The Girl who has Wings.
Ms.Varija Shah, Youngest Student Female Pilot License. An International Tennis Player, a certified trainer of EXPA (NCC Exchange Participants Association)
What’s your story? … What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
Varija: I am a born millennial, I am only 19 now. I have always been cheerful, adventurous and a strong girl. Seeing my mother play tennis, I was intrigued and started playing at the age of six when my racquet was for real taller than me. My family loves sports, and I imbibed sportsman spirit from them. Alongside tennis, I play varied sports badminton, basketball and table tennis. Having played state, national and international levelsin tennis and won multiple gold and silver medals has made me a very confident individual. Moreover, I also got qualified in ITF(International Tennis Federation), which is a big feat at my age. I feel blessed and gifted.
Navigating a Career and a Family is challenging, how do you equilibrize the two?
Varija: Well, it’s rightly said that we learn more through observation. Similarly, having seen my father juggle between Mumbai ( his workplace) and Vadodara. He managed beautifully and never let me or my mother feel that he wasn’t around when I grew up. Family helps us to strike a balance in life. While in my free time I enjoy spending quality time with friends and family.
Words that describe your passion to overcome any challenges in life, work?
Varija: Challenges for me are stepping stones to success, until and unless we face them, we do not understand the worth of success in life. At this stage of life,it is crucial for me to manage both: my college and the flying club at the same time. Both demand an equal amount of dedication and I do not like compromising in the quality of work that I produce. So you could say the five words are Dedication,No Compromise, Success, Passion& Quality.
What is one of your defining moments? Why did you choose your profession?
Varija: My father would take me to see airplanes land and take off near the service road near the airport. I vividly remember, it was once I saw the airplane land very close, just above my head, which left me in awe and inspired me to decide to be a pilot. This was it I ever wanted to pursue.
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in your profession?
Varija: We live in a society that hasmore preferences for males. While there is no doubt, that women are getting opportunities, but their hurdles are difficult and hard, whereas males are easy choices the society makes. We as women have to be headstrong, confident, fierce yet soft. We have to maintain regularity in our routine. Staying focused and retaining unaffected by what others might say should be our idea of living life. Do what gives you a calling and be the best at it.
What are your saviors while participating either in a shoot, conference, training, presentation or panel discussion?
Varija: I believe that careful observation, keen listening skills, concentration and the way to answer(communication skills) have made me make an impact. I was chosen as a trainer for my qualities and grit.
Things you swear by as ‘Fashion Staples’?
Varija: Well, I am sure, a pair of denim shorts and jeans, flip flops, sneakers, glares, Sling bags. I also personally love crop tops and heavy baggy tees and a perfect fragrance to top it all.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this year?
Varija: This year has been phenomenal, I joined the EXPA Team: it consists of the ex-students of NCC. While in my personal life, my grandmother survived cancer. And I had an amazingself-sponsored trip with my friends to Goa.
Your Passion ABC’s for Women of Tomorrow? Your Advice to them.
Varija: While I am a young woman myself, I would say, Live in the present, learn from the past, prepare for the future. Listen to your heart. Parents are definitely our strength so never forget to acknowledge them.
Thanks Vari, it was fabulous to have you, just tell us what excites you right now? What are you looking forward to in 2020?
Varija:In 2020, I am looking forward to getting my solo flying license released, complete my flying hours as soon as possible, and going for more camps from EXPA as a cadet trainer. I also want to attempt skydiving with my friends, and meet Alia Bhatt may be.