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SRK’s Kal Ho Naa Ho co-star Jhanak Shukla is all grown up now, says she feels ‘retired at the age of 25’

Former actor Jhanak Shukla, in a recent video revealed why she quit acting, despite playing several memorable roles in the early 2000s.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi |
Updated: March 3, 2021 10:17:55 pm
kal ho na ho jhanak shukla shah rukh khanJhanak Shukla played the role of Gia Kapoor in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Kal Ho Na Ho (Photo: Jhanak Shukla/Instagram)

Jhanak Shukla, fondly remembered as the child artiste who played Gia Kapoor in Kal Ho Naa Ho and the robot in TV show Karishma Kaa Karishma, feels she has “already retired” as she “isn’t earning anything.” The former actor has revealed, in a video by Brut India, why she quit acting, despite playing several memorable roles in the early 2000s.

“I’ve already retired, that’s what my parents say because I don’t work as such. I chill. I make soaps. I roam. I write sometimes. And I’ve done my masters so I’m like, “It’s okay,” Jhanak said in the video.

 

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She added had she continued acting, she would’ve missed out leading a normal life. “I was an extrovert because I had a lot of exposure. Now, I’m the opposite. I’m very silent. After a point of time, I was like, ‘Okay, too many people approach me.’ I enjoyed that also. But, sometimes I felt I needed my space. Had I been acting now, I would actually mind, because I like walking on streets. So, that would’ve been very difficult,” she shared.

Jhanak, daughter of actor Supriya Shukla, made her first screen appearance at the age of seven in 2003 romance-drama Kal Ho Naa Ho, sharing screen space with actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan, Jaya Bachchan and Sushma Seth. She played Zinta’s younger step-sister, who fights for acceptance from her grandmother (Seth).

 

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Even months before Kal Ho Naa Ho, Jhanak had already become a household name by playing the lead role in Star Plus’ show Karishma Kaa Karishma, an Indian remake of American series Small Wonder.

The actor was also was seen in TV shows Son Pari and Hatim too and later in 2006 thriller Deadline: Sirf 24 Ghante, starring late Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, before she left it all to live a life away from the archlights.

 

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“I was not actually fed up of acting. I was 15-16, so I was like, ‘I have to chill now.’ I had worked a lot during childhood. But my parents made me take breaks in between. I used to go to school on a regular basis and I did my homework and everything. It was fun, but somewhere I missed a small part of my childhood. So, my parents also told me, ‘Take a break now.’ That’s somewhere I lost the track of acting. And I started finding History interesting. I’m an archeologist,” Jhanak said.

All of 25 now, Jhanak revealed that she might not be earning anything right now but she is content with life. “When I was small, I had in my mind that when I’ll be 24, I’ll be earning a lot. I’ll be married and settled well. I’m 25 and I’m not earning anything. But my parents are very supportive. They’re like, ‘Chill till you know what you want to do.’ I know what I want. I need money, that’s the problem for even doing something what I want (laughs).”

Jhanak concluded by revealing that she wants to work in a museum in New Zealand and later settle in the country.

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