When there is a question if Astrology works for real, one man who made Astrology an online platform and gave easy access to Astrologers and believers who himself has a very interesting story about the prediction and continues to be one of the most active and influential people in business- None other than Puneet Gupta!
Here is a quick Interview of him.
1) Why are you so passionate about astrology?
Puneet Gupta : The thing is that astrology has happened to me instead of me chasing astrology to make a profession out of it, which is why I am always curious to explore more of it. In fact, you will be surprised to know that there was a time when I didn’t even believe in astrology.
I quit my job in 2014 to do something in the field of Ayurveda. The startup went downhill, and I lost all my savings. After seven months of fighting depression, I finally decided to move to Mumbai for a job. When I was working in Mumbai, a friend called me to ask if I would like to co-found an IT company with him. I was confused if I should say yes to the offer as the failure of the previous startup was still fresh in my memory. It was then a colleague of mine, who is also an astrologer, offered me a future prediction.
Clearly, as a non-believer in astrology, I wasn’t interested, yet agreed when she insisted. She predicted that I will start a startup soon, which, however, will shut down in two years. Thereafter, I will start another business, she added. The IT company I and my friend started did shut down after two years when he left. That was when I began to believe in astrology. I connected with my ex-colleague again and amidst the chatter, found the idea to start
Five years into starting Astrotalk, I have witnessed numerous stories of astrologers helping people come out of their problems, which stiffness my belief in astrology. It is also what inspires me to explore new ideas and ways in which I can bring out the best of astrology because I have finally realised that when it comes to astrology, the sky’s the limit.
2) How did you start your journey in this field?
Puneet Gupta: When the astrologer’s prediction came true for me, the first thought that struck my mind was that if astrology can help me, I can also help many others out there. The idea was not to impose astrology on someone but let them try it for themselves and develop an opinion of it. That’s the only reason why we still give first chat free to every user.
For starters, I solely built the Astrotalk app to provide one-on-one video consultation to our customers. Although the response and reviews were decent, the wait time was hurting customer retention. Hence, we slowly switched to call and chat consultation. Regarding funding, thankfully, I had enough from my last startup to start with.
3) What all problems did you face till date in your career?
Puneet Gupta: I lost all my savings in the first startup, which was the biggest setback. I had literally locked myself in the room for seven months as I couldn’t face my family and friends. However, today when I look back, I see it as a waste of time and something one should never do. If you are trying something different in life, you should feel proud of it instead of worrying about people who aren’t even trying.
Another blow came when I had to shut down a successful IT company clocking half a million dollars in revenue. All I had in mind was that I am back to square one with no sight of the future. Yet, I am thankful that life played its part well.
When it comes to Astrotalk, the biggest problem was finding genuine astrologers. I had to personally convenience good astrologers and give them advance from my own pocket to retain them on the app. Today, Astrotalk is a bootstrapped firm making 55-lakh/day in revenue and a number of astrologers want to join us.
4) What was your family and friends’ reaction to your start-up idea?
Puneet Gupta: More like “ye to roz ka ho gaya hai abb.” They have always known that I have a knack for startups and entrepreneurship and have even supported me throughout my journey. Astrotalk wasn’t the first startup idea they were listening to from me, but the fact that I was doing something in the field of astrology surprised them more.
5) How was it to leave your job?
Puneet Gupta:It was a decision I made overnight without giving much thought to it. Actually, there is a story behind it. I had a terrible breakup just the day before I quit my job. The exact last words of my ex before she left me were – “my dad owns a Mercedes, and you don’t even have a car.”
When you are in your early 20s, such words hit you like a bullet. The resignation was a reaction to it as I promised myself to do something big in life. But soon I realised that life is no script where you can write “5 years later” and skip to the good part. Having no source of income does scare you. Yet, things worked out anyways.
6) Who all were there for you in your Ups and Downs?
