When you fall, you get back up again. That’s the lesson in life, business and horse riding for Parle Agro’s Joint MD and CMO Nadia Chauhan. She first rode a horse at age seven when her father Prakash Jayantilal Chauhan—Chairman of the company, which makes Frooti and Appy—took her to Matheran on a family holiday.
“My father used to go with his family since the age of seven to Matheran. Thereafter, for almost every family holiday of ours—when we were given a choice between Matheran and Europe—we always chose Matheran because we fell as much in love with the horses as he did growing up around them,” says Mumbai-based Chauhan. “All of us—my mom, dad, sisters and I—were passionate riders. Many fond memories of our childhood, and as a family, are from Matheran.” It was difficult to keep her away from horses except when motherhood happened and she couldn’t find the time.
But ironically, it is now thanks to her daughter Nia—who has taken to horses just as passionately—that she is back in the saddle again. “We ride two-three weekends a month. Our current go-to spot is this beautiful horse farm called Seahorse Equestrian on the beaches of Nargol. It is owned and run by the renowned equestrian Olympian Imtiaz Anees,” says Chauhan. It’s a sport unlike any other, she says, because the connection between the horse and rider is as important as the skill to ride. “Every rider has that one special horse. Mine was in Matheran. I once spent an entire evening in the stables—grooming him, cleaning the stables, chatting with him, and almost hearing him chat back,” she says. All this while, her family kept wondering where she was. “Eventually, they did stroll to the stables, and I had to head back,” she says.
As for falling while riding, she experienced it for the first time recently in full view of her daughter. Shooting pain from a broken tailbone notwithstanding, she jumped back on with a smile, mindful that it shouldn’t scare her daughter. “It was most painful, but I’ve recovered. The fact that I got back up has ensured that I am not scared to get back on again and again and again.”
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