“I think having a voice of one’s own means to have a sense of individuality and freedom” – Meghana Kaushik
The Voice of Woman had the opportunity to converse with the incredible and talented Meghana Kaushuki who shared with us her story of strength.
For someone who had no knowledge of the glamour world, Meghana embraced the opportunities, chances as well as the challenges that life has thrown to her and conquered all the turbulence and crisis all by herself, redefining her terms of success in the process.
New beginnings for her are new possibilities and rather than being intimidated by them, she believes that one should take the chances of happiness.
Read to know more about the Diva who is truly one of a kind.
What inspired you to join the entertainment industry?
I was always inclined towards dramatics and theatre while I was in school. I was mesmerized by the performances of Sridevi, Waheeda Rehman, Madhubala & Nargis while growing up.
I always wanted to act but it was much later that I gathered the courage to tell my parents about my intense passion and desire to pursue acting in Bombay.
How did you get your first break?
Neerja brought me my first break. I bagged a role in this film after an audition. Although it was a supporting role yet I was very apprehensive to take it up because of the way the film would be shot.
Yet I couldn’t resist the offer because of the incredibly talented names that came on board. I grabbed the opportunity to learn and see how things work on a film set since I do not come from a filmy family.
Moreover, my experience in that film was very enriching. It gave me a further boost to choose only meaty and leading roles as my part in the film was later chopped to tiny bits which were very disheartening.
Do you remember your initial days of struggle? What did those days teach you that is still relevant in your life?
I have many experiences of those days. I didn’t know anything about makeup and hair as I grew up to be a tomboy. When I came to Mumbai, I just randomly went to buy makeup and would use it with my limited knowledge.
I have walked into big auditions for Dharma and Yash Raj films wearing too much makeup and improper hair. Thus looking back to those days, I always feel if I had the right sense to do that right, I could have possibly landed a big film right at the start.
Also, I am very honest and upfront about how I feel about things, and sometimes I feel it doesn’t work in my favour as people would rather sign up a demure, pretty face as opposed to someone who has an opinion and questions all that is wrong. And in this regard, I am still a work in progress.
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 journey has been a mixed bag. As a woman, there are advantages as well as disadvantages. You always get priority at auditions if you are a girl, so that is a big advantage. However, I feel every actor’s journey and experiences, irrespective of gender, especially at the beginning, are very subjective and unique.
You get to meet a variety of people and need to learn the ropes if you want to survive. If you are fortunate, someone from the business will mentor you which might eventually open up to bring more opportunities as an actor. Yet there is a lot of uncertainty.
What are the various challenges that you have encountered while working as an anchor and an actor? Which one do you enjoy working the most?
Acting has always been my first love. I feel I am still new to the craft and have so much to learn. Any kind of new project always excites me as it ends up being an enriching experience for me.
Of course, the joy of working with the best in the business always motivates me. Nonetheless, anchoring was also my passion. I feel very grateful to have had that talent to explore alongside acting.
It enables me to create a niche of a thinking artist. Besides, anchoring has always been my big financial support. Thus it is hard for me to choose and I am very grateful to have both.
Do you get affected by success and failure? Why? How do you deal with criticism then?
Initially, I allowed other people’s opinions to affect me a lot. After Neerja, people started calling me for smaller parts for which I became depressed. In our industry, actors get typecast very quickly, and sometimes it takes forever to come out of it.
However, gradually I have learned to ignore the negativity and learned to focus on my work and sanity. It is very important to make that wall around yourself to be able to work freely and not let failure affect you.
Also, I feel building my craft and allowing people to see me in different characters broaden their horizons. It’s a tough industry and one has to be thick-skinned to survive it.
What motivates you?
Working with good, professional people on interesting scripts motivates me. This is a major reason why I have stayed away from doing television.
How do you manage a healthy lifestyle?
I love Yoga and indoor workouts if I don’t have time for the gym. I always manage to take out thirty minutes from my schedule for a quick workout session before I start my day.
Also, meditation is a big help in keeping stress levels at bay. Moreover, I love healthy home-cooked food, so basic meals at home, watching a good film to unwind are what really make me happy.
How do you intend to use your ability to influence the lives of your followers who look up to you as their inspiration?
As a celebrity, I intend to empower women in any way I can. Having a voice of your own is very important and women often shy away from expressing their true selves for the fear of being misunderstood or judged.
According to me, taking risks is essential. We should not be influenced by the actions of other people. It takes time to pave your own path, but if you can believe in the process eventually, you will become an inspiration to many others. This is absolutely worth it.
What are the things that you want women to adopt in their life to be successful and happy?
I want women to work on their self-confidence, never settle for mediocrity & injustice, stand up against the wrong, and really introspect as to what makes you truly happy and have the courage to follow that.
Also, take good care of your health, eat right and dress according to your body type since these small things go a long way in empowering you, making you very happy.
How do you define a strong woman? Who is that strong woman in your life?
My mom is my strength. I have to go miles before I can think of doing anything like her. She has been my biggest inspiration on so many levels such as my morals, patience, beauty, confidence, independence, and always kept that child in my heart alive.
She truly lives in the present and derives joy out of the smallest things without letting any negativity affect her. For me, it is such a beautiful way to stay happy and something I am always in awe of.
What is your favourite makeup and skincare product that you absolutely can not do without? What is the secret behind your flawless skin?
I have combination skin so my skincare changes according to the weather. Food and adequate sleep play a very important role for me. I tend to break out easily so I am very conscious of my food habits. The basic CTM routine is what I swear by.
Also, I make sure to take out makeup entirely after a shoot, no matter how tired I am, and always wear sunscreen if I am stepping out into the sun.
What is your take on body shaming or trolling in the virtual world?
The world that it is at the moment will not leave a single chance to bully you if you let them. So one has to be brave enough to step up and give it right back to the trolls.
My personal suggestion is to always dress and stay classy. So never go wrong with that. Rest it’s your body, own it girl. Don’t be shy.
What would you want to advise the youngsters who wish to join this industry?
I would like to tell them to be prepared to work very hard, every day and not to take any opportunities for granted. You are as good as your last work.
Also, work on your craft and grooming, as both of them will always be your strength. Stay humble and grateful for what you get to experience along the way.
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?
I think having a voice of one’s own means to have a sense of individuality and freedom. It sets you apart from the mob and gives you an identity that is yours alone so nobody can take it away from you. Hence, always ensure to utilize your voice to improve yourself and the world.
The world needs people who have a voice to support the voiceless, so read on your subjects fully before making any statements. And let us all together make this world a better place.