Puneet Gupta: My family, of course, has always been there for me through thick and thin. They would tell me that we are here for anything you need, and those words can really calm you down. Secondly, an old school friend of mine was a blessing in disguise when I was in the depression stage of my life. He not only helped me come out of the trauma but also arranged a job for me and even lent me money when I needed it the most. I have only a few friends, but all of them are to die for.
7) How does it feel to be an owner of $10 million?
Puneet Gupta: Ha ha!! Honestly, as a child, until we don’t have a particular toy, we constantly crave it. But once we get it, life seems normal, the toy seems normal. It’s the same with money. Now with money in the bank, the greed of it has almost gone and whatever I do, is all about creating an impact on society. Also, what I am satisfied with is the fact that I have kept the promise I once made to myself.
8) What is the reason behind such a simple lifestyle?
Puneet Gupta: Simple background, I believe. I am fortunate to earn well, but I don’t see much change in life with money. The only difference in my personality is that I try to value my time over everything else. I would not think twice before investing money in anything that saves me time.
9) What are your hobbies and interests?
Puneet Gupta: I am really into writing and Cricket. I write a lot on Quora and LinkedIn about my entrepreneurial experiences or simple life experiences.
10) What is the best award that you have received?
Puneet Gupta: I believe in rewards and not awards. Customer satisfaction is the only reward I care about. So when customers ping me on social media or through the app to let me know how Astrotalk has helped them fight their problems, it is the best feeling ever.
11) What is the one advice you would like to give to upcoming entrepreneurs?
Puneet Gupta: I would suggest that you should never be scared of starting something of your own. There is always an audience you can tap. All you need to do is focus on solving customers’ problems. Also, don’t shy away from experimenting. Most of the best campaigns of Astrotalk are the result of some weird experiment of ours. In fact, it is the only way to survive the entrepreneurial world.
Indeed Puneet Gupta is one of the influential people in business you would come across and he keeps on sharing valuable knowledge with us on Linked In. Make sure you don’t miss on his tips! Also check out his platform Astrotalk if you are an astrology lover!
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Sakshi Sindwani smashing stereotypes & conquering heights!
If you know someone who broke barriers in the world of modeling, inspired someone to achieve anything and everything despite the hurdles broke the stereotypes and changed the mindsets of people to make the world a better place to live. IT DEFINITELY HAS TO BE SAKSHI SINDWANI and we bet over that!
She does it all! Whether be acing the ramp, featuring on the Harper’s Bazaar cover page or acing the IIFA with her charm or be it her presence at ICW 2022!
A dive into her life, goals and inspirations through this interview!
1) In order to stay relevant one needs to stay updated and rejuvenate themselves with the change in technology and trends. How has this change impacted your personal growth?
Sakshi Sindwani: I think being on social media for the last three years. I have been very much in the world of social media, and I think it’s truly taken my life over. But there are personal aspects of my life that I do not put on social media.I think it’s for my sanity. Not because I don’t want to or there is a hidden meaning behind it.
I think I need to protect a few things in my life and keep it behind and personal to me. I think it’s my time away from social media, and it helps rejuvenate and stay grounded. It puts me sort of back to reality because no matter how much we say, social media is very consuming, and that’s how it is made, and it’s going to get more and more consuming, and your attention span will go down sometimes, and sometimes it will go up . But it will all be about the next big thing and what’s happening next or what’s happening in somebody else’s life.
Just like everybody is so super connected through social media, which is a good thing, but it’s also a bad thing coz sometimes it can disconnect you from yourself and your journey. So I think the things that I try to do is, try to maintain a small circle of people who are not just the yes man in my life.
They are the true people who show me how to stay grounded. How to not lose myself in the whole world of glamour and fame and social media numbers, which are lucrative things but in the long run, they can harm your self-esteem and dim your personality. I think these people around me keep me grounded, and then sometimes I have off a day of social media where I like to do adventure things that really bring my spirit back, and travel rejuvenates me, talking to new people rejuvenates me. Even if it’s through work, it does. It’s something I get very passionate about.
