This multi-faceted persona is a supermodel, television personality and an actress. She holds a Masters Degree in Business Economics. The talent hidden inside Anupama was noticed by ace celebrity photographer Shantanu Sheorey. She was then in her ninth grade. Since then there has been no looking back for her. She has been the cover girl for several leading Indian magazines. Besides endorsing various products, Anupama rose to fame as a VJ on Channel [V]. She has also done a number of super hit videos and has been featured in several Bollywood films. In a candid conversation with SHAILI MADAN, Anupama talks about her life, her projects and her future plans…
From modelling to being a VJ to films… and now fashion… Tell us about your journey…
Actually, I was away from the city for the last three years. I had quit work because I had lost my grandmother and my dad. So I went through a rough patch and thought it’s better to be with my family. I returned few months back, and am back to work. I have bounced back to doing things that I had left. I have started doing start ups for fashion houses where I bring in designers from all over. Besides that, I have Anupama Productions, which is my event company so I have been doing a lot of events. It’s great to be back in Mumbai. The city was very warm and welcoming as always. I suddenly left because of the mishaps in the family. Am happy to be back here, to my familiar ground. The city feels as lovely as ever.
How do you feel has the industry evolved through the years?
Honestly, not in the last three years, but in the span of five years there has almost been a new revolution as far as television is concerned. In terms of all the shows and events and all the multinationals coming in, and India becoming the hub for fashion houses or brands, its all going great. Everyone wants to be in India. This is a great time to be here, not only in terms of investors, but also for those concerned with entertainment, events and advertising. There’s enough for everybody since there is so much happening here. Its a great place and space to be in at the moment. And this pattern is going to continue and will change only for the better.
Are you looking at television and films in any way possible?
I have grown up in this industry having started off when I was in the 9th grade. This is what I know best. I have done a lot of other things but being in front of the camera still remains a passion. And because I have my hands full with so many projects, I am not looking at doing a daily soap because I will not be able to give a 20-day commitment. I am also involved in the business angle of product launches, besides being the face of it. So doing everything at one time is not possible. If there is a chance to do a short stint on television, or to host a show, I would take it up. With regards to films, if something exciting comes my way, I would love to take it up.
Through all your experience, which role has been the closest to your heart and why…
I was a schoolchild when I did my first commercial so modelling in a way will always be my first love. It gave me a lot of exposure. Its been a stepping stone which has led to a host of other things that I am doing and what I want to do. I just feel I was born to be in front of the camera. It comes to me really easily. Every phase of my life has been amazing. At the same time, anything associated with fashion, is something I know best. I will always be part of the fashion world in any way. That’s my forte.
What do you feel about the beauty pageants taking place?
I think the contestants nowadays are just amazing. I remember judging shows a decade ago and a show last year too. There was so much difference. The contestants know everything and before they come, they know exactly what they want in life. The level to which they come prepared is amazing. India has always been in spotlight with regards to such contests.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I am a person who lives in the moment. At the same time, its not like I do not plan but I take life as it comes. Things never go the way you plan. I would have never though three years back that one fine day I would just leave everything in the thick of work and not come back. But life sometimes throws different cards at you. Having said that, I always see myself associated with fashion or entertainment in some form or the other. Its now in my blood – I can’t get away from it. As I said, that’s what I know best. Fitness is also something that is my forte.
How do you keep fit?
I come from the old schools of thought where I believe in eating and burning. I don’t believe in any fancy diets. I just believe in the grandmas tales that you need to eat everything, since the body requires all nutrients. You just need to burn the excess, which I have done all my life. I think I would be the most unhappy soul if I stop myself from eating. Having said that you have to balance it out. This message goes out to women – if you cut down on nutrition, you will never have good skin and hair.
Who has been your role model?
My role model to me was my dad. He always told me not to limit my knowledge and to learn more become aware about what’s happening around me. He also told me that I couldn’t just be a bookworm and pushed me for sports and fitness. He was always someone who I went to at any stage of my career.
So losing him was the lowest point of your life…
Absolutely. What I have learnt is that while we get so caught up in petty issues, the only pain in life is when you lose a loved one. Everything else is just an experience and a phase of life. Everything else is just far away experiences, nothing is the end of the world. This is my learning.
What is your message to aspiring actors or models?
I would really like to tell the aspiring lot that I salute you guys – how well prepared you come. In a place with so much competition, you give no choice to people but to welcome and accept you because you come so well educated and prepared. Secondly, on a fitness note, I would definitely like to tell the women make sure you eat well and burn the extra. There’s no shortcut to that.