Ayesha Jhulka: I slightly regret starting out in Bollywood at a very young age
After a hiatus of eight years, actor Ayesha Jhulka, the leading lady of many films in the ’90s era is returning to Bollywood with filmmaker Anil Sharma’s Genius. The 45-year-old, who had won hearts as the girl-next-door in Aamir Khan’s Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992) or as a college-goer in Khiladi, experienced stardom at an early age, which is also, to some extent, a cause of regret for her. “I went with the flow. Honestly, I regret it slightly that I couldn’t live those years as a normal person and was only working. I don’t regret getting into films. I enjoyed myself thoroughly,” says the actor, who was only 19 when she got the offer to play the lead in Kurbaan (1991).
Ayesha always wanted to be an actor, which justifies her early start in showbiz. “As a kid, I used to watch a lot of films,” recalls Ayesha, adding, “My grandmom got me my first VCD player. I used to be glued to TV all the time. My parents were very liberal. I studied fashion designing and was set to make a career in it. That’s when I received my first film offer.” The offer added wings to her dreams and she even received support from her family. “I could see my visions coming to life, but I was too young at that time,” says Ayesha, who was last seen in the musical, ADA... A Way of Life (2010).
Recently, choreographer Saroj Khan spoke about how casting couch is a reality in Bollywood. Ask Ayesha, if she had faced similar incidents, when she entered the film world, and she says, “I’ve been out of the lucky few and had complete support. It’s very important that you are not left alone to struggle. In those times and age, my dad took premature retirement to be with us; my mother shifted to Mumbai and my sister joined a college there. Had they not taken such steps, I would have had a different journey.”
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