It’s not that nepotism has benefitted all star kids and catapulted them into fame, and perhaps that’s why actor Shikha Talsania — daughter of veteran actor Tiku Talsania — likes to believe that even if one is an insider, two no people can have the same journey in the film industry.
“When it comes to nepotism and my journey, yes my father is an insider given that he has worked for 40 years in the industry. But 2009 (Wake Up Sid) was my first film and 2018 was my seventh film (Veere Di Wedding) where I played my first ever lead role. People didn’t know I was my father’s daughter. He didn’t make any phone calls for me,” says the actor, revealing that when she started out, no one really knew about her lineage.
Shikha calls it a “conscious decision” that she wanted to carve her own niche, so she went through regular drills of screen tests and auditions.
Asked if she feels things would have been easier or any different had people known about her father, Shikha says, “It’s a hypothetical way of thinking if this had happened then that would have followed. This is the path that my parents and I chose, and have no regrets. I don’t judge people making different choices.”
Referring to the whole talk around nepotism, Shikha says in her case it worked very differently.
“Nepotism benefitted me in the sense that I didn’t have to move cities to come to Mumbai, or rent a place. I had that security. There were no reservations, fears and doubts as regarding work shifts. No explanation required even when I travelled back from Madh Island at 4.30 am. Theoretically, I knew about an actor’s journey, par jab aap practical karte ho toh woh experience alag hota hai and your journey is yours,” she explains.
Other than prevalent biases, the alleged drug nexus in Bollywood is currently being investigated. Reacting to these discussions, Shikha feels the narratives prevailing right now is “unfair to everyone” and she hopes for the truth to come out in a more “dignified manner”.
She elaborates, “Honestly I can’t comment much about everything that’s being discussed. They’re being looked at in a both critical and logical manner. These conversations are important but things are getting unnecessarily sensationalised. It all depends on the choices you make and how pragmatic you are.”
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