“At 22, I was pining for my ex-boyfriend,” says Tisca Chopra
Who were you crushing on?
My first boyfriend! We got together when I was 17 and subsequently broke-up. But I was still pining for him.
What was your bank balance like?
I had an account with HSBC Bandra near my place, and my bank balance probably ran into a couple of lakhs since I did a lot of advertising and marketing work.
Was your family supportive?
My father, Subhash Chandra Arora, was the Principal at the ABJ School, and my mother was the headmistress. My brother was still in high school. My family was progressive yet traditional in their beliefs. There was pressure on me to perform well academically. I topped my university. But I was a rebel with a cause. My family’s attitude to my acting ambitions was: “Oh my God, movies!” Coming to Mumbai was a huge culture shock for me.
What was your fashion sense like?
My choices have always been rather eclectic and adventurous. I travelled to London a lot and wore ties with white shirts and slogan T-shirts, which looked cool. My hair was pretty in trend. The mid-‘90s were really not the high point of fashion for anybody – I had a fashion disaster when I wore heavily sequined clothes which cut my armpits and I bled during the filming of my first movie!
Were you a fitness freak then?
I was a ’khaate-peete ghar ki ladki’. But I was into yoga since school and I frequented the gym at the Ramada Palm Grove and swam there.
What was your biggest dream?
It was, and still is, to do great work and make India proud on the world stage. My movies had flopped but discovering theatre was perhaps the biggest things that happened to me at 22. We travelled to the US for a month with Mahatma vs Gandhi and theatre helped me look at acting from another perspective.
If you had to give your younger self an advice, what would it be?
I’d like tell my 22-year-old self, ‘Chill, don’t worry so much, it’s all going to work out perfectly. You’re going to have a great time, meet wonderful people, fulfil your dreams and travel the world.”
From HT Brunch, April 11, 2021
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