#WhereAreThey Series: Had no knowledge of what I was doing when I started off, says Sheeba Akashdeep
Starring opposite the biggest stars in the ‘90s — Salman Khan, Suniel Shetty, Saif Ali Khan — Sheeba Akashdeep had a seemingly idea started to a career in showbiz. But after a few tears, the actor left mainstream scene and segued into production and television.
Sheeba was all of 16 and in class 10 when she was signed for Yeh Aag Kab Bujhegi (1991), directed by late actor Sunil Dutt.
“At that point, I was already modelling in Dubai, where I was born and brought up, as a part time job. Sunil ji spotted me and signed me. At that point of time, I continued thinking I would finish this film and go back to study. Sunil ji was pretty sure I am not going to do any such thing,” she recalls.
And that turned out to be true, as a flurry of films such as Mr Bond, Suryavanshi (both 1992) and Hum Hain Kamaal Ke (1993) came her way after that. Calling those the “good days”, she says, “Life was easier, better... it was about personal networking and relations. It was a much more casual approach to working. There are downsides and an upside to everything. Now, everything is streamlined. In my entire career, all the films I did as a heroine, I have not given a single audition. In fact, now that I am looking to start work again, at this age, I need to do auditions,” exclaims the 51-year-old.
But what made her cut down on films in the first place? The actor reveals it was to do with her lack of insight into the business back then.
“I didn’t have a film background, so I had no knowledge of what I was doing. I was going blindly by whatever people around me were saying. I should have been a little careful about my choices. Perhaps I should have done a lot of work that I didn’t end up doing. I was so busy then, I randomly said no to things I should have said yes to, or perhaps done a little more homework about the job I was doing,” she admits.
It was also the lack of “exciting” work coming her way, which made Sheeba stop working in films.The actor, who was seen in TV shows such as SauBhagyalaxmi and Haasil, also got married to filmmaker Akashdeep Sabir.
Nothing how she has had “great experiences” in the film industry, and shared “good equation” with everyone she has worked with, Sheeba says. “Till the time you are on set, you all become a family. No regrets about the people I met here, all co-stars were fantastic, and very protective of their heroines. Whenever I meet them now, it is all too respectful and loving.”
However, what is surprising is that none of her closest friends are actors. “After a while, I stopped socialising with the people I worked with. Now, people I socialise with are my husband’s friends, like Sonu Nigam. I am close friends with Bhagyashree,” she says.