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The Telegraph
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| Sunday, March 10, 2013 |

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Role model

Tara Sharma swapped her career in the corporate world for her dream of becoming an actress

I always wanted to study abroad and the first turning point for me was topping the ICSE exams at The Bombay International School. This resulted in me bagging a scholarship at the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy. After this I went to study business administration and management at the London School of Economics.

In the years that I was studying abroad, I returned home to Mumbai for the summer vacations and decided to give modelling a shot in my free time. I approached a few advertising agencies for TV commercials. My father, Pratap Sharma, a playwright and novelist, helped me with the right contacts. I owe my career to him. I guess I had that girl-next-door look and advertisers in the '90s were looking for such faces. Before I knew it, in 2000 I bagged a Pepsi commercial that featured Shah Rukh Khan. I went on to appear in Lyril and Lakm advertisements.

Around this time — and soon after graduating — I started working for Accenture in London. But I decided that if I had to take modelling and acting seriously, I needed to do it right then. My career in the corporate world had to wait.

I got my first big break in films with Anupam Kher's directorial debut, Om Jai Jagadish in 2002. I starred opposite Abhishek Bachchan and despite the small role, I got noticed by filmmakers. Dibakar Banerjee's Khosla Ka Ghosla in 2006 also changed my life in many ways. It was one of the biggest hits of that year and my character Meghna is very close to my heart.

Meeting Roopak Saluja and marrying him in 2007 was another major turning point for me. He's had a calming influence on me and given me two precious treasures, my sons — Zen who is four and Kai, now two years old.

Losing my father in 2011 left me devastated and changed my life too. But, I do have a strong belief that no one really goes away and my father will always live in our hearts.

I am currently working on the second season of my television show, The Tara Sharma Show — Diaries of a New Mum. The show is informal and often humorous throwing in real experiences of being a parent.