Young, feisty, and opinionated, Anandita De has used these three traits combined with her love of fitness to launch Risqué by Ana De,a blog on fitness and fashion. The South Mumbai born and bred De has always identified herself as being a bit different, and it’s this courage to be unique that has catapulted her into an Instagram star who holds forth boldly on fitness and fashion on a day-to-day basis. The month, we caught up with this vivacious young woman, who’s a beautiful amalgamation of confidence and humility, and whose joie de vivre is almost infectious.
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m very spontaneous and energetic, and I love the good things in life (laughs). I love meeting new people, hanging out with my friends, watching movies, shopping...I am a total girl’s girl. The whole journey of Risqué began when I started posting workout videos on my Instagram profile on a whim, and I started getting lots of views. I was happy and excited that people were taking me seriously for my passion for fitness. I think the digital space has gotten ubiquitous today, and it is the best way to share your passion with the world. My mother and sisters boosted my confidence, telling me to start out on my own. Hence came the inception of Risqué, and it has been a fun journey so far.
How did you become interested in the subject?
I was the laziest kid ever (laughs); I was never interested in sports, which probably comes from being the youngest of six kids. My mom really spoiled me since I was the baby of the family. When I got into junior college, I had had enough. I made the effort to make my health a priority because I wanted to look good, since for the first time in my life I was in a co-educational environment (laughs). I have come a long way since, and I am proud of it.
What makes you feel most confident?
I think confidence comes a lot from just being yourself and following your passion. And for me, I eat, breathe, and sleep the gym; it is more than just a passion. I workout for a good hour and a half every day. I feel like I have to motivate my trainers a lot of the time because of my sincere dedication to fitness (laughs).
What’s your motto in life?
I live by a simple mantra that helps me live life to the fullest: Whatever you do, do it honestly and earnestly. Follow your dreams and passions, and be sincere to your goals. Love yourself for what you do, and do it to the best of your capacity. Never give up or succumb to negative energy.
Social media has played a huge role in your professional life. What is your take on it?
I just feel like it’s something that came about organically. I don’t believe in the numbers or get too crafty. I only post what I believe in and don’t care about what the response is going to be. The response will follow when people see you are sincere about what you do and will love you for what you represent. Social media can also play a negative role sometimes, but I don’t let it infiltrate into my life.
There are lots of trolls online. How do you deal with them?
I feel blessed in a way that no one has sent me a hate mail just yet. Even if they do, I would like to respond to it with a lot of love, because maybe these haters are lacking something in their own lives that drives them to behave this way. Anyone can have something negative to say, but how you approach that negativity is important. If you spread love, you get more love in return. That’s just the law of karma, and I vouch for it!
You’resuch a bubbly optimist. Have you always been this way?
It came with a lot of work on myself! I am someone who wakes up and needs 45 minutes of introspection. I get immense positive energy in my soul by doing this. I have experienced so many things in the past – good, bad, and ugly – but I have always looked at them as learning processes that have made me stronger. I also have a large, tight-knit and secure family that has been my rock through life’s ups and downs.