The biggest turning point in my life was taking to Buddhism in 1997. I was going through a bad patch in my career and began contemplating on my choices and the role of destiny in life. A friend recommended The Buddha in Daily Life and reading it gave me a strong spiritual direction. I realised I was entirely responsible for my karma and became a calmer person.
As a teenager I was fascinated by acting and would enact scenes from Hindi films in my room. Ive been modelling since school and did it even through college. My film debut was a lead role opposite Ajay Devgn in Deepak Pawars Platform. After that I took a break because I felt that Indian cinema was at its worst then, in that it did not offer much scope to heroines. However, Ive been lucky to have had the chance of re-inventing myself. So, for the next few years I did plays and workshops to hone my acting skills. In 2005, I landed a role in the popular soap Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and the next year I appeared in another serial, Sarrkkar...Risshton Ki Ankahi Kahani.
One of the most significant turning points in my career has been landing the role of Maya Awasthi in Aamir Khans Taare Zameen Par. My work in the film was greatly appreciated. During this time I was also appearing in various advertisements. Other films that have come my way include Nandita Das Firaaq and Madhur Bhandarkars Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji. Recently, Ive been touring with director Feroz Khans play Dinner With Friends. My role — that of an untalented painter — has proved to be the most challenging one for me.
As for the future, I believe that life is a better planner than me and I intend to go with the flow.
(As told to Lubna Salim)