2)In today’s era, a lot of teenagers and young adults look forward to being an influencer to get into the fashion and entertainment industry. They have started to value their worth based on the number of likes or followers that they have. What will be your message to them?
Sakshi Sindwani:I think for anybody who wants to come on social media, it’s a great thing. The world is moving toward digital media, and it’s only fair for people to recognize opportunities and jump on that band value. But that being said, I think anyone who wants to come on social media needs to have very strong self-esteem and very strong confidence about themselves.I think belief about themselves is important.
If you come with low self-esteem and low self-esteem in yourself, then you know social media can suck the life out of you, and the numbers can get to your head. It’s very important for someone coming on social media to, you know, realize that your craft needs to have the number 1 priority, and everything comes later. You know you need to be the most authentic and best version of yourself. Bring your craft to the audience, and the way the audience reacts to it is on the. You can’t really control everybody. You have to show up and be the best version of yourself even on social media like you do otherwise in life as well. I think when you have a good foundation, it’s almost crucial.
The more you get bigger, the more you get obsessed with numbers.
It’s a hard fact. I remember when I was at 50K, the next big thing for me was a 100K. I used to think that 100k would change my life and I will achieve everything in life and at that time, you do feel that way.
It’s an unattainable goal for you, and then 100 k becomes 200k, 500k, and a million, and then it never stops. That journey never stops, and even though when you are a small creator, you feel if you reach a higher number, your life will be all set.
That’s not how it works, that’s the human tendency in you that you keep growing out to the next big thing, and sometimes you see the high, but you also see the low, and then you reach this stagnancy. You need to have a strong belief system, and you need to surround yourself with people who believe in you as much as you believe in yourself.
3) During your college life was fashion an important part of your everyday life and personality even then?
Sakshi Sindwani: Definitely, I remember there was a time when I was really struggling with getting my personality out and expressing myself fashion-wise. I actually spoke about this in one of my recent podcasts where I said that I give myself a challenge for a week. This week I am going to pretend that I am the most confident bad bitch that you can possibly imagine and the most confident version of myself, and I will wear whatever the heck I want to for a week. No matter what people say, no matter how many people make fun of me, I am just going to do that. I am just going to do a trial test of doing this for one week, and that was the happiest fashion-wise week of my college life and then that became my normal slowly and steadily.
Being a person who had a very strong sense of fashion and style ever since I was six years old. I remember I was ahead of my game even then. I have seen pictures, but college definitely changed the way I looked at myself and style and fashion.
4) When you got into making fashion content, how was your initial approach? Did you plan everything or were you more inclined towards going with the flow? Has it changed now?
Sakshi Sindwani: I think when I started making fashion videos, I started on youtube, and at that time, I was going through discovering myself and finding my foot on social media, and social media can be really daunting. Especially at a time when I started, this was literally 4-5 years back. Not a lot of social media content creators were present and Instagram was still not a video platform.
It was still a more aesthetic-looking feed, everything super similarly color graded, and beautiful feeds and visuals and pictures and all of those things, and youtube was the video content platform and I always knew that I wanted to be a video content creator. At that time, I would look at trends; I would look at Sarojini Nagar haul, Street shopping hauls, going to Chandani chowk and making guides about it and all of that. A lot of Shein, H&M, and Zara hauls, and all of those things, but I did like it at that time I would not deny that I didn’t like it, but it’s just that it wasn’t true representation of my style.
I was still trying to figure out the content that I wanted to make. My voice and the trends and what’s getting numbers and what’s helping you grow.
With all of those things, you know you can feel a little lost, especially when you are a young content creator. When I came on Instagram, I came with the intention that I was going to start making videos even though they were going to be from my balcony.
When I started my first series, which was the first video series on Instagram, back in 2019, again, Instagram was not a video platform at the time, but in 2019 when I started creating videos, it was out of my balcony. Where I decided to make one single fashion video every day for the next 365 days, and at that point, I had a little bit of burnout, obviously because I was not being true to myself on youtube, so I had a burnout, and It went a little haywire.
