“If I am in Hyderabad during Eid, I make sure to cook for the entire family living in the city,” says Aditi Rao Hydari, who traces her ancestry to two royal families of Hyderabad--namely Muhammed Saleh Akbar Hydari and J Rameshwar Rao of erstwhile Raja of Wanaparthy family.
The actress who grew up in a multi-cultural environment talks about Eid in Hyderabad, acting and why dancing is a passion.
Be it any festival, we as a family celebrate it. We all meet and join in the revelry. As for Eid, there is a stream of guests and relatives at our home. As kids, we would receive money and gifts as ‘eidi’. Now, I give eidi to the young ones in the family. At home, we cook delicacies like sheer kurma, biryani, haleem, salli boti and the special Hyderabadi biryani. Recently I visited the the streets of Mumbai during Ramzan. I enjoyed the nalli nihari (mutton dish), chicken and mutton kebabs and firni. Thankfully, I have an appetite of a sparrow. So it doesn’t show on my figure.
In the orbit of fame
Since childhood, I was told that I would be an actress because of my good looks. Though I would pretend not to understand, it was a secret desire that i would grow up to be one. The fact that I was a good singer and dancer helped fuel my ambition. I had started learning Bharatanatyam since I was six and became a disciple of Leela Samson. My dream came true when I made a debut in a Malayalam film opposite the legendary Mammootty. In 2007, I played the role of devadasi in a Tamil film. I got that film when the director of the film Sharada Ramanathan saw me perform at a conference. After that things started falling in place. Movies like Delhi 6, Yeh Saali Zindagi, London Paris New York and Murder 3 came my way.
Dancing and friends
I keep myself fit by dancing and practising yoga. By God’s grace, I have a high metabolism level which keeps my weight in check. When I am not shooting, I spend time with my family and friends. I don’t have many friends in the industry, my friends are from my childhood days.
Bollywood’s warm welcome
I am an outsider in Bollywood with no connections whatsoever. But the industry accepted me with open arms. It is one’s talent that is recognised here. I feeI truly blessed to be the part of the industry. An actor’s most valuable asset are his/her fans. I believe in satisfying them with my performances. It’s their love and appreciation that I yearn for as an actor.