I started nurturing a desire to make films when I was in Class XI. During the mid-1970s, I was initiated into the world of Indian and foreign films of repute. I was drawn to the medium, but I wasn’t actually a cine buff. My interest brought me to the world of advertising and my assignments there helped me hone my skills. In the early 1990s, I quit my cushy ad job and ventured into full-time filmmaking.
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Born to doctor parents modeling happened to Manushi Chhillar by chance. It was a contest in Delhi’s AIIMS, where she was crowned Miss Campus Princess, that set the tone for her. After several modeling assignments for print ads, Chhillar found herself crowned Miss Haryana and later, standing at the altar of the fbb Colors Femina Miss India. “I didn’t even know how to do make-up and hair then,” she says.
Though Manushi Chhillar doesn’t believe in lucky charms, the two rings—a pearl one on the index finger gifted by her mother and a coral one on the ring finger gifted by her father who calls her his dragon—may have worked their magic. She also took a small Ganpati idol gifted by her aunt to the pageant.
I basically belong to a business family, but I was always interested in careers related to media. So I participated in a reality show and that’s how it all started. One good thing about such talent shows is that they serve as a very good platform for a newcomer; they give you an initial kick which is very essential in this profession. But for being successful in this industry, you need a combination of both talent and hardwork as I still find people who are talented but aren’t getting good opportunities.