Dinaz is India’s fitness expert, a Guinness Book of World Record holder, 3rd runner’s up of the Miss Fitness Universe pageant, an accomplished baker, a successful entrepreneur and a supermom who started her career as a chartered accountant. She plays all these roles with finesse. Her story is heartening and awe inspiring – from a humble background, losing her father at a very early age and escaping from the jaws of death. She has turned each challenge into an opportunity.
Tell us about yourself?
I was born in a middle class Parsi family in Jamshedpur, erstwhile Bihar. I was the youngest of three children and the most pampered one. Life was chugging along well until my father passed away with a massive heart attack while teaching me geography when I was 12. Life came to a halt all of a sudden. My father was a very helpful, gentle and a patient person. On that day, the road that we stayed was flooded with people who came to pay him respect. One lasting impression that set in my tender mind is that it is not the respect we earn when we are living but the respect we leave behind when we die. Life moved on, I was sent to Mumbai after my schooling, and was asked to take commerce and pursue chartered accountancy. I lived a tough life in Mumbai, however my cousins and friends ensured I had good company. I got married and moved to Andhra Pradesh. I quit my boring job and started on my own, with a very supportive husband. It has been a roller coaster ride since then – from entrepreneurship, fitness, aerobics to baking and being a proud mom of two sons.
How did you foray into the fitness field?
After quitting my job I started a crèche but I was struggling to manage my one year old son. So I had to close it. At that time my sister in law had come from Yemen who was a fitness trainer there. I got inspired to become a fitness expert myself. I joined aerobic classes and then did instructor training program. During every waking hour I used to watch fitness programs. With the help of my husband, I started my first fitness center in 1993. Aerobics was barely known then. I spent Rs. 8000 on my first advertisement and only got 8 inquiries and none of them converted to sales. It took me 6 months to get one customer. In a few years the classes were full and we had to move to a bigger house to accommodate more students. By the time I had my second child and my hands were full. I never gave up and was positive throughout. We kept growing and moving to bigger houses to meet our requirements
You have faced life changing events – How have you managed to overcome those?
Horror struck me on February, 2005, when I met with a fire accident. I succumbed to 45% burns including lung burns when the leakage from the gas cylinder in my kitchen led to a huge explosion. The doctors had declared that chances of my survival were grim. Thanks to the love and support of my clients, well-wishers, family and my strong belief in myself, I fought my way out. I set small targets for myself and was determined to get back to normal life. I was back at work after 3 months. Started going back on air for TV shows and business was as usual. I picked up my threads and started afresh. I had lost clients and money, but my reputation and goodwill was still fresh and pure.
You are now a baker as well. How did that happen?
I wanted to acquire another skill to be able to work from home. So l did a professional baking course from Delhi and subsequently continued my education in the culinary field also. Today I am not only a baker, but I do multi cuisine and plan to start taking classes.
What has been your top most worry as a mother?
As such I have no worries as a mother because I trust that my two sons will always be on the right path. Sometimes some children take longer and that does not worry me at all.
What have been your key achievements?
In 2010, I wanted to bring India to the world map where fitness was concerned. I decided to set a Guinness record for the longest aerobics marathon through 26 hours of non-stop aerobics. We had 30000 people viewing this event live at the grounds and millions of people watching it live on TV. After this, I was invited to take part in the Miss Fitness World and Universe contest, won the 3rd runners up trophy. I was the first Indian to ever participate in 27 years.
What practices have helped you as a parent and as an entrepreneur?
In addition to being a fitness expert and a baker, I am also a spiritual healer. I regularly meditate and do breathing exercises everyday to stay in tune with my higher self. All this helps me in being a good parent as well as successful entrepreneur. I am a hard working person and begin my day early, completing the house chores before I start work. I plan things in advance and am very versatile to options if something goes out of situation.
What is your advice for other mothers?
Do not utter negative things, as the law of attraction will bring it back in your life. Be patient. It is the key to success, joy and love.
Inspiring Monday Series aims to inspire and motivate moms (working or those contemplating getting back to work). If you have a story to share, please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org