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TV actress Shama Sikander is best remembered as Pooja from the television show 'Ye Meri Life Hai'. Born on August 4, 1981, Shama Sikander's real name is Shama Gesawat. (All pictures courtesy Shama Sikander's Instagram account)
Shama Sikander was born in Rajasthan. When Shama Sikander was 10, her family moved to Mumbai, where she lived with her siblings. Shama enrolled in the Roshan Taneja School of Acting in Mumbai in 1995.
In picture: Shama Sikander with her mother.
Shama Sikander made her Bollywood debut with a small role in Prem Aggan (1998). She was later seen in superstar Aamir Khan-starrer Mann in 1999. But she rose to fame with the TV show Yeh Meri Life Hai in 2003.
In 2016, Shama Sikander had openly spoken about her struggle with bipolar disorder and how she had once even attempted suicide.
Asked about how she felt about opening up about her struggles, Shama Sikander told in an old interview, 'It's the most difficult thing I have done in my life. I don't even know how I survived! I still wonder how strong I must be to be able to survive (it)!'
Shama Sikander first realised about her bipolar disorder when her ex-boyfriend Alexx O'Neil drew her attention to it. Alexx, who has a degree in Psychology, suspected that she had bipolar disorder and advised her to consult a doctor. But at that time, she didn't pay heed to it.
It was during this low phase in life that Shama Sikander broke up with her then-boyfriend Alexx O'Neil. Shama Sikander is now engaged to James Milliron (in picture)
Shama Sikander also shared tips on how she fought depression in an exclusive interview with mid-day.
Here's Shama Sikander's advice to fight depression - concentrate on things that are right, pen down things that bother you, writing is the best exercise, and stop going to parties and give time to yourself.
"Love makes me happy. I am a total love person. Love keeps me glowing. Love is my force of life. The moment I start missing love, I start feeling low," Shama Sikander told mid-day.
Shama Sikander says she was advised against talking about her struggles by people around her. 'Whatever I did not say earlier in my career is because a lot of people were stopping me to. But once you face death, you fear nothing. I was suddenly the most fearless that I have ever been and I could feel people and their pain more than ever,' she said.
After fighting and overcoming her disorder, Shama made a bold comeback after eight years in 2016 with the web show Sexaholic. But soon after its release, the actress was slut-shamed and trolled on social media.
On getting objectified on social media, Shama said, 'There is a lot of dirt in this world and on social media, it's like there's good and there's bad... You have to accept the existence of both and until you don't let it affect you, it is not yours. It just exists just like a lot of other things exist in the universe.' Shama saids 'avoiding' and 'focus on good energy' is her mantra.
During her interaction with mid-day, Shama Sikander also revealed that she's a fitness freak who loves to binge on healthy meals. She loves smoothies and a glass of smoothie is what she starts her day with.
Shama Sikander was last seen in 2019 film Bypass Road, starring Neil Nitin Mukesh, Adah Sharma. However, the film bombed at the Box Office.