Mumbai runs in my bloodstream. I grew up here and I am certain I wont be able to survive anywhere else. I think its partly because I bagged the lead role in the television serial, Bandini, when I was only 17. I think I knew when I was just 10 that I wanted to be an actress and never leave Mumbai. My parents jokingly called me drama queen.
While I did start my career at an early age, not knowing anyone in the television industry was a roadblock. When I took my resume to producers and top studios, all I had with me was my confidence. Finally, producers of Bandini, the serial scripted by Ekta Kapoor, called me for an audition.
On the day of the audition, I was a bag of nerves. I was intimidated by the number of girls rehearsing outside the audition room. Nonetheless, I gave it my best shot. I was lucky as I got selected for the role. I thought it was my raw appeal and Indian looks that worked for me but later discovered that it was my nervousness that won me the lead role of Santu.
Call it beginners luck but Bandini has been my biggest break to date. The show ran between 2009 and early 2011 and its success increased my popularity.
Another turning point for me was driving my fathers car for the first time. Id wanted to get my hands on it and drive around aimlessly since I was 15. Memories of the day when I got my drivers license at 18 and drove the car are etched in my mind. It gave me a sense of independence.
Most of my time these days is spent on the sets of my new television show, Dharampatni, where I play the lead character of Kastur Galla.
Though the characters I play are unreal, the industry has taught me a lot. And I think the saying, survival of the fittest holds true for the Indian television industry.
(As told to Varuni Khosla)