Anjana Sukhani, the bubbly and effervescent actress is best known for her roles in movies like “Salaam-E-Ishq”, “Golmaal Returns” and the recently released “Good Newwz”. The versatile actress has featured in several South Indian movies.
This vibrant heroine recently opened up about her ordeal with clinical depression following very personal losses.
Anjana Sukhani wants to reach out to her fans and the masses and make them aware of mental health issues. The Voice Of Woman got in touch with her for some candid conversation on life, love, and look!
Watch Anjana Sukhani talk exclusively about fighting the stigma associated with mental health issues.
What made Anjana Sukhani give up your academic pursuits to join Bollywood?
I didn’t actually give up academic pursuits. I did my Masters in Foreign Trade and International Business. I had no inclination to join Bollywood and it was purely accidental.
I would have never given up my education to pursue Bollywood because education is extremely important. For those who want to make their mark in the movies, I would ask them to simultaneously train to become an actor while simultaneously continuing education, as that stays with you forever.
Can you recount your initial days of struggle and what are some of the lessons that you have learned?
For me becoming an actress was accidental and since I didn’t set out to be one, thus, it became an easy journey. The real challenge began once I did my first few films and they didn’t fare well or get a proper release.
But then “Salaam-E-Ishq” happened, and it became smoother going forward. Everything comes with its own challenges. My attitude is not to give up and give my 100% where you are.
What really helped me was the fact that, now that I am here, I need to make my mark and I honestly started enjoying being a performer and an artist. I think my calling was this and I didn’t know it for a very long time.
You have starred with some of the biggest names in the industry, who is your favourite co-star?
Every co-actor teaches you something- a trick, a discipline, vibe to be on the set or be an artist. I have been very fortunate to work with some of the biggest names in the industry like Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kunal Khemmu, Sanjay Dutt, and so many other talented people that I have been associated with.
If I really had to pick a name then while shooting it has to be Akshay and Kareena, as they are genuinely fun and vibrant people on set. Especially Akshay Kumar, I had a great time working with him.
He is easy to work with and an amazing sense of humour and keeps the atmosphere light and maintains a positive attitude. He is also very disciplined, something that I would love to imbibe in my life.
As an actress you are often faced with harsh criticisms and failures how do you deal with it?
As an actress, we go through both criticism and adulation and we need to find the balance between the two. Receive as much as you can of both good and bad phases, and don’t try to take too much to your heart. You have to understand that not everyone is going to like me or dislike me.
This has helped me balance my psyche. I know that I am not going to be everybody’s favourite actress. One has to look at the more positive side of it. You should probably try to ignore the negative aspects, or it can wreck on your psyche.
You opened up about being diagnosed with clinical depression after two extremely personal losses- what would you tell people about surviving the stigma associated with mental health issues?
Mental health is often considered a taboo and stigma in society. When someone speaks about these issues, people treat you as a mental person.
I lost two very close people in my life, my Naani, and my Mausi, in very quick succession and it was a difficult phase for me. I can feel the sense of helplessness of those going through it and it isn’t easy.
I feel that you cannot choose what is given to you in life but you can choose how you receive it, perceive it and go about it in life, that’s where you draw your strength from.
In India even after so much exposure to mental health, people are still shy about talking about it. I want to tell everyone that you deserve happiness, love, and to live in a carefree environment- where there is no fear, anxiety, or depression.
Please fight it and don’t succumb to it, and you are more powerful than all these emotions put together. It’s a test of time but you can emerge as a winner. It is extremely important to seek help.
Two things that helped me were- going to a therapist and for those who cannot afford one, then you should reach out to your elders, who can guide you to the right path.
Music is also something that helped me cope. There are a lot of sound energy videos available on YouTube, which can uplift your spirit. Just keep up and don’t give up!
Is there anything that scares you?
I am not scared of any particular thing. Losing myself to success or failure would be something I am terrified of. It has taken a lot of strength and challenges in life to become the person that I am.
I would not want to lose the essence of who I am. I hope that either too much success or failure doesn’t move me from the stand that I have at this point of life.
As a celebrity you have to wear a lot of makeup and be constantly exposed to harsh lights, can you please share your skincare tip?
As a celebrity, we do have to cake up and make up most of the time. It does affect the skin. We are under harsh lights and also sunlight when shooting outdoors.
When we are not shooting it is very important to let your skin breathe and not do anything. During normal times just apply sunscreen and a light moisturiser.
The skincare tips that I truly believe comes from my Naani and my mother. They have always emphasized that ingredients required for amazing skin health should always come from your kitchen.
I use honey, curd, besan, and turmeric. One thing I completely swear by is coconut oil– I drink it, apply it, and literally worship it when it comes to skincare. I exfoliate and moisturise my skin on a regular basis.
What is Anjana Sukhani’s personal style?
I have never been someone who emphasizes a lot on fashion trends. I love to follow the latest trends but given that it suits my body type. The freedom to dress according to your mood is very important.
You need to feel comfortable about what you are wearing irrespective of whether it is a fashion trend or not. Personally, for me, my style is very chic and very bohemian depending on my state of mind.
What is the one thing that you would want to tell your fans through the Voice of Woman?
Live your life and live it the way that it is never going to come back again. Take risks in life and be adventurous. You should create memories, stories so that you can recall these in your old age.
Click a lot of pictures and make memorabilia. Be happy and find ways to be happy.
It doesn’t need to be materialistic things but simple pleasures in life. Everyone is aware of this, but sometimes you might need an outsider to push that thought again. Look after yourself and be healthy especially in these unprecedented times.
Pura Vida – Live pure life! ~ Anjana Sukhani