Prachi Tehlan is former Indian netball and basketball captain. She worked in 2 Punjabi films and 2 TV shows. Currently she is playing lead in Star Plus daily soap ‘Ikyawann’. Here’s excerpt from an interaction with Prachi.
How come you opted to tread a different path by doing the Indian Cinema Industry?
Prachi: I always wanted to do something in sports management. But our country doesn’t provide enough opportunities. I was working for Accenture as a consultant when I received a message on my Facebook fan page from the creative director of Star Plus for the role of Aarzoo in Diya Aur Baati Hum. For me it was like.. you start playing a sport and get entry into the Indian squad directly.. i didn’t know what was happening to me.. and I changed my city and profession in just 3 days.
I didn’t opt it .. but yes I grabbed the opportunity which came my way and worked towards it.
The profession you are in, gives you an opportunity to interact with people from various cultural backgrounds. What has been your experience as an person working in the Cinema industry?
Prachi: Being in sports for 11 years and playing for my state and nation gave me an opportunity to interact with people across India and world with various cultural backgrounds. People who are passionate about their work can only work in this industry and can reach great heights.. To be frank, I am a people person and I love the team I work with. Their are so many technicians and actors I come across .. so many fans across India and world.. I learn the importance of being humble and have gratitude towards others..I love to see people around me happy..in short.. I love this unpredictable and adventurous industry..
What have been the high points in your career?
Prachi: Fighting with my family to get into sports at the age of 12.. into a career which lasted for 11 years. Playing commonwealth games in my own country in 2010 being the youngest captain of my team. Indian team won it’s first silver medal under my captaincy in 2011 South Asian Beach Games. Being selected as a consultant in Accenture and working on Modi’s skill development project named as Udaan which is for J&K candidates.
Getting a break directly as an actor in the entertainment in the daily soap which had highest TRP for 3 years and on number one channel.
Getting break as a lead in Pollywood film opposite famous actor singer – Roshan Prince
What was the reaction of your family & friends when you opted for this career?
Prachi: My mobile didn’t stop ringing and my whatsapp was jammed .. the day when my first episode was about to telecast on 14th Jan 2016.. I was nervous and didn’t know how to react.. I didn’t get so much of attention when I played for my country.. but everyone wanted to get clicked and wanted to talk because i became a part of the industry.
This differentiation hurt me somewhere.. but again.. I am taking everything with a pinch of salt and just working towards my goals.
Was this career by choice or circumstantial?
Prachi: None of the above.. It was just destiny.. I am still exploring my talent and I am taking life as it is offering me.. and i am loving it..
Do you idolise any women?
Prachi: Priyanka Chopra. She is intelligent, strong and has made her way through a very tough journey with flying colors and being an example and motivation for crores of women not only in our country but across the world.
What is your message for the Indian youth women?
Prachi: Take initiative, stand for yourself, be confident, grab opportunities, work hard towards it and have strong willpower to fights against all the odds. Nothing is impossible. If a girl decides in her head to achieve her goals.. there is nothing that can stop her.
What are your views about women’s space in India?
Prachi: I am from Delhi .. and still there is a long way to go for society and parents to give the space to women in India to be able to live their dreams and not dominate them with their own thoughts. I love Mumbai as a city special for girls .. I feel free in that city.. I would add that women should be strong and should stand on their own legs .. be self dependent before marrying anyone.
One thing you want to change for women in India?
Prachi: Freedom to live and take decisions, wear anything they feel like, having freedom of speech. In short.. flying like a free bird .. A work and cultural environment which Mumbai offer girls.