I never wanted to be an actor. I was very reserved and shy. Even today, I am very shy behind the camera. I became an actor almost by accident and when I started out, I didn’t know anything about the industry. But when I take up something, I give it my best shot. It was a struggle to go through all those auditions and deal with rejections but finally it’s all worth it. To learn the nuances of the craft, I did theatre for a few years and even learnt Bharatanatyam for six months. I also acquired post production skills like editing before becoming an actor.
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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.
We first met on the set of my TV show, where Nehaa made a cameo appearance for fun sake. We hit it off instantly and became good friends. Over the past eight years, our bond strengthened and we became besties. Around four months ago, I realised that I couldn’t envision my life without her and popped the question. In all these years, I had never seen her as a partner. She was just my best friend. I feel there is a stark resemblance between our journey and the characters in Kuchh Kuchh Hotaa Hai. I finally found my Anjali (Kajol’s character) in my best friend just like the film.
Budapest is the first city where I faced discrimination. There were a few small incidents in the first few days, but I shrugged them off thinking that they were either coincidences or the locals were not warm. However, I soon realised that they chose to behave in a certain way towards outsiders. The preferential treatment at the airport made it all the more worse. We are obsessed with fair skin and give preference to Westerners over our own countrymen. Every country should treat tourists and their own citizens equally.
At 18, I realised that Mumbai is the place for me to settle down. Initially, life was very tough, especially, as I could never tell my parents how bad it was. For days I didn’t have any money and would subsist on just bananas. Dino (Morea) and I would share `10 thali where I would eat the rice and he the chapatis.