Participating in dance reality show at a young age gave me a chance to closely be mentored by the dance queens and some really headstrong women from Bollywood – Farah Khan, Geeta Kapoor and Chitrangada Singh, all of whom have set a benchmark for women in the industry. I started my career at a very young age and it was awe-inspiring to see these incredible women up close and personal and helped me understand that women are made for more than we believe we are. And this belief was only reinforced when I decided to take on the role of Princess Yasmine in Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga on Sony SAB.
As a firm believer of the fact that women’s empowerment is not a need but more a right for every woman on a global scale, I feel that entertainment has given me a platform to do just that. To have come this far on this journey between juggling a dancing career and an acting career, I have realized that so many women, just like me, have pushed themselves to stand up on their own feet and make the best of their abilities. I go back home and see children, young girls, wanting to be like the characters I play, especially Yasmine – strong, bold, brave, impulsive and always ready for a challenge. Being an idol to these children has made me strive harder to set a good example and to make sure that I teach them, through my work, that women can make decisions and embark on journeys that take them farther than ever before.
With shows like Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga giving the character of Yasmine a voice, we see how much the character has evolved as a woman. My character’s journey from a naive yet brave Princess to an ambitious ‘Sultana’ who has to now lead an empire in itself proves that women can do anything if they set their mind to it.
Yasmine has been a character that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing because I relate to her on a much deeper level. I personally feel that my attitude towards life and the situations I face are very similar in terms of how she handles them. Yasmine represents that reel-life woman who makes an impression on the viewer and I am so glad that as the season progresses, she becomes stronger than ever. While as the Princess, Yasmine felt confined and yearned to make a change, she somewhere learned to forge her own way as the heroic outlaw, ‘Kaali Chorni’ and learnt to come into her own as a strong independent woman who was courageous, bold and had a very good heart. All these years of secretly helping the poor and fighting for their rights has made her the kind of woman who is already a queen in her mind. Being crowned Sultana was just her destiny calling her! It is such strong characters that I want young girls to emulate. A character who reveres honesty, courage, valour and the truth over everything else. And one who isn’t afraid to put her principles and her kingdom before herself and her love for a man.
My mother taught me, that as a girl, I could be whoever I wanted to be as long as I was happy – it was then that I decided I wanted to be someone who everyone looked up to as a strong personality and not just the face of a show. I want to one day leave an indelible impression on the women of our country and tell them to wholeheartedly enjoy their lives and demand what is rightfully theirs. Every woman should have the freedom to be noticed and should have the world acknowledge their worth. And this will happen only when the women themselves to see beyond the minor flaws they think they have, because, come on ladies…Don’t forget every Queen deserves her throne.