– The character of Aarti Shukla (Shaadi Mein Must Be Aana) was not only a challenge for me, but for the first time I played such a character in a Hindi film which drags the entire film. This character is very close to my heart. The more bubbly I am in real life, the more Aarti is beyond me. That film has become my biggest identity. I got so much praise for just 20 minutes in ‘Taish’, so it was a big deal for me. While the strangest thing about Aditi of ’14 Phere’ was that she never tried to be a role model.
Have you ever been rejected as an actress?
– Yes many times. You audition for something and everything is decided, but then due to some reason you do not get that film or project. It has happened to me many times that if for some reason I have not got a film, then that film did not do well at the box office. I cried because of not getting the film, but I have realized with time that when that film comes after a year and a half and when I understand the reason for not getting it, then I thank God by looking up . I have no backing. I am the first generation of my family in this industry, so I have to take care of myself. I am very happy to be your support.
What was your first income and how much?
The first earning that I remember was Rs 12,000 for the ad film. At that time this amount was a big deal for me. Then I had to pick up the phone and I was in class 12th then. All my friends had phones, which they got only in class 9th and 10th. I told my parents that I want a phone, everyone has it. He told me that you are not of age to pick up the phone. You take it after 12th. With my first earning, I again took 2 phones for myself and my father. Taking the phone, I told my father that how can I get spoiled by this? I am your daughter
What was the proudest and humbling moment for you as a woman?
– I have been brought up fortunately in a very different way. I never understood the difference between a boy and a girl. My parents never told me that you are a girl, don’t wear such clothes. As far as inferiority is concerned, it is such a thing for me, which the person in front cannot get you done. If a woman is being oppressed, then those who do and see her should feel inferior. You can feel humiliated only when you give this power to the other person. God forbid, if someone up-and-down happens with me, then my father will come and stand in front of me. When Mian-Biwi’s divorce happens, people say that her husband left her. Like this right belongs only to men. My proudest moment was when I told everyone that despite being a girl, what can I do? When people tell my father that your daughter is in the film industry, I don’t know what is her scene? But being born in such a family and my parents promoting my dreams is my proudest moment.
How happy do materialistic things bring you?
To be honest, I am not materialistic at all. Today I can afford, but I want a simple life. I travel in Creta because it is very comfortable. It’s not that I can’t buy a Range Rover. I don’t buy expensive shoes, cars or bags. My biggest wish is that my parents be happy and their future is secure. Homes are made by humans. I come from middle class background, where my father says that love is bigger than money. I have so much love in my life, so I am very happy with my life.
What issues should be worked on for the empowerment of women?
I think it is not enough to explain education or qualification to a girl from childhood. You have to give confidence to the girl from home. If you make them feel that you are a girl and this patriarchal society which is teaching you that you are a woman and you should stay down, then it is wrong. She will never again believe that she too can fly her own way. But it starts at home. You stay at home for 5 years before going to school and then if your father treats your mother with respect then she will know that she too has the right to respect. If the father behaves in a rude manner, she will never accept that she too has a right to respect. He will find it normal.
How does your partner Pulkit Samrat complement you?
– He lets me be the way I am. He never tried to change me and neither will he. He accepted me as I am. It is very important to have this quality in your partner. Why do you try to replace each other? We are very real in front of each other. We have very simple life.