When I started on Instagram, I wasn’t focusing on any best quality or anything. I was going with the flow. I was like, whatever I am wearing today, I am going to show that to the people and explain how you dress up for a bigger body type and what works for me and literally talk about my fashion sense. That’s it. Like I don’t want to have stressed over creating aesthetically looking feeds and everything so properly color graded and matched and the grids of three’s and five’s and all that. It was not my aesthetic at all.
So I started to make those things, and thankfully it worked out. I did go with the flow at that time, and to this day, a big part of my content is going with the flow, creating what is keeping me interested and what is keeping the audience interested. Of course, when you grow older, there is a lot more strategy that gets involved, and you know you will start thinking about what the audience is reacting to better. Let’s make more of that, and you know, strategizing and studying your analytics become a big part.
At the starting, I don’t think I was worried about those things because I didn’t have the numbers, and I had nothing to lose. Now there is slight fear in my mind that okay, if people don’t like this, it’s not going to get the views, and no matter how much hard work I put into it, I won’t get the views. So sometimes those things affect my confidence, but I still try to go with the flow. After every 4-5 content pieces, I make one content piece for myself that gives my creative vision justice.
I think it’s very important to my sanity because, again, I am a creative person. I started to be a storyteller about fashion on the internet, that’s how I started, and I want to maintain those things about me. So I think I started as go with the flow, but now it’s a little bit of a mix of going with the flow and what you want, what the audience wants, studying the stats, and all of that.
5) You have spoken about your obsession with youtube when you were in school and how you started your journey of content creation with it. Who was your favorite youtube content creator ?
Sakshi Sindwani: I think back in the day. It was definitely Bethany Mota. When I started my youtube channel, she was the biggest fashion Youtuber and such a bubbly girl at that time. When I was in 7th- 8th grade in school, I was a really young kid, and I used to relate to her a lot because she was also a chirpy, bubbly, colorful girl. I think she really hipped my journey and inspired me. Back in the day, like I said, she was the biggest one and the kind of opportunity that was coming to her. she was the first influencer, I think, in the world, who had launched a clothing line in collaboration with Aeropostale. That was like such an eye-opener for me. These things can happen. People can have a collection. Those things were new at the time and definitely inspired my journey.
6) Throughout your career so far what has been the most memorable moment for you?
There have been tons of memorable moments, thankfully so and hopefully, so those are just the start of memorable moments for me, but I am going to list a few of them. The first one being, I think, when I got the offer to be on the cover of Harper Bazaar’s magazine in 2019 of November. That was a big one for me because, at that time, I was a very small content creator. I had freshly done a few of my ramps. I was the first mid-size model for India fashion week, and I think that was a history that had been created in itself. So when I had gotten the Harper Bazaar opportunity, that was a big deal for me.
Then BBC world news wanted to interview me as the first inclusive model in India. That aired around the world in New York, London, and wherever BBC aired. Then when I got the opportunity to be featured by Forbes. It was a very big thing. I have won a few awards. The Femina award was a big thing, and the Cosmo award was a big thing. When I got featured in Vogue, it was a very big thing for me. When I was casted to be in the campaign of Manish Malhotra, that was also a very big thing for me. Getting invited to IIFA was also a huge thing.
7) You were recently at IIFA, how was that experience for you?
Sakshi Sindwani: Definitely overwhelming, something that I don’t think in my wildest dreams thought it could be a possibility that somebody who was so severely bullied! Just like I didn’t even think that the opportunities that I am getting and living today could even be possible. I didn’t think these opportunities were possible at all back in the days. But one thousand percent it was one of the most overwhelming and genuinely beautiful experiences. It gave me a lot of learning.
The reason why I say beautiful is because there were a lot of good things and also challenges that came with it. But overall, it was a beautiful journey. Iifa happened to me so suddenly. When I recall the instance when I got the message from my manager that I was going to IIfa, the first response was that I started crying. I don’t usually cry. I keep things to myself, lot of the times because I am so superstitious that way. Even I don’t tell my family the things that I get finalized for till it doesn’t actually happen in real. I don’t tell my closest one. But when I received the message for Iifa, I burst into tears. It was very overwhelming for me.
