It's been fabulous. I don't know how these 9 years passed me by. It still feels like yesterday. I have been working non-stop and it’s been an amazing journey. I worked with so many different people. I saw so many different places. Places I wouldn’t visit otherwise. If it was not for movies, I don’t think I would have ever visited Hubli, Hampi, Purulia (which apparently is the poorest district of India). Places like these you never travel on your own. Also, as an actress, it feels good when girls come up to me and say, “You are such an inspiration.” I think in my head, “I don't know what I have done, but it feels nice.” Maybe I am a working woman, I have had my fat-to-fit journey or the fact that I make my parents proud is what people take inspiration from.
When I started working on Dabangg, I didn’t even know if I would continue being an actress. I never wanted to act. You all know that I was studying fashion. I was not ‘asked’ if I was doing the film (Dabangg), I was ‘told’ that I was doing this film! It was our family friend Salman Khan who wanted me to become an actress and told me that I have to take this project up. Once on the sets, I enjoyed the entire process of the hair, makeup, costume. I loved the atmosphere on the sets. Since then, there has been no looking back. In my repertoire of movies, I am proud of projects like Lootera, R… Rajkumar and Akira, my first title role. When it comes to Dabangg, it has a special place. I am what I am today because of Dabangg. I am thankful and grateful for that. Life is coming to a full circle. After 9 years we are on (currently shooting for) Dabangg 3. It's going to be my 25th release, my silver jubilee film!
He has always been very encouraging. When I was overweight he was the one who told me to lose weight and act. I appreciate him for that. I would have never known this life if it wasn't for him. Now that we are working together the equation has become stronger. I have got into fitness recently and he has been a fitness freak himself. He is a bit extreme with his fitness. He sets up his own gym on the sets of his films. One day he invited me over and made me do mad routines. I have been dead on the floor after that. I couldn’t even walk.
Everyone should be comfortable in their own skin, at the same time they should be fit. If you feel your weight is bogging you down, then you need to pull up your socks. At one point in time, it did happen to me. Before I got into acting, I had got overweight and it was bogging me down. I was 18 years old and couldn't even run for 30 seconds on the treadmill. If that is the case then you work towards getting fit. Today I do Pilates and cardio. I also follow a strict diet, however, I do have my cheat days where I have set ka khana which is oily and yummy and includes dishes like misal pav, pav bhaji and samosas.
Frankly, when I grew up, at that time there was no sex education in my school. I learnt all about it only through my biology classes. The first time I got to know about it was through a friend. I was shocked back then (to know where babies came from). In the family, we still don’t discuss this subject until I did this film. Imagine, I have been born and brought up in a metro city and that too in a liberal family. Agar hamare ghar ki yeh haalat hai toh image how it would be when it comes to discussing sex in rural areas.
My mom wants me to settle down with a good guy. Every parent would want that for their kids. However, you can’t choose these things. Love is something I have stopped chasing. The more I chase, the more it runs away from me. I believe in the institution of marriage. I have been wanting to get married ever since I was 16 years old. I just wanted to grow up and get married. That was my ambition in life. All my close friends have gotten married. One of my besties has had a baby also recently. Frankly, I want to marry a best friend. I have many best friends but they are not eligible for marriage (laughs). So now I have to find a guy, make him my best friend and then marry him.