Ankita Lokhande on finding herself after split with Sushant Singh Rajput
Ankita Lokhande, fresh from appreciation for her role as Jhalkaribai, talks of refinding herself after love went sour
I always wanted to become a heroine. I was not good at studies and neither was I interested. I just wanted to become a heroine. I wrote my dream down in a diary, "I hope mom and dad let me go to Mumbai". They thought it was a child's dream. But when Zee Cinestars Ki Khoj happened in 2004, they let me come to Mumbai from Indore. My mother said it was because she never wanted me to regret the fact that I didn't take a chance.
Once I arrived here, I realised what a beast it was [the city]. I don't think I have changed in all these years; I am the same me. I am the same to my family, my childhood friends, and I feel good about it. The best thing about me is that I am from a middle-class family. I know where I am coming from and my values. One needs to remember that. Mumbai changes you, if you don't know where you are coming from. I have seen people change.
Then Pavitra Rishta came along in 2009, and I cast myself as my character, Archana, for the six years it ran. I created her. When I was growing up, my grandfather used to say, "She has grown up, put a black tikka on her head". I thought of him when I did the show, and created Archana along those lines. She was simple, she wasn't weak. I am like that.
Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa in 2011 made me recognisable to my fans as Ankita, and not just Archana. For two and a half years after that, I didn't do any work. I don't know what gave me the confidence to say no to other shows. I would ask myself, "How do you have the guts?" But I knew I was done doing the daily show drill as even the one show I did was enough. I wanted to be in a movie now. I was not scared about being typecast, but I believed in my talent.
In Bollywood, the key is to be nice and real to people. Reality comes across the same way fakeness does. I am a private person. I can share my happiness, but I can't share my sadness. Often, I find that I can't express my feelings. I can go help people, but when I need help, I can't, and don't ask for it. I only turn to my family. I don't even have friends. For me, friendship is a very different concept - it's about having a 3 am confidant, and I don't have any friends like that.
I ignore things written to me on social media and negative articles, and only focus on my movies. You need to not let the external affect you, if you want to live a happy life. In 2016 [after her split with boyfriend of six years, and sudden movie star Sushant Singh Rajput], I decided I couldn't let my emotions get the better of me. I decided that whatever the circumstances, I should be positive. The world is tough and so is the industry. I have now become immune to both, the good and bad. I have worked very hard on myself. I meditate every day. I have started believing in Jesus Christ, and I talk to him, and ask him to solve my problems, and he does!
As far as love is concerned, it's a beautiful thing. And I would like to say that I am always in love. I love my family, and, of course, my job, as it's my dream come true. I have been graceful about my love life by not talking about it explicitly, and I want to continue doing that. It's, after all, my personal life. But I will say that I am the kind of person who lives in the now. I don't live in the past. My life currently is in a very happy space, and I am doing what I wanted to, which is movies. So, I have no complaints.
As far as being friends with an ex goes, I have a few friends in my life, and I am happy and content with that circle. If you ask me what happens after you share your dreams with someone and they don't exist in your life anymore, I'd say: My dreams have been the same since Standard III. I wanted to be an actor then, and I am an actor now. My dreams have always been mine alone.
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