Like I said, I never thought it would be a possibility, and then doing the whole green carpet and having people recognize me in Abu Dhabi in Dubai was insane. You don’t dream of these things. I know there were a few people who came to me with watery eyes saying how much I have inspired them and How much they love themselves because of me. These are not the normal things that anybody gets to hear. Because I get to hear these things so often, it’s the biggest deal for me.
8) You wear and style a lot of new emerging brands. Which one will be your personal favorite?
Sakshi Sindwani: I cannot choose a personal favorite. All my homegrown brands are extremely exquisitely special to me because they are my homegrown brand. They are a more conscious brand. I think they are the new generation of how brands should approach everything when it comes to building the brand or bringing the people who work for them. Size inclusivity. The way they run campaigns. I think the new generation really knows their work. They are more aware, and they are heading in the right direction when it comes to fashion.
9) If given a choice, what would be the one change that you would make in the social media world for aspiring content creators?
Sakshi Sindwani: The biggest thing that I will say is that don’t be afraid of people saying no to you. I have had my fair share of no and struggle in the industry. It’s very difficult to crack open but keep working hard and stay consistent at what you do, whether it’s content creation on social media. Whether it’s pitching to a designer. Try to speak to as many people as possible and have faith in yourself.
I think that’s the most important. I think when it comes to working, be mindful of what kind of projects you are taking and be mindful of the direction you want to go in. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes because those mistakes will give you a lot of learning. Just try not to make the mistakes very personal. I think some mistakes are always due in everybody’s career. I think failing sometimes gives you the biggest learning. It has happened to me. I have failed multiple times. People wouldn’t believe it, but there are so many times I have failed as a person and in my career, but I never gave up. I think the biggest thing is that no matter how hard and cliche it sounds but never give up.
10) In one of your recent Instagram stories you said that you often fail to complete the work that you have decided for yourself on the days when it rains and is gloomy. How do you work with that? Do you get disappointed?
Sakshi Sindwani: I used to get very disappointed if I didn’t work because I have a very strong work culture in my house and a very strong work ethic that I have grown up listening to and instilled in me, but as I am growing older. I realize that you need to have some off mental health days. Like you need to have some off days for your peace and sanity, and when there are days where I don’t feel like working. I get up wanting to enjoy the day or the rain like that. I allow myself to have that moment because life is not just about the next big thing and the hustle and the entire hustle culture. There are smaller things, and by finding joy in them, peace in silence, you should still be able to feel successful. I allow myself to feel that way.
11) What will you say to the people who compare their bodies with the models on Instagram? What will be your message to them about body positivity?
Sakshi Sindwani: I think it’s a very toxic thing to compare yourself with anybody, Whether it’s comparing your body or career or anything about your life. Just always remember that social media is fake. It is a filtered reality. If people show you that they are happiest looking at their bodies might be struggling with their bodies. Even though in your eyes they might have the perfect bodies. They might not have the perfect bodies in their own eyes. So I think it’s very wrong for you to compare yourself with anybody on social media, and I think the best way to move forward. It worked for me. I unfollowed pages and muted pages that trigged me in any way.
What I think is that the List that you see and the List that you will get triggered and it was a very important step that I took for my mental health, especially in the initial few years and months of my self-love journey. I am still on that journey. Of course, I have a stronger belief system in myself. Like now, if I see things that trigger me, it won’t trigger me a lot, but back in the day, if I saw pages like that, they would trigger me a lot, so I would mute them and follow more pages that made me feel good about myself. It’s not always about body positivity. I think nobody can be positive all the time about their bodies. It’s okay to have low days.
I have this particular rule. 15 Minute rule. If I feel really bad about my body or if its a blue day or if I look a certain way and I do not like my pictures and videos, I give myself 15 minutes to crib about it, and then I have to just drop it and let it go and then I have to be my true self.
