MUMBAI She was hailed as one of Hindi cinema's most promising faces but Ayesha Takia chose to walk away from it all and concentrate on other things in life.
The 26-year-old actor is back on the big screen for now but isn't promising to stay on.
Takia spoke to Reuters about her sabbatical, what acting means to her and her latest film "Mod".
Q: It's been a long time since you've been seen on screen and even longer since you've been in a Nagesh Kukunoor film.
A: "I know. For me it's been two-and-half years. Nagesh and me wanted to do something after 'Dor'. Of course, 'Tasveer' happened but that was not magical so we wanted to do something like 'Dor' again. We kept discussing it and one day he called me out of the blue and said 'do you want to do a film now because I have a script'. We found someone who wanted to make it and suddenly, somehow it all worked out. It was worth it because it has turned out to be a really special film."
Q: What have you been doing? What's stopped you from working?
A: "(Laughs) I wanted to consciously step away from things for a year. I have been here for eleven years. I started out when I was fifteen so I definitely needed a break. Everyone needs to step away and see their life as it is. Also, I knew that I wanted to travel after marriage. That was a priority. Business is also important to me, I am still learning from Farhan (Azmi, her husband). He obviously knows this really well and we have some dream projects that we are working on. We have a ten-room boutique hotel in Goa that we are working on right now."
Q: So what did you see when you stepped back and looked at your life.
A: "I think we evolve with each year. You cannot be in the same place doing the same thing, day after day for so many years. For me, I need to explore other areas of my life, understand myself as a person in different ways. I cannot be putting on make-up, going to my van …listening to someone say 'action' all the time. How many days can you do that. How can you not want to know aspects of your life?"
Q: Did you have people advising you not to go on this sabbatical?
A: "Almost everyone told me I was getting married too early, that everything would be ruined. But I was clear that I didn't want to put everything else in my life on hold till the camera and films got tired of me. I decide when I will do a film or get into business or anything else. Films cannot decide what I do in my life. Or else, I would be concentrating on the number game or getting a PR for myself."
Q: But does that kind of attitude work in an industry like this one?
A: "It doesn’t actually. But I have been really lucky, I have always said that. I don't think it can continue to work like that. Even now, I keep getting offers and I consider myself fortunate, because even as an actor, I have so many dos and don'ts as an actor too. I don't know if it can work for everyone."
Q: What are your dos and don’ts as an actor?
A: "Well, nothing in particular. Just some things that I am not comfortable doing. It has to with my moral fibre and I not saying anyone else is right or wrong. It's just what I want to do or not."