Twinkle Khanna’s mantra to dust off stage fright

A statement that helped Akshay Kumar’s better half, Twinkle Khannna, to soothe her nerves right before she walked on to the stage…

JULY 2014: 8 pm I am all dressed up to go to the Vogue Beauty Awards where I have to go on stage and receive an award. My hair is in place and I have thrown a ton of make-up on my face to disguise the effects of the worst jet lag I have ever experienced.

This is not my regular, slightly disoriented, sleeping-a bit-later-than-usual, disrupted body clock disorder. This time, it is a full-blown psychotic breakdown where I feel I have reached home, but my soul is still flying over the Pacific Ocean trying to catch up.

8.15 pm Driving to the venue, I am very nervous about speaking in front of so many people and having slept a sum total of one hour last night, I am strangely disoriented.

The last time I had such terrible jet lag and I had to go on stage, it did not turn out well at all.

JULY 2001 I am performing at an awards night in New York and have just flown in the previous evening.

8 pm I am fanatically punctual, ready with my rollers on, in my hotel room, across the street from the stage. I keep waiting for the organisers to call me to the venue so I can change into my costume backstage.

8.20 pm I finally get a call, but it is not a call to come backstage, it’s to inform me that I have to be on stage to start my dance routine in 12 minutes.

8.23 pm I run out of my room, cross the street and reach backstage and in what happens very often in dreams (but never when you are awake) I can’t find my make-up room or my make-up staff.

8.27 pm I rush into a Pakistani performer’s room, frantically get into my

catsuit (yes, those were the days where a remarkable garment made of some hideous velour with a single zip in the front and spangles thrown all over was the ultimate stage costume) and reach the stage.

8.35pm My name has been announced but I think this lack of sleep has addled my brain and I can’t find a way to come onto the stage.

8.36 pm I am now crawling underneath the fabric backdrop behind the stage in pitch darkness and have somehow hoisted myself onto the stage.

8.46 pm Having stumbled through my dance routine, I’m getting down the podium when I’m stopped by the compere and asked to give away an award to the best choreographer. She hands me an envelope and as much as I try, I can’t open it till it finally rips apart. I can’t read the name, so I simply look at the audience and give it to the only choreographer I can see sitting in the front row. Of course, with the way my luck is going tonight, I eventually find out that I have given it to the wrong person and the organisers of the award nite are furiously trying to sue me.

JULY 2014: 9.10 pm I am walking down the red carpet, posing in my best ‘I am a little teapot pose ( hand on the hips, smile on the lips ) and I finally reach my seat for the evening.

9.25pm My name is announced. I walk up confidently and take my award. My little speech is short, funny and smooth and before I know it i am all done.

The few words that I said to myself before I entered the venue seem to have done a splendid job in soothing my nerves and making sure I am calm and collected.

All I said to myself is, what is the worst thing that can happen tonight? Even if it does, will I not look back at it and laugh someday like I am laughing about my epic dance performance night?

And that my friends is the trick to dealing with most fears, knowing that no matter what goes wrong,with time, it will always be just another story in a series of stories that make up your life. So go ahead, dust off your catsuit and show me your best moves.