A dancer-choreographer turned actress, dazzling lady Meera Joshi has an inspiring journey to share. She shifted to Mumbai, pursuing her love for dance and choreographed many reality dance shows like Nach Baliye and Dance India Dance. Meera Joshi is proficiently trained in Bharatnatyam and Kathak dance forms. Meera Joshi’s acting debut happened with the serial ‘Majhe Mann Tujhe Zale’ featured on Colors Marathi channel. She was first noticed on the Mi Marathi dance-based show named ‘Khallas Dance, Ekach Nivad’, where she was one of the finalists. She also worked as an assistant choreographer for the movies ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and ‘Simla Mirchi’. Though she initially worked as a choreographer she also focused on pursuing her acting career. She was seen in a youngster oriented movie titled Youth and ‘Tujhya Vina Mar Java’ in the year 2016. Meera also ventured into acting with influential Marathi and Hindi movie projects. She also featured in the ‘Conversations after Sex’ where the feed focussed on female pleasure and sexuality. Voice of Woman recently connected with the influencer who shared her views on women empowerment and her journey. Tell us about your break in the entertainment industry. Was it always your first career choice? My debut into the entertainment industry wasn’t planned. I started dancing as a hobby in college when I was doing my graduation. When the time came in my life about deciding what to do in future, I opted for dancing as it was more preferable and because I loved dancing. So around 2010, I took the decision that I decided to make my career in dancing. I gave a lot of auditions but did not get any break initially. I was working on choreography projects during that time. However, this wasn’t planned from childhood; in fact, acting wasn’t even on my mind. Things just fell in place! I decided to foray into dancing; choreography and acting fell into place, and now I am doing influencing also. What inspires Meera Joshi? Anyone who works hard, is truthful and honest inspires me in life. Is women empowerment a myth or a reality? What are your thoughts on it? Women are already very strong, and I think there is no requirement for empowering them further. I feel that women should be confident and stand for what they feel and want to do. They should follow their dreams. Women go through so much in life, getting married and going to a new home, giving birth to children, and so much- they are already powerful. I believe that if women follow their instincts, they will fly high. There are many women who have made an influential mark in society. Also, there are films portraying influential women which give us examples to follow and idolize. Family support is essential, but I feel women empowerment is a slightly overrated word. How tough or easy is it to hold your ground in the Indian entertainment field? When you don’t have any Godfather and no one to suggest or guide you, many misleading things occur on a professional level. People start taking you for granted. I have faced similar situations, be it misogynist remarks about my looks, jealousy from co-actresses, or favouritism in work. I will share an incident- I was working on a set of a serial and I had to cover a dance sequence in it. One day for the outfits they sent a tailor to my vanity van for taking measurements. The tailor tried to touch me inappropriately on the pretext of taking measurements. I was pretty confident to tackle that situation at that time so I sternly asked him to leave and complained about him to the creator. But the team refused to believe that the tailor who has been working with them for so long can do this and they didn’t believe me. So that was one incident I faced. But these incidents have made me stronger in my career. I completed ten years in this industry and after moving to Mumbai and having all these experiences, I am happy that they made me strong mentally, physically, emotionally. I am now strong enough to face anything and I thank the industry for that. If I wouldn’t have faced any challenges, I would have remained a naive girl. A woman who is headstrong about her career choices or tries to be independent is often looked in a different eye even though the society calls itself a progressive one! What are your thoughts on that? This is prevalent in society even today! When a woman is independent, mentally strong-headed, and is confident to raise her issues and opinions, people usually call her arrogant and rude. She is portrayed negatively. This occurred to me too. But I think it’s time people become open-minded to accept that a woman can also have opinions about things. They should accept that a woman is an equal part of the society and needs to be treated equally as a man. I would give an example. Sometime back, I did a sketch titled ‘Conversations After Sex,’ which became much popular in social media. But after its release, I received much hate comments from people regarding the topic. People were telling me that I was ruining the culture and destroying the mindset of the people. But I feel female pleasure is also essential, and if society terms itself to be progressive, it should be open to talk about this too, rather than trolling people. So we as a society need to be much more progressive when it comes to accepting the thoughts and opinions of women. What are your thoughts about periods, which is a taboo topic even today? Don’t you think it is high time the society comes out of the ‘taboo’ thoughts on menstruation and help girls and females embrace it happily? I don’t have much idea about the question, because I come from a very open-minded family. My family is very liberal, and we regularly talk about periods and the problems associated with it. I talk about it with my brother too and even ask him to buy me pads if I don’t have it at home. Which is your favourite hideout? I am not much of an extrovert and don’t socialize much. I love travelling a lot and so far have covered the states of Kashmir, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh! Any message that you want to convey to the women and your fans reading this? Always believe in your hard work and intelligence, and always be honest. Keep working hard, and it would take you to your destiny.