happened in cricket selections back then. I used to drink to celebrate. I knew what alcohol did to me and the drinking increased every single day even though I knew it was wrong. Two years down the line, I put on a lot of weight and couldn’t run. I was still playing cricket and doing well in every aspect, even though my alcohol intake had increase.
“My grandma helped me out of it. I remember her telling me that if what she did, didn’t help, I might have to go to rehab. But she sat with me patiently and helped me understand how she lost her husband to alcoholism and smoking and how it affected everyone around them. I saw my dad being sad looking at me and my grandma being sad too. I thought a lot about this and then I decided I had to change. I did quit alcohol even though cravings remained. In might have been hard but I had built the will power to cut it out.”
“Now, we have trained underprivileged kids to learn a new skill, help them learn something to sustain a life, this is what we do pretty damn good. I am Daniel Liao.