Raring to Go - Ananya Birla

It’s tough to miss the energy that Ananya brims with– she’s passionate not only about music, which has now become a profession for her, but about life in general. While it can be easy to attribute this to the silver spoon she was born with, the truth is anything but that. The young and stylish Birla scion has worked hard to get where she is today, and she is making a mark for herself, in a very fashionable way at that.

You seem to be up to a lot, travelling the world with your music. What does travel mean to you?
I love to travel. I find so many inspirations when I travel: different cultures, people, and stories. Everyday experiences inspire me to write new music. I feel really blessed that I get to meet so many new people and I take something back from every experience.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue music?
I started learning the santoor when I was nine years, so that was how I was formally introduced to music. My family is very music-oriented as well; my father sings very well, and therefore there was music around me at all times. I remember being in the school band and I was on the stage performing, where I had a moment when I felt, ‘Wow! I really enjoy this. When I went to university, I did a few gigs in various places around London. From then on, it started becoming a formal structure in my mind that this is something I want to take up as a career, as it made me so happy. I had many barriers in my mind, but I broke out of my shackles and plunged into it. I really didn’t think of consequences and what people would think or if I am good enough. I just went for it, and I am so happy about it. I feel it’s one of the best decisions I have taken in my life.

In India, children are often expected to take over the baton from their parents when they’re part of a family business. How did you break free from these expectations to chart your own path?
There are just two things I am very passionate about: business and music. Music is something I want to take up and go full throttle on, and I wish to try to make an impact and connect with people. My parents have always been very supportive and they were happy that I was taking up something I am passionate about. What matters most to them is my happiness and if I continue to work hard and achieve my goals, there is nothing that can make them happier. I feel very blessed that they are so supportive.

What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learnt so far, and what is something you wish you knew earlier?
Patience is a virtue that doesn’t come easy; you just need to believe in the journey. Something I wish I knew earlier in life – “This too shall pass.”       – as told to Suneela