Saturday, September 10 2016, 11:01:02
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Avantika Singhal

JWB Contributor

Meet Nandini, A Girl Cricketer Who Plays Mandolin!

  • JWB Post
  •  September 6, 2016


One of the most inane human tendencies is to dream with eyes open. Nandini Maheshwari dreamed and also turned those dreams into a reality!

She’s an aspiring photographer, an established mandolin player and the Captain of MGD School’s cricket team.

Why did you choose to play mandolin over guitar?

I was learning to play the keyboard, and my teacher offered to teach me the mandolin as well. I conceded because the mandolin is a unique and underrated Indian musical instrument. Also, the only way someone knows what a mandolin is by telling them that Shahrukh Khan played it in ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.’

Now, I can play hundreds of songs on the mandolin. I can take out the notes of any song by myself too!

What motivates you to pick up your camera every day?

Everything! I like capturing the beauty around me so that it stays lively forever on the screen of my camera. Plus, it is the best way to make memories. You might never see the picturesque scenes again so why not capture them?

It feels so good to have a camera in hand. I feel responsible and smart with it. The sound of the shutter is more pleasant to my ears than any sound in the world.

The first time my hands grasped a DSLR was in 9th standard. I am also an important part of my school’s Photography Club – Shutterbug’s. Mrs. Lekhi, my teacher, is always on the lookout for any events that I can be a photographer in!

Would you like to pursue photography in the future?

My parents always offer approbations to me saying:“It’s a good hobby to take on, and you are great at it. But maybe, doing a B Com in college is a more pragmatic choice.” But I can always take a gap year and enroll in a 12-month photography course!

What kind of photography do you do?

I love clicking portraits of people when they are not posing! Once, I was representing our school in Kanpur for a competition, and I ventured to a village where children gathered around me, saying “Didi, hamari photo lo na.” That was an incredible moment.

I also like capturing the old age and showcasing how beautiful infirmity is.

Any photographer you look up to?

Auditya Venkatesh. He is from Tamil Nadu, and he is an extraordinary photographer. I follow him on every social media-Snapchat and Instagram.

How do you handle all the friends that are like “Nandini, can you give us our pictures that you clicked?”

That happens a lot. Since it is my last year in school, whenever someone asks me to take her picture, I take it albeit only one. The reason I do it is because I hope that when they look at their picture in the future, not only will nostalgia set in but they will also thank me in their heads. In a way, I will be the reason for their eternal memories of school. I never say ‘no’ when it comes to taking pictures.

One thing you wish you knew before taking pictures?

Never regret taking a picture! I go by the philosophy that if something bad happens to you; it won’t be long before something good happens too! Sure, I took mediocre pictures earlier but after that, I won the first prize in a photograph competition and also got featured on Jaipur Times as well!

Tips for budding photographers?

You don’t need an expensive camera to take good pictures. What you do need is innovative ideas and creativity. I started taking pictures with a Nokia phone and ascended the ladder to a more expensive camera as I got more experienced.

“This photograph was a beautiful accident. I was originally taking a picture of a peacock perched on the tree. However, when these kids saw me with a camera, they lit up, got excited and peeked from the window. This picture won me the first prize in Big Boss My Photo Exhibition at JKK.”

Tell us about your cricket journey.

Cricket is a part of me now since I have been playing it since 7th standard. But I know that cricket won’t be a thing in college.

Also, I am the only one in my batch passionate about cricket. MGD is the only school that has a cricket team. I think I managed to break many stereotypes by being a female cricket player. This sport means a lot to me and even one day without it feels miserable. Now that boards are nearing, I don’t know how I am going to manage without playing it. This year, I am hoping to get selected for the Nationals’ in Cricket.

I do get comments like-“So, you were disqualified from the semi-finals? OH.” I desperately want these critics to know that it is a team game and a mutual effort of all the players.

Any experience that you want to share with us?

One of the sweet facts that on some nights, my mother comes to my room to listen to me play some ragas on the mandolin. It is comforting to play for her. I have made my room my haven – a dartboard, a photo wall with my best clicks, pictures of my friends and family and LED Lights!

We would love to take a tour of this room radiating happiness and positivity, and we hope that you achieve even greater heights, Nandini.



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