Starting from Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kasauti Zindagi Kay, Kasam to Jhansi Ki Rani, Kratika Sengar Dheer has traversed a long way in the industry with her fierce dedication and unparalleled love towards her craft. No matter how hard we try, destiny always has a plan made for us. Many times that is somewhat unusual than what we plan for us. Yet in the end, we realize that it was the best possible thing that can happen to us. It’s all about embracing your journey and rising above your limitations to achieve what you aspire. This is what Kratika Sengar Dheer has always believed in; to push yourself out of your comfort zone and make that dream of your heart transform into the reality of your world for success comes to those who gather the courage to stand up and take action. Be vulnerable with your passion, show the world how bright you can shine, take those risks, and embrace what you were destined to do as more often than not it’s worth it. Kratika sengar Dheer transformed like a butterfly. There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells her about becoming a butterfly yet it is what destiny has planned for, no matter how impossible it seems at first if you believe in your worth and work towards your passion magic happens. The Voice of Woman had the privilege of conversing with the sensational television persona Kratika Sengar Dheer who shared her story of strength with us. When did you decide that you want to become an actor? I never decided to pursue acting, it just happened by a stroke of luck. I was in Mumbai for my internship as a Mass Media student and it was coming to an end so I was preparing to get back to Delhi for my final semester. Then one of my seniors from college who was working with Balaji very casually asked me to give an audition for a small role. When I came to Mumbai, I fell in love with the city so I always wanted to pursue my career in Mumbai. It is really a safe city for girls as compared to Delhi. This was the biggest criteria that I had at that time. While I was in Delhi for three years during my college days I really didn’t enjoy that city because I didn’t feel very safe there. It is a very sad fact. So when I got this opportunity to go and give the audition I grabbed that opportunity and somehow got through. This is how my journey had begun. Becoming an actor was very accidental, I had never even imagined that I would become an actor or rather I never had the faintest idea that I wanted to become an actor. How did Kratika Sengar get hers first break? My first break was given to me by my senior. She called me to give an audition for a very small character in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi in 2007. I managed to get through it. I only shot for a day or two when I got a bigger and better role in Kasauti Zindagi Kay for the character of Choti Prerna. Do you remember your initial days of struggle? What did those days teach you that is still relevant in your life? God has been really kind to me so I really did not need to work very hard for getting further work, like I did not have to go for a lot of auditions. It just kept happening back to back, everything was placed in the right way. Like from Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi I got Kasauti and then gradually other works came my way. From those shows, I got Jhansi Ki Rani and that is how it went on. So for me, the struggling part was that I had to shoot for almost 40 hours at a stretch when I started my career as an actor but then I enjoyed that as well because I was determined to give my 100% in order to make a mark. I was ready to do all the hard work that was required so it did not affect me to work for such long hours. What was difficult for me was that I missed my family immensely during that time as I was working relentlessly and came back home for a very short time and then again went back to work. I had struggled a lot in this regard otherwise I was pretty sorted in my mind. One should never take anything for granted. I know I have worked very hard. I was fortunate enough that unlike many people I did not have to struggle to that extent but my journey was my own struggle because I had to get out of my comfort zone to do all that was required especially when I started shooting Jhansi Ki Rani. So the lesson would be I don’t and I will never take my job for granted. This is something I have learned that I will always stick to. How has your experience in this industry been so far? Do you think the journey of a woman in the entertainment industry is different from that of a man? My experience in the industry has been really smooth, nice, and kind. I feel that I have done a good job and I am lucky enough that I got the opportunity to portray good and strong characters like Rani Lakshmi Bai, Aarti from Punar Vivah or Tanu, and Tanuja in Kasam. My journey has been good despite the fact that I had to work really hard. I am very grateful for the recognition I have got for my work. This depends on everybody’s subjective point of view. For me, I have always got the opportunity to play strong and good characters. Whatever shows I have done my co-actors have always been at par with me. When I played the character of Rani Lakshmi Bai it was all about her so my character was regarded very highly. In any show, all the characters are very important. So I don’t think the journey differs very much as everybody is treated equally in my industry. It all depends on an individual’s experiences. Do you believe that a family can only prosper when a woman sacrifices her aspirations? I don’t want to believe that a family can prosper by the number of sacrifices made by a woman. I believe that you get only one chance, you only have one life to live and to prove to yourself that you can do everything that you wish to. I don’t really think that to chase your dreams you have to sacrifice on anything. I am a family person but I would never want to leave my work for anything because that is what keeps me going. Similarly, I would never let my work hamper my relationships. So I believe in balancing it out. There are many women around me like my mother who has been a homemaker. They didn’t take their career so seriously perhaps because they wanted to be in the house to look after their families. They were not aware of the available prospects. When it comes to my case I wanted to be able to look after myself, to be self-sufficient so that I can look after those who matter to me. So I absolutely negate this idea that one has to sacrifice his/her aspiration in order to be a family person. What is the role of balancing your personal and professional life to have a happy home? How do you manage that? I am fortunate enough that I am married to a family where both my father in law and husband is also an actor. So they are aware of the timings, the kind of hours we have to put into our work. I always maintain that no matter how long I work, it is very important for me to ensure that I give time to my family. It is imperative to take some break from both the end