If you had googled Sara Ali Khan before 2018, the internet would have thrown up images of a shy, overweight teen in elaborate ethnic attire at her father Saif Ali Khan’s second wedding, or of the time she first walked for designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla at industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai residence in 2012. Cut to 2020, the young starlet has an undoubtedly striking personality, countless Instagram fan pages and, without a doubt, is the paparazzi’s favourite. Though she has only three movies listed in her filmography, fans are also heavily invested in her gym looks, ethnic outfits, airport outings, her weight loss journey, dating life and much more.
Though we are well aware of her royal lineage as the granddaughter of late Mansoor Ali Khan, the former Indian cricketer captain and the ninth nawab of Pataudi, and her filmy connection as granddaughter of veteran actor Sharmila Tagore and daughter of Amrita Singh, Sara’s cool-girl confidence has worked in her favour and makes her stand out among her contemporaries.
In a freewheeling conversation with indianexpress.com before she walked for Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla in New Delhi, the Love Aaj Kal actor talks about her love for white chikankari suits, her physical transformation, sustainable living, and of course, fashion.
We have seen you in Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla creations before. But we have also noticed that your personal style is quite basic. How do you strike a balance?
The reason my personal style is basic is that when the occasion demands, high fashion, drama and glamour can be enjoyed. The more understated you are, the easier it is to go into different zones. So personally, I have no problem giving interviews in bathrobes or wearing white chikankari clothes everywhere I go, but when it’s required, glamour is fun and no one does it better than Abu and Sandeep.
You must take credit for bringing casual ethnics back in trend. What makes you inclined towards a simple white salwar kurta?
The fact that it’s honest, original and comfortable; and I feel these qualities speak on their own. Audiences, whether it is through the media or social media, can tell if you are putting up a farce. And I think white chikankari is genuinely the most basic, raw and original and I like that.
Your physical transformation is inspirational. But was it the calling to become a Bollywood actor that drew you to embark on this fitness journey?
I think it would’ve happened irrespective of the profession. Because it was a health concern. I had severe PCOD, and I still do. And the heavier you are the harder it is to deal with things emotionally, mentally, and medically in a lot of ways. So, being an actor was perhaps a catalyst, but it had to happen anyway.
You are someone who is often spotted on the streets without makeup. What is the secret behind your glowing skin?
One hour on the treadmill and at least 20 glasses of water a day is all that it actually takes. My mom says not to lie, but sometimes I do. As they say, the better your soul the better you look, so that helps too. But I will work on it harder.
There is a lot of conversation happening around sustainable living. Do you also practice this?
I have stopped using plastic, which is a small step but I think it’s a good one. The entire set of Coolie No. 1 has ditched plastic and we are just trying to make a difference with this small step.
Your witty personality and undeniable confidence have garnered a lot of young fans. But what would you advise your fans about tackling the low moments in life?
One must know that there will be high moments and those moments won’t be fun if there weren’t any low ones. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself and talk about it to the right people. Just know that on a bad day it’s only going to get better.
We know you love NYC. But if you had to choose one place you like in India, which would it be?
I like a lot of places in India. Kerala is beautiful; it’s the last place I visited.
How do you feel about walking the ramp for Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla at Blenders Pride Fashion Tour?
My association with them goes back to even before I was born. They are family to me. It’s a privilege to walk for them, more than anything else. The theme of this event is the amalgamation of past, present and future and the influences that one carries forward. I think it’s almost ironic that I am doing it with Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, as they have been a huge part of my past, present and I aspire for my future as well.
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