We often see our favourite TV stars putting their best dramatic foot forward on the small screen. But what interests do they have apart from acting? Read on to find out...
Shooting for a TV serial leaves little time for actors to cultivate any hobby or nurture it. Yet, there are a few who are determined to pursue their passions other than acting. It could be in the creative field like singing, photography or painting or something as unusual as scuba diving, gymnastics or bike riding. Here’s presenting the TV stars with varied interests...Biker girl
For Aashka Goradia, who is a biker, it’s all about finding a balance. “Bike riding has a different connection to my state of mind. The faster you go, the riskier it is. If you go extremely slow, there is still a fear of falling. One has to maintain a good balance — in life as well as on a bike,” says Aashka who has been riding since she was 13. Her father had got a Kinetic Marvel for her mother, which she used to take to school and exchange it with the boys, for a Yamaha RX 100! “I learned riding a two-wheeler from my mother. The whole idea of having the gear control in your hands is exciting. Currently, I own an Avenger, but soon I am going to buy Street Bob from Harley Davidson,” says Aashka who whizzes on her bike every weekend. “I try to get away early in morning to avoid traffic,” says the actress who is currently seen in Bharat Ka Veer Putra — Maharana Pratap.
Rishina Kandhari seen in Uttaran and Yudh is an enthusiastic gymnast and is currently learning malkhambh. It all started with an episode of Shapath where as a ninja assassin, she had to fight with swords and jump from a 1,000-feet high cliff. “I realised that it is very important for an actor to be flexible. My co-actor Vicky Arora, who was also the fight choreographer of that action-packed episode, trained us for 15 days in sword fight, stick fights and acrobatics. I decided that even after the episode, I will continue my practice.” Though she is busy with her shoots, she makes it a point to train every alternate day after pack-up. She can now do ring acrobatics, rope malkhambh and hand stands!
Mrunal Jain is one of the several TV actors who pursue photography. Since his wife Sweety Jain gifted him a camera last year in August, the actor, seen in Uttaran, has been clicking pictures of his co-stars on the sets of the serial. Says Mrunal, “The camera has become my mobile, it goes with me everywhere. Whenever I have time between shoots, I start clicking. I have developed a passion for photography and am reading up different manuals on it.” He has shot pictures of all his co-stars and Tina (Dutta) he says is the most sporting. “She loves posing and it is fun clicking her. Even Rashami (Desai) is game but the rest like to be shot candidly,” he says.
Painter and sculptor
Raqesh Vashisht, last seen in Qubool Hai, is now pursuing his creativity in a different form. The actor has just finished a series of paintings and is all set to hold his first solo exhibition titled Contradictions next week. “I started painting since I was a child and had won the National Award when I was in 10th grade. However, I never took it seriously as life set me on a different course,” he says. Now, he is back to his first passion. “I don’t know how I kept it aside. I have realised I can’t live without it. Painting is like a spiritual journey for me, it’s a cosmic feeling,” says Raqesh. Besides painting, the actor also loves making sculptures. For several years now, he has been making his own Ganesha idols. He gifts them to his close friends and family. The actor, who hails from Pune, learned the art from the caretaker of a temple near his house. “I would be mesmerised by the way the caretaker would create idols. He would take the mud available on the riverbed, and make the idol without using moulds. When I asked him how he did it, he would say just start playing with it and it will happen on its own,” recalls Raqesh. When he tried to make it himself, to his utter surprise Raqesh found that he had managed to create a good one in his first attempt. “I am a good sculptor than a painter and am planning to go South of France to do a course. I want to learn moulding in bronze and other metals as that can’t be replicated,” he says.
If you see Ankit Gera strumming a guitar in his free time, don’t be surprised. The actor, currently seen in Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, is so fond of playing the instrument that if not for an actor he would be a musician. “I always have a guitar with me — one in my car and one at home. Whenever I have some time off on the sets, I play it and my co-stars also enjoy it,” he says. No, he is not taking lessons but is learning the basic notes from a friend and You Tube. “I was so taken up with it that for four months I used to practise the guitar for seven hours every day.”
When she was doing Savitri, Riddhi Dogra had to learn scuba diving. The actress, who has done some unconventional serials like Maryaada, went with an open mind and to her surprise took to diving like a fish to water! “The trainer was so good that I learned it for myself and not as an actor. We had gone to Thailand to train for six days before the shoot. It was like going to class in full gear. The whole process of counting, changing on the boat, understanding breathing, etc, was fun. The best part is, you discover a whole new world under water, which is exciting,” she enthuses. Since she can’t do it easily in India, Riddhi makes it a point to go abroad for scuba diving. Recently, she went to Maldives and is planning to go to Lakshadweep in October for a diver’s certificate course. “It’s a two-week course and once I do that, I can dive in any ocean,” she says proudly.
Digangana Suryavanshi was only 14 years old when she released her first book of lyrics and a year later, published her novel Nixie The Mermaid And The Power Of Love. Currently, she is working on the sequel of the book. “It’s a love story between a mermaid and a man. I am fascinated by emotions and believe a lot in psychology,” says Digangana, who plays the title role in Veera. The actress says she was always interested in singing and writing. “Miley Cyrus was a great influence on me. I used to watch Hannah Montana and that’s how I got inclined towards western songs,” she reveals. Digangana is now trying to get her name in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest author. “My heart is in singing, brain is into acting and writing is where my soul lies,” she says.
Actress with a green thumb
Sara Khan, last seen in Adalat, is not only a nature lover, but also has a green thumb. Among the many plants she grows at home she has an affinity for terrarium plants. “I saw these plants in a bottle at a shop — Green Gower in Bandra — three years ago and was fascinated. I learned about it from the owner and started growing them on my own,” says Sara, who keeps the plants in a bottle covered with a thin foil. The plants grow in four-six months. “They can be kept anywhere — on a dining table, bathroom, bedroom, etc and they look beautiful,” she smiles. Besides her love for plants, Sara harbours another passion that of making candles. “I love aromatherapy oils and use gel and wax to make candles,” says the actress, who had started her own company eight years ago. She supplied candles to a bank and her friend Farhan Azmi’s restaurant Koyla. “Since I started acting, I had to cut down on it, but I still make candles for my special friends,” says Sara who, reads a lot of books and experiments with candle making.
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