She is known as the fashionista diva; someone as an inspiring icon for many. She is however well known for her love and the woman or the ‘fastest lady driver behind the wheel’. She is also a model, an actress, an entrepreneur and a stylist. She is also known for being the winner of Miss Bangalore 1998 and for her love for horse riding.
Meet the celebrity mum Anitha Kholay who has her own fashion label and is an international rallyist.
Talking to Mums and Stories, she shares, “I studied in Bishop Cottons and completed my degree at Christ College. I met Rupesh when I was in 9th grade and it was soon after my 10th grade I entered the field of motor sports.
I started in 1994 as a navigator for Rupesh (My boyfriend at that time – my husband now) on 2 wheelers. It is because of him and his interest in rallies I entered the field of motor sports. I just completed my school when I started rallying.
It was before I could even think what my plans were in life, I entered this field. It was just the thrill and loads of fun back in those days to be handling fast cars and bikes and to take part in the race events. In 2003 I formed my own ladies team and started driving national rallies with Indian national rally championships-INRC. I never imagined I would come this far, although I won most of the events that I took part in the sport.
During my college days I won the Miss Bangalore crown and soon once I finished college, I had my own designer outlet. Now I am the designer for IPL cheerleader outfits since 2009. I opened a designer outlet for western clothes in the year 2000. Let’s say I look at fashion as my work and motor sports as my passion and I am equally dedicated in all the things I do.
The unique line in my fashion line is a reflection of my personal style which extends from ready to wear to haute couture. The forte remains western wear, Indian wear and sportswear styles that are both rich in aesthetics and modern sophistication. I am equally dedicated to all the things I take up. I do notice that most often people are lost in what they do. I am glad that I understood the difference between “who I am” and “what I do”
What I do can change from time to time but who I am is my identity which will never change. Success is unimportant if you don’t have anyone to share it with. So having said that I would admit the best identity for me has been that of my role as a mother.
Before my kids I was totally a fearless person and took part in most of the racing and rallying events but now when I see my kids, I do have inhibitions and I feel I should be more careful and responsible. Hence racing took a back seat although I took part in a few rallies and won trophies for my son. It was convenient for me until my children started school because it was easier for me to travel with them as I always wanted them around. But still largely life hasn’t changed much after I had my kids. I am very lucky to still do what I did before them. In fact the joy is doubled because I make them a part of my activities.”
Talking on her best memory of the best drives she says, “It was the Great Ocean Road in Australia that has been my best longest drive. The roads abroad are a definitely better to drive on. I feel Bangalore or any place in India will get better when we have good and clean roads and people following safety measures and traffic rules.
With regards to manage various interests, I would say with a little bit of planning, one can find a lot of time to work towards various activities. I don’t believe in wasting time or being idle. That habit has helped me multitask.
My son Aryan is 11yrs old and my daughter Aanya is 8yrs old. My son will definitely start racing shortly. At the moment he is a horse rider and a swimming champ. My daughter is a swimming champ too and also very interested in fashion and make up.- perhaps fashion will be her future.
Workouts and leading a healthy lifestyle has always been a part of my life. I do all kinds of functional training at gym and yoga to keep a mental balance. Hence I feel extremely fit when I am driving. I have recently introduced myself to horse riding, which I always loved. That sport keeps one very fit. To me sky is the limit when it comes to fitness.
My biggest achievement was – taking part in my first international rally – “The Malaysian Rally” – oct 2016 – which makes me the First Indian Woman Rallyist From India and also winning the RC5 category in that rally.
As for my work, the first time I worked for IPL as a designer/stylist for cheerleader costumes – was from my hospital room when I delivered my daughter in 2009 and I remember I managed work from the birthing suite. It is nine years of IPL work since then.”
Sharing her thoughts on being the best in what one does in life, she shares, “My only advice to anyone is – Do give it a shot. There is no better thing as “trying”. If you don’t succeed you at least gain experience. Failure is the stepping stone to success… Sometimes your first success is the stepping stone to bigger success stories. And you can always try more than one thing at a time to know what works for you.
Since many years I would say equally men and women were talented at all times. It is only now that women are more independent and can make their own decisions. With these opportunities, women are able to move forward, prove themselves and achieve their goals. Also with all the reality shows, television and media, the mindset of many parents are beginning to change towards daughters.
Lastly, I would say it was easy for me as I run my own business and my profession is such that most times I choose to work from home. It may not be that simple for all working moms -having grandparents also around is truly a blessing.
My mom was always my strength and she is totally there for my kids the times I am busy. Also it is a lot of fun to spend time with kids, being a friend to them – it makes a parent strong and young at heart. I never get tired of giving my time to my kids and be a part of all that they enjoy doing. In return, I love to involve them in what I do.
No two ways about it if I said that being a mother is the best thing in this world.”
Mums and Stories thanks Anitha Kholay for this inspiring story shared and we wish her the very best in her rallies, in her fashion line and in many more creative pursuits she enjoys pursing.