Made in Chandigarh: This was the place where my heart healed, says Upasna Singh
An actor who is known for her work in Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Gujarati and Marwari films, Upasna Singh started her career at a radio station at the age of 9. Moving later to Mumbai she essayed memorable roles in films including Judaai, My friend Ganesha, Golmaal Returns and Judwaa 2. Television serials that also came her way include Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat, Pari Hoon Main, Sonpari and Comedy Nights with Kapil. She has also been a part of the sequel of the popular Punjabi film Carry On Jatta.
She is married to Neeraj Bhardwaj, an actor and film producer. Her father, late Mohinder Singh, was a businessman and her mother, late Santosh Singh, was a health visitor under the Punjab Government. Her elder sister Nirupma, a PhD in English Literature, is married and has two children.
Singh did her schooling from Hoshiarpur. A graduate in arts from Government College, Hoshiarpur, she completed her postgraduation in Indian Theatre from Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh.
My area of expertise
Acting, dancing and painting.
My secret sauce
I just followed my passion blindly. I had no interest in anything but in going to Mumbai to work in movies.
The mantra of success in acting
To be successful one has to be passionate about acting. Having a perfect body or good looks alone cannot bring you success. Perform well and be patient. Being an actor is not easy, it requires hard work and demands sacrifices. Emotional support from family is important.
The turning point
My mother was my best friend and critic with whom I discussed my work. Her passing away in 2009 changed my attitude towards life. It made me a more sensible person.
What I owe to Chandigarh
The city has given me a second life by saving my heart. It was at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research that I underwent a major surgery to repair a hole in my heart. PU gave me some of the finest teachers such as Rani Balbir Kaur, Mahendra Kumar and Kumara Varma, who helped me link theory with practice in training. I also learnt kathak from Shobha Koser while living here. It is the place where I honed my skills and learned to lead an independent life.
Things I like to do when I visit Chandigarh
I usually come to Chandigarh for shooting films and like taking a tour of PU, especially Laxmi Bai girls’ hostel number 2, where I created some fond memories. I also meet friends and go out for dinner with them.
How has the city changed over the years?
Chandigarh has always been city beautiful and nothing much has changed. In contrast to life in Mumbai it is more peaceful here and offers more warmth. PU too has not lost its charm.
The change I would want to see in the city
There is nothing to change here. Chandigarh is a clean and well planned city. I want it to stay as it is.
The best advice I’ve ever got
Actor Pran advised me to be patient with work. I was impatient and restless when I joined the industry. He modified my behaviour because of his calmness and composure.
My advice to youngsters in my field
If you believe you are talented and you can act, you must give it a try. As I said, it’s not an easy job and requires a lot of hard work. If acting is what you enjoy doing, the industry is for you. Also, before making it a career choice, make sure you have a support system to help you survive in your days of struggle.