Embarking on a thrilling journey through the digital realm, Ruchika Lohiya emerges as a captivating storyteller and wordsmith from the vibrant landscapes of Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Beyond her roles as a storyteller and writer, 21-year-old Lohiya is a shining example of how dedication and determination can transcend any barrier. Lohiya's journey did not start on Instagram, it started as a student of the middle set who always chased the 'different.' Lohiya has jumped at every chance she got, or created, to experiment with her talent or learn a new skill but she did not achieve success in all that she chose; but again, you listen to her poetry and wonder, how do we measure success in the first place?
In an interview with SheThePeople, Ruchika Lohiya opened up about her path, challenges, and what drives her forward. "I always had a desire to pursue my path despite coming from a well-to-do family where there was never any pressure on me to earn. However, I was enthusiastic about making my income. In fifth grade, I started selling envelopes, and paper cards. Later, I ventured into starting my fashion blog, which unfortunately didn't succeed for two years. I dabbled in modelling, after which I pursued acting in Bombay. Despite auditioning for three years, I didn't find anything good, leading to a period of frustration upon my return home. I then tried my hand at starting a furniture line, which also didn't take off."
She continued, "One night, feeling incredibly unlucky, I confided in my mother about my struggles, which took a toll on my mental health, leaving me unable to sleep for a week. However, during this difficult time, I wrote a poem that eventually brought solace. I recorded a reel reciting the poem in Hindi, and within seven days, I gained a following of one lakh. The unexpected success inspired me to continue in this field, as many people resonated with my voice and words. Since then, I've been solely focused on posting poems and doing storytelling shows worldwide."
Advocating For Women's Voices
Curious about the wellspring of her creativity in crafting such captivating poems and stories, we sought her insights. Here's what she had to say, "The strange thing is, I'm not much of a reader or listener; everything I write comes from what I feel. One of the topics I've explored is the desire of women to work after marriage, which may seem like a small issue but is actually quite prevalent. In my own family, women traditionally don't work, and during the search for a groom for my sister, prospective mothers-in-law often inquired about her employment status. This prompted me to write about the importance of addressing such seemingly insignificant conflicts. Additionally, whenever the topic of marriage arises, I couldn't help but think about the changes I'd have to undergo—leaving my home, my familiar surroundings, and adjusting to a new life."
While advocating for gender equality, she does find herself inclined towards highlighting women's issues on her platform, "Despite progress, there's still ground to cover, and I use my platform to raise awareness."
She added one more incident when the film Darlings, which portrays the journey of two women discovering courage and love amidst challenging situations. After watching it, she reflected on society's tendency to perceive women as immature when in love, yet acknowledge their unmatched strength when they find courage. She also penned down her thoughts on this theme. Moreover, she humorously also added how the conflicts within her household serve as inspiration for her poetry, which she subsequently shared publicly, often leading to her parents' displeasure.
Gender Equality In Art
She further mentioned how her parents consistently supported her, encouraging her to pursue learning, growth, and financial independence. She said, "In my family, my parents have always encouraged me to strive for financial independence, which has driven me to explore various ventures alongside my primary job. I am currently focusing on financial education and investment, recognising its significance, especially for women."
She holds the belief that the industry isn't dominated by males and presents a compelling rationale for her stance. She said, "Despite perceptions, I don't believe the spoken word poetry industry is male-dominated. Both male and female voices are essential, each offering unique perspectives and expressions."
Sources Of Inspiration And Fulfilment
Wrapping up the interview on a positive note, she divulged the sources of motivation for her creative work and what brings her the most fulfilment in her journey. She said, “One of the most rewarding moments in my career was when a grieving girl attended my show shortly after her mother's passing and shared how it helped her heal. It reaffirmed the impact of live shows, where I get to witness immediate reactions and connect with diverse audiences spanning different generations.”
She added, "Engaging with my audience during the shows, listening to their stories, and discussing various topics in the last half-hour energises me and fuels my passion for my work. Through my journey, I've learned the importance of patience and perseverance, understanding that not everything happens immediately."