12) Lastly, what will be your message to your fans?
The biggest message that I will give my fans is that don’t compare yourself to the people who are sharing filtered reality on the internet. Self-love is a journey. People can inspire you on that journey, but you need to start it yourself. No one can. Be yourself.Sakshi Sindwani
You are literally the most beautiful and the most amazing and the most thrilling person. Don’t try to be somebody else just because you think they are cool. Just remember that you are even cooler. Please remind yourself that you love yourself because that is the relationship that is ever so important and needs to be nurtured ever so often.
We hope you liked the interview and Sakshi Sindwani inspired you to the core as she inspired us!
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Shirin Sewani: A daily dose of relatable humour !
Shirin Sewani was born in 1993 in Delhi, India. She is an Actress, an Influencer, and a Youtuber. She did her schooling and graduation from Delhi itself. After completing her graduation she went to Mumbai to upskill her acting. Shirin started her career as a model and an actress in 2013. She got her first break in the famous television show ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’, where Shirin played the role of Jasmeet. Being a part of many other daily soap shows such as ‘Nagin’ and ‘Kavach’ she won many hearts. Shirin evolved through characters in significant movies like ‘Khandani Shafakhana’ and ‘Mannat’ also she bagged the chance to work on a short film named ‘Rabiya’.
The Paradox team came up with an interesting interview with her where she shared her overall experience of being a part of the Indian Entertainment Industry. Let’s have a look at what Shirin has to say.
Was being an actress your childhood dream?
Shirin: Yes, I started acting when I was in 5th standard. So, I observed an inclination towards acting since my schooling days and even in college. I got admission to Kirori Mal College through the ECA quota in acting. I was passionate about acting since childhood and that’s why kept acting in theatres in Delhi. Being a single child I was always skeptical of changing the city and I wasn’t aware of the Entertainment Industry. One random day, I decided to visit Mumbai and have a look at the scenario there.
I went to Mumbai just for 2 months with the mindset of just taking a glimpse of Bollywood. But I believe I was lucky enough that during those two months I got my first break and from then it kept going further. I never planned to visit Mumbai and take up acting as a full-fledged career. I guess the universe planned this for me, and it has been great.
How did you get your first break?
Shirin Sewani: I was in Mumbai, giving auditions every day. I used to motivate myself by saying, ‘Why are you here? You left your parents, your house, your friends… just for the purpose to be successful in acting’. But the atmosphere was completely different here. Till yesterday I was at my home, in my comfort zone, getting up with coffee and getting pampered, and today, I’m here alone, struggling for my future, facing rejections and whatnot. I also felt demotivated a lot.
One day I got a call from one team asking me to visit their office. I went there with the thought that they have just called to meet, no need to get happy, nothing much would happen. But when I reached there, they were ready with the contract offering me to play the role of Jasmeet for ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’, and this is how I got my first break. I was very excited about this role.
How was your experience with ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’? Do you use watch yourself on the television?
Shirin Sewani: Yes, I used to watch the show, when it was a regular broadcast on TV. It’s very humanistic to do it, as it’s your debut, you are on the big screen for the first time and you are part of such a big show. All these factors were the reason for being excited. I was excited as well as my family and friends were equally excited about the show. I kept on checking on myself by watching the show, whether I was good at acting, how was the overall performance, did I paid justice to the character I was playing, where I was not that good, areas where I can improve myself, were the emotions correct.
So, I always watch my shows and every time I go through a particular scene then I think that I would have done better here. And I like doing this activity as it makes me more prepared for my next role. The learning never stops. No one is perfect and that is the reason why you need to keep on learning and improve yourself.
Out of all the characters you have played, which one is your favorite?