and to find that balance. Whenever I take up a new show I put it in the contract that I would want to take at least a day off in a week. That one day is entirely dedicated to my family. Now I don’t shoot beyond 10-12 hours so when I come back I am still left with some life within me to be with my family for some quality time. These are a few things that I do in order to balance. How do you deal with criticism? I take any form of criticism as a challenge. In our society, every other person will criticize you in order to pull you down most of the time. I am kind of stubborn in my way to deal with criticism. I will prove that person criticizing me, for how I am right in my perspective. Nonetheless when my family or those whom I adore and believe criticizes me then I adopt a very different way to deal with it because that is what I regard as real criticism. So it depends on the source of the criticism. Sometimes I don’t even bother to pay heed but most of the time I do take it as a challenge How do you intend to influence and motivate women? I can’t influence anybody. There are people around me who might get influenced by me but I really don’t want to impose myself onto people so that they get influenced. The mantra that I follow in my life is that you have to be happy with what you are doing and it can be anything. If you want to work then work with all your heart, if you wish to stay at home do that because that is an art in itself and not everybody can do that. I would just say that do as your heart pleases and don’t believe that you have to sacrifice your aspirations and dreams for the functioning of a good family. At the end of the day if you are not happy within yourself then you will not be able to keep your family happy as well. What are the things that you want women to adopt in their life to be successful and happy? No, I would not want any women to adopt anything simply because whatever I have learned in my life is from my own experiences and I only lead my life according to that. So I would advise that a woman should learn from her own experiences and choose the way to live her life based on those experiences. We all encounter different kinds of experiences in our lives. It can’t be the same at any time. Basically, you need to love yourself and be happy. Make yourself a priority. If you do that your perspective about your surroundings will change drastically. You have played such a strong historical female character such as Rani Lakshmi Bai. Did that role change your outlook towards life as a woman? To be very honest when I was given the opportunity to portray the character of Rani Lakshmi Bai I was very sceptical, apprehensive, and scared to perform that role because it required a lot of hard work. Not just mentally but it required me to be physically very strong. When I was younger I loved being in my own cocoon and my own comfort zone. For this role, I knew that I had to break that and come out. So this role was definitely a metamorphism for me. I was a cocoon and then I transformed into a butterfly. I have learned a lot from that show. While I was shooting for that show I was experiencing a massive change in my surroundings as well as relationships, friendships. I realized from that show that I am playing such a strong character. Despite having a family she kept on fighting for her country which was a very big thing. I feel that has motivated me, even pushed me further to stand up for the right things and discard the wrong things. So Jhansi Ki Rani had an immense impact on my life and I am very thankful for having portrayed that character. What according to you is a strong woman? What would you advise your fans so that they can live the life of a strong woman? A strong woman is a woman who has the courage to believe in her dreams and have faith in her ability to turn her dreams into reality by working very hard. It is easier said than done. I am still working hard to turn my dreams into reality. We are human beings and our dreams keep changing so when I was younger I used to dream something else. Now when I am much older I dream of something else and I want to achieve all of that. You should never cease to dream. According to me, a strong woman is someone who keeps working towards her dreams and aspirations that she sets for herself. I would advise my fans that you have to make yourself and your parents proud of your achievements. This is what I always believed in and I always try to motivate my fans to do some good work. Whatever you do, even if it is a very small thing, do it in a manner that people around you, especially your family and friends are proud of you. What is your favorite makeup and skincare product that you absolutely cannot do without? There is nothing in particular. It all depends on the occasion. Like if I am at home I do not wear makeup at all. In fact, many times I have stepped out without makeup, like attending a meeting. I prefer to give my skin a little break as I have a very sensitive skin. I make sure that I maintain my skin. I apply sunscreen during the day and a nice moisturizer before I hit the bed at night. So these are a few things that are essential for me. Who are the 3 most important people in your life? And what is your philosophy of life? I have more than 3 important people in my life. These include my parents, brother, my husband, and in-laws. They all are very important to me as I love them very much. My philosophy of life is to follow your dreams, love yourself and make your parents and yourself proud. I strongly believe that we have only one chance because we have one life to live so we must really strive harder to be good and work harder towards our dreams. Kratika Sengar with her husband Why do you think it is important for a woman to have a voice of her own? Any special message you want to convey to the readers of The Voice of Woman? It is very important for a woman to have her voice because a lot of time a woman prefers to stay quiet. When she does that she hides everything in her heart and eventually it becomes really messy which is not required at all. It is very important as a human being to speak up and put forth your ideas and views. It is absolutely important to have a point of view in life without which you do not have any existence. It is not necessary that your perspective has to match with those related to you. Yes if you agree with them then it is a different thing but it’s nothing like just because someone is older than you, their perspective is absolute and you should blindly follow that. You should do your own R&D and have your own perspective. Therefore you should have your own voice and learn to put forth your voice and opinions and still make sure that you don’t offend your family with that. Yes, it’s a little dicey but that is how it is. My special message to the readers of The Voice of Woman would be that please dream and then work hard towards your dream to make them happen. Be fearless in your actions and make sure that your actions give you happiness in return. Be happy and do what your heart desires.