Writing has really liberated me on multiple levels: Tahira Kashyap Khurrana

Author and thought leader Tahira Kashyap Khurrana on her debut as the new HT Brunch columnist this Sunday
Tahira Kashyap Khurrana believes that having a difference of opinion helps you learn about the other person’s ideas(Samir Singh)
Tahira Kashyap Khurrana believes that having a difference of opinion helps you learn about the other person’s ideas(Samir Singh)
Updated on Sep 05, 2020 09:33 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

Bold, fierce, compassionate, warm, talented, and brave are few of the adjectives that pop up in conversations revolving around Tahira Kashyap Kurrana. Her husband, an actor whose career is scaling new heights with every out-of-the-box movie, Ayushmann Khurrana considers her to be his life’s anchor.

She’s battled cancer like a true warrior and made a kickass style statement with her OTT shoots sporting a shaved head. At the same time she exudes great warmth and love when around family and friends.

Writing, says Tahira, is best favourite form of self expression. And in Brunch, she’ll help tackle daily dilemmas with a sensitive yet progressive approach.

Here’s a peek into what’s in store!

Tahira appeared on the cover of HT Brunch in October 2018 celebrating the men in her life who helped her tide through the tough times of cancer
Tahira appeared on the cover of HT Brunch in October 2018 celebrating the men in her life who helped her tide through the tough times of cancer

You have finished the manuscript of your fourth book during the lockdown. What role does your writing play to help change people’s thought process?

Writing has really liberated me on multiple levels and it has been a very integral part of my life, ever since I was kid. But I acknowledged it much late and it’s not just writing, reading too has had a huge impact on the way I think, perceive things and it is also a tool for me to express myself. Whether it’s my books, screenplays podcast or short films, I have written them all first. So, writing became my biggest expression and today I’m using it to express my thoughts on various levels. And, I feel for anyone to grow and learn one really needs to read and I’m honing up my reading skills more too now.

“Whenever there has been a difference of opinion (between Ayushmann and I), perseverance and love have bridged that gap”

I hope my writing has had an impact on people, the kind of mails and feedback I’ve got says it has! When I write, I do so with a lot of empathy and from a pure corner of my heart. I think that’s what probably resonates with people when they see a lot of honesty and not an iota of me pretending to be someone else. It has come to me very late in life that it is always good to be yourself and my writing is a reflection of how I have accepted myself. So, acceptance and empathy is something that people are able to relate to because none of us is perfect and there is no point in projecting the perfect image of yourself. It’s empathy that connects me to people who read my pieces.

How do you take to the tag of being called a thought leader today?

I don’t want to take any pressure (laughs)! With these words attributed to you comes a huge responsibility. I maintain that everyone is allowed to falter and a thought leader for me is someone who makes a mistake, admits it so that if someone has done the same thing, they need not beat themselves down but again rise from wherever they are. So, this is how the term resonates with me.

Tahira’s iconic photo clicked during her breast cancer treatment where she refers to the drains as “dumbbells”!
Tahira’s iconic photo clicked during her breast cancer treatment where she refers to the drains as “dumbbells”!

Both you and your husband (Ayushmann) have a well-defined approach and strong opinions. What happens when your views clash?

Definitely we have a mind of our own, we have our own choices but luckily there is a big confluence area between his principles and ideologies as well as mine. And whenever there has been a difference of opinion, perseverance and love have bridged that gap. And I’m so glad that we do at times have a difference of opinion because that’s how we get to know about each other’s ideas. Maturity has set in and we don’t aim to kill each other over a difference of opinion! We do enjoy these conversations because we know we are going to learn a thing or two from one another. So, there is constructive criticism and constructive disputes happening between us.

What kind of conversation and dialogue must young men and women start today?

There are a whole lot of things we need to start talking about openly. Something that impacts us on a daily basis is equality, sexism, casteism, feminism, bringing the kids up into this world, sharing responsibility - these are things you read in your textbooks and ignore once you go back to your house and see the disparity happening and tend to emulate the generations ahead. It just never goes away.

The power lies in not just reading about things but acting on them and this generation is very courageous and there’s something very unique about this generation that we probably didn’t have and that is a lot of means of communication and mediums where they can express. I feel they should optimise these, be the trailblazers and actually bring about a change.

Clockwise: Tahira with her family and in-laws; Indulging in some “badass posing” with her daughter on Sunday; With her husband Ayushmann during the first year of their dating; Celebrating her friends on Friendship Day; Giving a peek into her writing space
Clockwise: Tahira with her family and in-laws; Indulging in some “badass posing” with her daughter on Sunday; With her husband Ayushmann during the first year of their dating; Celebrating her friends on Friendship Day; Giving a peek into her writing space

You are a modern woman of the world and yet hold on to traditional values of family, respect etc so beautifully. How do you manage that?

It’s not something I put an effort into. It’s nice to be good to everybody and have attitude of compassion and acceptance for your elders, comrades and those younger to you and so far as modernity is concerned I would like to give it to my family who let me speak, have an opinion and to express it. I do have my beliefs and feel strongly about a whole lot of things and like to express them and at the same time I’m not someone who cries about hate, dispute and negativity. The basis of everything is love and compassion for me. From scolding my children to talking to the elders, or anyone in my family it’s all from a perspective of compassion for me.

If I demand respect and love, I should also follow that every life is worthy of it, and this centres me.

Also, tell us the kind of questions you’ll be tackling through your new Q&A column in HT Brunch

I would like to cater to questions that go beyond health, so lots to do feminism, equality and sexism!

One life-changing advice you’d like to give to our readers would be...?

I am blown away by these lines that I came across. Erudite, simple yet audacious.

“What we are, will outlive us”

And when we truly grasp the potency of these words we’ll realise the significance of each life- it’s thoughts, words and actions.

I’m so happy to be with Brunch because here’s an opportunity for me to have a dialogue with people. That is something which opens up both our worlds, mine as well theirs, I hope.

Tahira Kashyap Khurrana’s new bi-weekly column in HT Brunch, where she will answer all your dilemmas, debuts on September 6. Reach out to HT social media handles to get in touch

From HT Brunch, September 6, 2020

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Lubna Salim is the chief content producer with Brunch. A lifestyle journalist for seven years, she writes on fashion, food, travel and all things luxurious.

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