Shirin Sewani: I never compare the characters, every character is different from one another. Every character has its own story, own script, and own journey and I think that is the beauty of being an actor. Jasmeet will always be a special character for me as it was the first character I played. Also, Jasmeet was a character who became very popular and a favorite amongst all the mothers. I think that being a Delhi girl helped me to add a bit of Punjabi flavor to the character of Jasmeet. These factors make Jasmeet a very special character for me. If we talk about my personal opinion then I played the character of ‘Rapchik’ in the series called ‘Only For Singles’ which was released on MX Player.
This was a character that is very close to my heart as I was able to relate to it up to a great extent. The nature, the vibe, and the inner core of the character were quite relatable to me. I was very happy playing this role as I was able to act in something different from the roles I used to play in the previous shows. I enjoyed a lot playing that character.
Are you a travelholic as your character ‘EVA’ from the show ‘Backpackers’?
Shirin Sewani: Yes, I am a travelholic. I love to travel and explore new places. I haven’t traveled much yet because I was pretty occupied with my work. But I will travel as I get time. I am the kind of person who is always up for the plans of trips and travels. Eva was a character that had a sense of commitment and had no plans of settling down, but I guess I am a bit different from her at that point as I decided of settling down much earlier.
How will you differentiate the experience of working in serials from the experience of working in movies?
Shirin: This is the most common question I had come across, as I have worked in T.V, movies, and web series. And I have always said that it doesn’t matter. Being an actor I haven’t ever thought that I will act in the movies and serials differently. I read the script, try to understand the character, and see what the director is looking for in the character. It is about how you want the story to be narrated and how you want the character to be portrayed.
there will be no difference in the character of Jasmeet. She is a Punjabi girl who is a little crazy and weird, a little loud and she will be the same even if she was in the movie rather than in the serial. This is because the character and the director wanted it to be like that. Only the platform will be different, you are working for a T.V show where you need to work for 12 hours and perform on the spot, but I think this makes you more skilled. And to provide the audience with quality roles is the job of the actor, even under high-pressure situations.
What was your parent’s reaction when you decided to give your passion for acting a shot and visit Mumbai for 2 months?
Shirin Sewani: I have heard many people complaining that their parents are not supportive of them. But in my case, it was different. They were supportive more than I expected. In every possible way, they showed their support and told me that I can do whatever I want to. They had a good amount of trust in me and they believed that I know what I was doing.
The second thing is that they never put pressure on me for that, they were like, ‘if you want to go then give it a try, give your 100%. If you succeed then it’s best, but even if you don’t then no problem and at least you won’t have any regret.’ I would advise all the parents to let their kids try, even if they fall. If something is meant to happen then it will happen no matter how much you try to avoid it. Let them live on their own. Just give your 100% and don’t worry about the results.
Whom would you consider as your favorite co-actor?
Shirin Sewani: I would say, Aman Sharma, because he was my first co-actor. He was more experienced than me. I was very scared during the initial days because it was a new city, with new faces and it was a completely new industry for me. He helped me a lot during that time. We used to rehearse acting and dancing together. I remember we used to have dance practice for the show at 12, but we used to be there by 10 and rehearse. We used to convince our choreographers to teach us by the time everyone arrives and get ready. We were always ready for the practice and sometimes we even shout at each other when we make mistakes. But we did all these because we wanted to do our best and shine in the performance.
Any incident/memory from your previous projects which you will never forget?
Shirin Sewani: There is always some sort of memory from each project we do. You create a memory with every show you do, every project you do. I remember when I was performing for ‘Only For Singles’, there was a scene in which the character wanted to wrap up things and get back home, and was very tense. I got so indulged and drawn towards the scene that even after the cut I was crying and then the crew came for help and tried to collect myself.
And I think this is the beauty of acting that you try to relate with the character and the scene from your real-life incidents and experiences. There are tons of memories while shooting for ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ as well. I remember we were in Lucknow shooting for the show and my parents visited me there, spending quality time with my family after the shoot is also a memory. So these are all the memories and there are a lot more as well.
Who has been your inspiration, as you said you dreamt of being an actor since your childhood?
