A social influencer and actress, Tanvi Thakkar is popular among the audience as Ishika from Miley Jab Hum Tum or Priyanka from Yeh Ishq Haaye. In her own words, the gorgeous actress says that she always wanted to be an actor from a very young age! Her stint in the entertainment industry has been challenging, but a thoroughly enjoyable experience. In a candid conversation with the Voice of Woman, the Chennai born actress shares her love for acting and her incomparable love for her dogs. How has been your journey from television to OTT films? I haven’t done a lot of OTT shows; it was just 1 or 2 shows. I am always amazed by the content of OTT and see myself in it. But as an actor, I enjoy both the mediums. I always give my 100%, whether it is television or OTT. But when it comes to the kind of content, I would like to do a lot more of OTT. To be frank, I would have called it a journey if I have done enough of both, but I have not covered enough of OTT yet. So I would be able to answer this question in a better manner when I have that experience. I am looking forward to this incredible journey that lies ahead of me. Was always acting Tanvi Thakkar’s ta first career choice? Always! I was very dramatic, even as a child. I used to be the lead girl in all my dramas in school. Even otherwise, as a person, I am very dramatic. And I don’t say that actors need to be dramatic to be good actors, it is nothing like that. But yes I always wanted to be an actor, even in the slam books in school everyone would write ‘doctor’ or ‘engineer’ as their ambition, and I would always write ‘actor’. We heard you had difficulty with language when you started. Can language become a big barrier to break into the industry? Language can be a significant barrier; if I am doing a Hindi language show, and I don’t know how to speak Hindi, it becomes a bit difficult. But as I always wanted to become an actor, and am genuinely passionate about it, I never looked at it as barriers. When you are excited about doing something, whatever obstacles come your way, you don’t perceive them as barriers! You look at them as problems that you want to solve, and so the primary attention goes in solving them rather than creating more or living with the problem. When I came to Bombay, I was told that my Hindi language is not smooth and polished. So I watched a lot of movies to get this language barrier out of my way. I never looked at it as a problem; for me it was something that needed to be solved as soon as I can. Even though it was a problem initially to think of it, I didn’t look at it as a barrier. How do you divide time between work and family? I live in Mumbai with only my dogs, so I don’t have to divide time between my work and family. I meet my family only twice a year or sometimes once a year. When they visit Mumbai, I take day-offs from work. If they come for like five days, I like to take two days off, and three days I get them on the sets. So managing time has never been a problem for me! Much is talked nowadays about mental health when the same was a ‘brush under the carpet’ topic until a year back. What are your thoughts on that? Mental health is made essential and talked about only when something unfortunate happens! But it is something that needs to be addressed daily. In my opinion, we perceive the sensitive people thinking they might be going through a lot and the strong people we think of them as mentally fine. But I believe that even strong women should be asked about their mental health. Sometimes people just look at the obvious. For example, if at times I do not feel fine, people would be like ‘yaar tu toh over-enthusiastic hai, tu thik ho jayegi!’ But that’s not how it is! You never know what the person is going through, and you should never take the obvious for an answer. Also, we complain a lot and blame many people for the happenings of our lives. But that would never give us happiness. Happiness is within oneself! Though depression is some kind of a chemical reaction in the body and each person has different reasons for it, one must understand that one’s happiness lies within them. Who inspires you? The people who inspire me are simple people. They are the people who are around me and whose lives I have access to. The people whose emotions and responsibilities I can see, the way they are, the way they handle their life – these things inspire me. If I say Deepika Padukone or Narendra Modi, they have many people around them to make them feel good or to make them feel important. But the people who don’t feel important from within and still lead their lives with a smile on their faces- that really inspire me! Which medium do you enjoy working for the most, OTT or television? I enjoy working, be it on television or OTT. The fact that I can go on set, be another person and just perform effortlessly- that is my favourite thing to do, and that is why I am here. Television has given me what I am today, and I am forever grateful to TV, but I would love to do more OTT shows as I relate to that content a lot. Do you think it is high time the society comes out of the ‘taboo’ thoughts on menstruation and help girls and females embrace it happily? I think a lot of people in rural areas as well as in urban areas are not very open about periods and menstrual cycles. They have these taboo thoughts like ‘you can’t do puja, or you can’t go to a temple during periods’, because of which the taboo exists even in my head. It is because of this taboo belief that half of me refrains from doing things like going to the temple, and the other half of me always questions ‘why not’! I feel that there are a lot of taboos and restrictions associated with periods, but if everyone questions and logically thinks about these beliefs, they will get the answers. The taboo on menstruation is not only prevalent in villages, but everywhere; it is all around us. It is the responsibility of each person to change the way they think to break the taboo. Which is your favourite hideout? My favourite hideout is when my dog is in my hands. I don’t need to visit Mauritius or Disneyland. I just need my dog in my hands and that is my best place to be. Every time I am upset, my dog looks at me and understands me. When my dog is in my arms, I forget everything, and that’s my best and most favourite hideout. Any message that you want to convey to the women and your fans reading this? My message is- Stop complaining about people around you. Look into yourselves; happiness lies within you. I realised this couple of years back. When I used to work for long hours, I was complaining about strenuous work, and when I was back home and had no work, I would again complain about not having any work. At that time, I realised I was complaining almost all the time, which is something I didn’t want. Just be happy with what you are doing. Don’t be overexploiting, always be satisfied. Start finding something to do, to involve yourself in. If you start involving yourself, you will have less to complain about.