Born on October 7, Shikha Talsania is the daughter of veteran actor Tiku Talsania. She made her big-screen debut in 2009 in Ayan Mukerji's Wake Up Sid, in which she played the role of Laxmi, best friend of Ranbir Kapoor's character. (All photos/Shikha Talsania's official Instagram account)
Though Shikha made an impactful debut, she confessed that she received similar roles. Shikha even rejected some of them as she did not want to be stereotyped. "I was hungry for work and nobody knew me. I want the entire world to know about me. I was making calls and finding out about the auditions. Auditions are nothing but part of acting. But, a lot of work that came my way was very unidimensional, like the character who is fat or despite being fat she is funny," said Shikha.
Saying no to every project was difficult, but Shikha Talsania knew what she wanted to do as her skill set, to her, is far more important than what she looks like.
Talking about if her body weight ever felt a roadblock in getting the roles she wanted to play, Shikha said: "After 'Wake Up Sid', people wanted to pigeonhole me and give me parts that didn't have any other layer apart from the fact that 'she's fat', with ideologies that had nothing to do with what I believed in, like 'despite being fat, she's funny' or 'despite being fat, she's intelligent'.
Shikha Talsania went on to act in films like Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (2011), My Friend Pinto (2011) and Midnight's Children (2012).
Unlike her father, who chose acting to escape academics, Shikha Talsania knew early that she wanted to perform. She had spent her childhood backstage.
"Watching my parents has been educational — I have picked up the technique of timing from them. When dad does an emotional scene, his face scrunches in a particular way. I have practised that in front of the mirror for hours. And mom has a way of raising her eyebrows to portray myriad emotions," said Shikha in an exclusive interview with mid-day, a while ago.
Shikha Talsania admits that being a plus-size actor in the industry can be daunting, but she doesn't let it hamper her selection of films. So confident is she in her skin, that even the notion of slipping into a swimsuit for the comedy-drama Veere Di Wedding, did not daunt her.
In Veere Di Wedding, Shikha Talsania played the role of Meera, who marries without her parents' consent. She received rave reviews for her performance in the film.
Shikha Talsania wants to do more such roles as she feels that new-age Hindi cinema where content is given more importance than glamour, more doors are opening up for talent regardless of looks, age and popularity.
Shikha Talsania says that there is often discussion about acting at home and her father Tiku Talsania appreciates her work.
Giving a message to all the girls and boys who face anxiety over appearance, which results in low self-esteem, Shikha Talsania insists that talking about it helps.
"Talk about it with your parents, with your friends. Find empowering people around you. Use the internet to find empowering people who will inspire and remember you are not alone. Every person on this planet goes through this issue. Work to be the best versions of yourselves. It's hard work but you've got to do it. You've got to start looking at the positives than the negatives," she said.
Shikha's father, who is one of Bollywood's favourite comedians, has been a constant fixture in David Dhawan's films. And Shikha has taken the association forward by joining Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan in the remake of the 1995 hit Coolie No. 1.
Here's wishing all the very best for Coolie No. 1 and happy birthday to Shikha!
It's Shikha Talsania's birthday today. As the Wake Up Sid actress turns a year older today, we take a look at some candid pictures of Shikha.
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