“As a kid, I was very naughty and I think, dance probably came even before I took birth but my mother for some reason, liked dancing and after Madhuri and I were born, she always hoped that her daughters would be dancers. So, when she was conceiving me as well, this is what she hoped for and that’s why she named me Mayuri.”

How did Nritarutya – Contemporary Indian Dance Company happen?

“The day I finished my college, I decided I had to do something with my knowledge of dancing. All my college teammates were wanting to continue dancing on a serious note and I took them very seriously. I made a brochure kind of a thing and started Nritarutya along with 6 other friends of mine and even now Madhuri Upadhya and Geetha Ballal are still a part of the company. I still remember, I went to all event management companies, door to door like a saleswoman and giving them our brochure and asking them if they had any work for us. I have gone to the biggest of event companies and that’s how Nritarutya started.”

Your take on gender equality

“Feminism is a lot about equality and we as women, are not fighting to be a superior race but we are making out voice and presence felt strongly. This movement is getting its momentum and not going to die anytime soon. Both men and women have their own strengths and as long as each of us discovers that and uses that, we are on the right track.”

“I feel the change starts from home where the actual heroes of every day, whether a mother letting her daughter choose her career or whether a mother supporting her daughter’s choice of a partner or a dance teacher who lives her own life or a woman who runs a dance company and a family. This dedication to everyday life actually makes a huge difference. If there one thing that helps me forget a bad day’s work is (Mother’s) Shammy’s tea, Paneer butter masala and a total chick flick on television while I’m on the couch. I am Mayuri Upadhya.”