Not everybody is meant to look the same, says Athiya Shetty

first_imgMost know Athiya Shetty as daughter of actor Suniel Shetty. But prestige also comes from being the granddaughter of architect IM Kadri, the man behind the iconic Nehru Centre building in Mumbai, and social worker Vipula Kadri, who started Save the Children India, a well-known non-profit organisation. She may be,Most know Athiya Shetty as daughter of actor Suniel Shetty. But prestige also comes from being the granddaughter of architect IM Kadri, the man behind the iconic Nehru Centre building in Mumbai, and social worker Vipula Kadri, who started Save the Children India, a well-known non-profit organisation. She may be what one refers to as a star kid, but Shetty’s childhood was unlike most others. She grew up on Altamount Road, a swanky neighbourhood in Mumbai, away from the star dens in Juhu and Bandra. She studied at American School of Bombay where her father’s credentials didn’t earn her a special status. And while her action star father made it mandatory that she and her younger brother Ahan devote time to sport along with academics, her mother Mana ensured they were guarded from the glitz and glamour of Bollywood. “I have always been allowed to have an opinion and to decide things on my own,” Athiya says when talking about her upbringing. This means that Athiya gets to chart her own destiny and so far with only two movies, Hero (2015) and Mubarakan (2017), under her belt, she is yet to be taken seriously as a member of most-promising-actresses club. Athiya, 26, concurs.”I haven’t necessarily proven myself as an actor yet and hopefully in the coming years I will,” she said. For an industry where being seen and making a noise is paramount, Athiya doesn’t adhere to the rules. “I don’t think being seen everywhere is going to get you what you really want at the end,” she said. “If you are good and talented, people will want to see you on the big screen.”Athiya identifies herself as an ambivert, a person who has a balance of both extrovert and introvert features. “I understand it may not be the correct way because social media Wis so big and being seen on it is important,” she says. “But I don’t think I can compromise on the person I am. It is only if I am convinced about what I want to do that I will go ahead and do it.” This demeanour is apparent on her Instagram feed as well where she posts philosophical and motivational quotes when she isn’t sharing sun-glazed photos of herself, adorable shots of her canine pets and throwback family photos. One by Lebanese-Canadian author Najwa Zebian reads: “True liberation is not when you are able to pretend like you don’t care, but when you actually don’t care.”advertisement Actor Athiya Shetty (centre) with her mother Mana Shetty (left) and father Suneil Shetty (right). Photo: Bandeep SinghAthiya doesn’t care much about conforming to the industry’s standards of beauty. She swears by the “less is more” approach instead. Following in her grandmothers’ and mother’s footsteps she uses very few products on her face. “I don’t like applying too much makeup,” she says. “I prefer accentuating one feature on my face. So if I do loud lips, then I will do nude eyes.” She credits her lean physique to her active love for sports which she grew up playing including swimming, basketball, track and field and flexibility to martial arts which she did for a few years thanks to her brother. “Now I look back and think we were blessed that we had a childhood where we were on a playground,” she says. A high metabolic rate ensures that putting on weight is never a concern so she eats as she pleases and home-cooked food is a weakness. “I eat for five,” she boasts though she has cut down on sugar and is more strict about what she eats now.Athiya is all for being transparent about her feelings. Not a bad trait to possess given the profession she has chosen. Yet in many ways this is also a liability. Pretending becomes harder if her heart is not in it, even though there’s no other place she’d rather be than in front of the camera. Shetty recently wrapped up her third feature, Motichoor Chaknachoor. Also starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the comedy required her to learn to speak in Bundelkhandi. “It’s not the kind of film I’d expect to be offered,” she said. “I like to challenge myself so it was fantastic.”Other things she likes? Her very own chai pe charcha with her mother whenever both are at home. “We sit in bed and never ever get tired of it,” she said. “It’s simple but it means so much. She brings normalcy and balance in all our lives.” With her father of course films are discussed. He has always told her not to fear the first Friday of a release. “How do you not be scared of the Friday that will make or break a film?” she says.advertisementThis year, Athiya feels, is already shaping up as the beginning of a new her. She started with yoga in January. She recently turned vegetarian. She feels healthier. She is more comfortable with her body than ever before. “People need to be sensitive to all body types,” she says. “Not everybody is meant to look the same.” There is a wiser Athiya too, one who now has a better sense of who she is and one who is not unnerved by silence. “Growing up I always had the fear of being alone,” she said. “Now I find it a blessing.” Clearly Athiya has her eyes trained on a well charted road ahead.Athiya on AthiyaOn her beauty regimeI don’t use that many products on my face so even if it is a face pack I will put squashed tomatoes and bananas. During the day I can’t leave the house without sunscreen, mascara and lip balm. For the night, my ritual is to keep the skin hydrated so it’s a night cream or coconut oil. Drinking lots of water makes me feel good about my skin. My mother made me install an app which reminds me after every hour to drink water.On fitnessI do weight training just to be healthy, stay fit and feel strong. I am blessed with great metabolism so I eat whatever I want. I recently started yoga. My dad put me on to it. Then my mother started it, then my brother and I think out of FOMO (fear of missing out) I also joined. It was hard for me because there’s so much silence and to get comfortable with it is something you learn over time. I never understood the importance of it until now. It helps with breathing, digestion and instills calm.On foodI am a complete foodie. I love Japanese. I recently turned vegetarian. I am actually eating more because of it. I feel healthier and not as lazy as before.On styleI like how Kendall Jenner dresses. It’s important you don’t let the clothes wear you. You have to let your personality shine through it. Be comfortable.On musicI carry my speakers everywhere. Coldplay, Drake, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran are some of my favourites.last_img

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