Hira Mehta is Multi Talented personality, at present a freelancer, an Author, Script writer, Short film maker, Actor & Voice Actor, Content writer, Blogger, Proof Reader, Motivational Speaker & Moderator, Event Host and Interviewer. Recently, she has ventured into Podcasting and have a life lessons & motivational podcast titled crossleggedwithhiramehta on anchor.fm/hira-mehta.
My childhood was spent growing up in Khetwadi, Grant Road, and I studied at one of the best schools J.B.Petit High School for Girls. I remember that sports was more important to me that studies and I that won a number of certificates for high jump in school. I remember that I flew kites on the terrace during exam time and how much I enjoyed Marathi films with my uncle. A proven mad Parsi, as I call myself, I am married to a Gujarati, have two kids and am proud to have fulfilled my son’s dream to become a pilot. I retired as an effective administrator & communicator with 38 years of experience as Manager, Corp. Communications, in ICICI Bank and was invited back, as a consultant after retirement, to archive the history of the bank for an in-house product. My forte was co-ordinating annual reports from start to finish. My undying passion for the entertainment industry was satisfied working on the bank’s video magazine and co-ordinating two festivals for the bank each year. It was not surprising then, that in 2003 (at the age of 48), I walked into NIEM, Mumbai, and took up a one year diploma course with students half my age to fulfil my passion for events. I went on to take a certificate in voicing & dubbing from Sugar Mediaz, Mumbai in 2004 and was even invited to conduct a workshop on corporate etiquette for its students.
So what did I do after retirement and getting those diplomas? Simple, I took up jobs for the next two years and thereon started freelancing from home. Interviewing and then writing profiles of local heroes/celebrities for local editions of Times of India (Lokhandwala, Kandivili, Mira Road, etc.) was a fulfilling assignment. I always loved organizing events so it was a no brainer that I volunteered to help the Lokhandwala Residents Association for the betterment of the locality and its residents. As committee member of the Association (2008-2016) I singlehandedly organized an Maharashtra Day evening of entertainment every year on as convener. I was also core team-stage management & event flow in-charge of 'Be Happy', a community initiative in Lokhandwala Complex wherein residents took over their streets every 3rd Sunday of month (in 2017-2018). My love for acting is today being fulfilled by acting in several short films and my short film #TheBlueHelmet got me a best actress Critic award at a festival too.
My directorial entry "The Selfless Soldier" on Sailesh Mishra of Silver Innings, at the YES Foundation's YIAC 101-Hour Social Filmmaking Challenge 3-minute short film on social causes in 2016 was ranked amongst the top 10 films. My film was featured in YES Foundation's "24 short films 24 filmmakers 1 common goal of driving change! series on Republic TV. My entry the following year was on Sona Sarovar Trust. I have had the honour of mentoring the Fellow Designates of YES Foundation's Media for Social Change Fellowship on writing and communication skills in 2016, 2017 and 2018. I have been invited as a speaker to various forums to inspire through my experiences on living a fruitful life as a senior.
I concluded a project worked Voice Industry Blogs for Sugar Mediaz, Mumbai wherein I interviewed top industry talent and blogged on various topics concerning the industry. My passion for the performing arts has been fulfilled since 2018, when I became a part of Ekjute Young Talents Company assisting in events and volunteering at theatre workshops for children. Presently, I am Founder Member and Hon. Secretary of “Arunima”, a women’s forum created to actively address and create awareness on various issues concerning women in Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri, and its surroundings. I follow and attend forums and continue to learn from people from all walks of life (especially from successful women and those in the creative field), make friends and keep them. Most of all, I revel in the success and achievements of friends. I believe that everyone should give back to society in any small way they can and whenever they can, if not in kind then in service. I too had been looking to find a cause I could connect to and that's when the cause of Dementia & Alzheimer's found me instead and I am today creating an awareness on the subject in any way I can. Note books donations is such an easy way to say you care and contribute in a small way to a social cause - education. So every year, I donate towards this initiative of Youth for People, Malad-based NGO, and also travel to Mokhada & Jawahar, (rural area near Nasik), to personally distribute note books to students belonging to the scheduled tribes of that region.
My passion for writing poems, quotes and posting on my social media handles is my way of sharing a lesson of life or inspiration for others. My love for learning continues with hosting events, voicing, blogging, interviewing people, making and acting in short films and studio hopping. Writing is a passion. I love to write and when I was small, I used to write a lot of poems in a small book which sadly it got misplaced. Today, I have two published books to my credit titled "Young and Sixty" and short stories collection "Twisted Tales and More“ available on-line. I have written a film script and am looking to taking it forward.
Twelve years of learning dance at SDIPA ended with enthusiastically hip-hopping into a bad knee pain. That has not stopped me from finding ways to be in the studio audience at dance reality shows which I passionately follow. I am not shy to scream and dance at live shows or sing in the rain and I even cry while listening to my favourite songs. Learning should never stop is my belief so I have joined various women groups that bring women together on one platform of sharing and learning such as Malini's Girl Tribe, SheThePeople and an ardent fan of watching films at MAMI Year Round Programme and more.
When I look back, I also see myself the winner of the IASAP Mumbai Region at the Secretary & Administrative Professional of the Year Contest 2010, and then being invited as speaker at the 3rd Edition Exclusive Conference for Secretaries, Adm. Professionals and Ex. Assistants by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Mumbai thereafter was a feather in my cap. I see my work profile at the bank with number of achievements and happy moments such as archiving its history, corporate gifts portfolio with its CDs of old Hindi songs set into different themes by me, handling the Saturday Kids Club for 4 years without missing a single Saturday,etc. It gives me immense satisfaction and high when today my colleagues say that their children remember me. It gives me happiness when I visit my bank and see all the items I have personally made for them as Diwali gifts lined up on my colleagues’ desks and the fact that they still remind me about it. Re-cycle craft is my passion and I am always surfing the net for things to make.
Today everyone is rushing from pillar to post to manage their lives. It is becoming evident that we all need to stop and smell the flowers. It was mom’s accidental death that shocked me into living life king size and for myself too. I also remember that Dad had once told me that when I was born my grandmother disappointed that I was not a boy said “a patthar is born” to which my dad said “no it’s a diamond. She will be a diamond and shine all her life.” In fact that is why I was thus named, Hira. This has remained at the back of my mind always and I wonder if I have lived up to it.
As a woman I believe that if we are happy people, then our homes will be happy places. It means loving myself, not having to explain myself and most importantly being comfortable and confident in my own skin without fear of being judged. Most of all we must remember that no one's sensibilities are the same as yours, so never take criticism to heart. For the working women and homemakers, when it's Me time it's also Granny time then, so I often tell my friends that it is okay to sometimes say "No. I need time to follow my own passion now". My advice is simple-expectations are plenty, but it is okay to be "selfish" sometimes. Like me, you too can find strength, understanding and answers from other women with dreams and similar stories. Keep the ME in you always alive and no matter what, I want all women to appreciate Me Time, Me Moments and love that face in the mirror always. If I am able to convince woman to believe in this thought and my mantra of life which is a quote by Erma Bombeck, that goes, "At the end of my days when I stand before God, I want to be able to say “I have used up all the talent you gave me", then my deed is done. With an incomplete bucket list of dreams and the many hands I want to shake, my bucket list is just bottomless. I am not willing to hang up my boots just yet.