Shirin Sewani: To be honest, many people have been inspiring me. It started when I used to mimic my teachers in school when I was in 3rd or 4th standard. I use to mimic the people who inspired me. But if I have to take names from the industry then it would be Abhishek Banerjee. I have seen him since my college days, he struggled a lot. He gave many years to casting and did amazing films as a casting director. Then he did films like ‘Stree’. He was my senior in college and now watching him in such great projects inspires me.
If you wouldn’t have picked acting as your career then what other profession you would have chosen?
Shirin: I graduated with B.Ed. So the plan was of being a teacher if I won’t have been an actress. I completed my B. Ed, while I was doing ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’. I had 2 options, I would have been a chef instead as well. I love cooking and enjoy it like nothing else. If I get the chance then I would have done something in this field as well. I love hosting people as well whether it be for a party or an event. So if I wasn’t an actress then I would have many options to look up for.
How do you manage your personal and professional life? And what do you do in your, ‘Me Time?
Shirin Sewani: First of all it is all about learning to manage the time between both of them. I have never given anyone a chance to complain that you don’t give us enough time. Everything asks for efforts to make them sufficient. I always prioritize both things equally. It shouldn’t happen that you get into work so much that you fail to enjoy the time with your family and friends. You should work, of course, I also love to work but I manage to give time to my family as well. So, this balance is very necessary.
And, answer to the question that what I do in my free time is in my hobbies. I do cooking and try to make more delicious dishes. I love doing it and enjoy it in my free time. I also try to work out during that time as well. Also, I always do something related to my profession. I chill out with my friends, go to their place, and have fun. I choose what I want to do and then enjoy it accordingly.
You recently got married, so how did you meet your life partner? And how did you decide to get married to each other?
Shirin Sewani: I met him at my friend’s party. It was a very casual meeting, there was no drama or love at first sight sort of things. My friend introduced us and then we became friends. Then our parents met and got things ahead. I believe that he was someone who was supposed to come into my life. This is because all these things were so unplanned and came all of a sudden. And the journey has been great since then.
What are the advice and suggestions that you would give to the people who are entering the industry?
Shirin Sewani: I would say that be well prepared and then come into the industry. If you think that you can do it, there is nothing much, it would be easy, then it’s not correct. It is not that easy. Trust me the process is really difficult, the struggle is real, and you need to be sustainable. Give your 100% and remember that our industry works on luck as well, be prepared for that. Learn to face rejections, you will be giving many auditions and facing the rejections as well.
Be prepared for that. Be patient, it is not an easy industry to get in. you need to be patient and wait until the opportunity comes to you, you won’t get work from the first day itself. Don’t give up easily, be patient, and stay consistent. Work up on your skills. Acting is not all about looks, you need enough skills to give justice to the character. So, work on improving your skills.
What kind of roles do you want to play? Like the role which you want to play once in your career?
Shirin Sewani: Honestly speaking, I am happy with the kind of roles that came my way. All the roles which I have played are different from each other. But if you ask me what kind of roles I would like to play then my answer would be roles that are a little raw and not afraid of anyone. The role of Kangana in the movie ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, was very impressive. I like this kind of role which is a little more realistic. I am not very choosy about the roles, whichever you will give to me I will accept it and try to give my best for that character.
What are your future projects?
Shirin Sewani: There are a few projects which I will be announcing soon. And there are a few web series coming as well. But all things took a back seat due to the pandemic. I hope that all these problems get solved soon so that we can start shooting again. Hopefully, everything goes well and I will be back on the screen as soon as possible.
Did you ever plan how your wedding would be? Any childhood dreams for your wedding?
Shirin Sewani: I wanted to keep my wedding very simple. I wanted to keep my wedding private and keep it between our families only. It was a mutual decision by both of us that we want to keep it simple and enjoy our moment rather than be with the crowd and the guests. I think the decision came out to be perfect, we enjoyed the whole ceremony and it was very beautiful.
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This was the interview with Shirin Sewani. She talked about her struggles, her journey, her most memorable moments, and much more.