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‘Never grew up with the thought of being in an industry where you are expected to be the centre of attention’: Yami Gautam

"But life and destiny have their own course sometimes, and I happen to be here," the actor said.

yami gautamYami Gautam talks about her dedication for yoga. (Photo: Yami Gautam/Instagram)

Yami Gautam is a name to reckon with. Not only is she admired for her impressive acting, but also for her impeccable style and embracing her real self; remember when she decided to let go of all “fears and insecurities” and opened up about dealing with keratosis pilaris, an incurable skin condition since her teenage years?

Yami is also someone who swears by yoga, loves to spend time with her family, and is a fan of versatility.

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In an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, Yami, who was last seen in Dasvi, opened up about all these, along with her dream of “becoming a civil servant”, and more. Excerpts:

Did you always aspire to be an actor? How has your journey been and what advice would you give to young girls?

I never grew up with the thought of being in an industry where you are expected to be the centre of attention. I was very determined to pursue my dream of becoming a civil servant one day. But life and destiny have their own course sometimes, and I happen to be here. With the kind of field I’m working in, I can still have my voice reach out to all the girls who are trying to make it on their own. I want to tell them that no dream is big or small. You’re as good as what you do and what you believe in. We align our expectations with what society expects us to do but in your heart, you might want to pursue something else. It doesn’t have to be in sync with your grades in school. So I’d say, the journey is a tough one so fight it on your own and be fearless. Whatever work you get into, do it with dignity, respect and to the best of your abilities.

 

Yoga is an important part of your routine. When did you start practising it and what changes have you noticed since then?

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It was my mother who used to keep saying that you should practise yoga. I came back to yoga during the pandemic properly and that really transformed me. Your body transformation is the last, it’s the mind that needs to be under control, exercised and calmed. Even during lockdown, I’d be on my mat at 6 in the morning and practice yoga. Even in the previous year when I did films and travelled, my yoga mat used to be there with me always, be it 3 in the morning. It has been my best friend. During Dasvi and other films when I had an hour to myself, I used to roll the mat in my vanity van and put the music on for meditation. It’s a state of mind and I’m never going to leave it. I think you need your guru, the one person who can be a good teacher and guide you through this journey to understand because it’s very diverse.

 

Being in such a demanding profession where you’re continuously running on tight schedules, how do you ensure a work-life balance?

I need my family by the end of the day. When I come back home, I need people who make me happy and for me, that’s my family. Now that I’m married, I have a bigger family. Just sharing that one meal together, watching something nice makes a difference. My mom has come home right now for the first time after my wedding from Chandigarh. But it’s just the same. I feel that balance is very important. Too much consumption of anything is not good for your mind and this is anyway a very consuming place. The mind is constantly working, so you need to find the balance to build a life around that makes you happy. Happiness is a very underrated emotion and you need to allow yourself to breathe.

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You are a fan of Western as well as traditional wear. It seems like versatility is the key. How has that helped you in shaping your personality?

If it’s to do with styling, I would give the entire credit to my stylist, Allia Al Rufai. We’ve been working together for a long time and she understands my personality. No matter what you wear, it should be classy. About versatility, yes I am a fan. Be it in the roles that I pursue or in terms of different looks I go for. It’s good for you. It keeps you inspired, excited and intrigued about what’s coming next rather than doing the same things again and again. So, it really works for me.

 

You are part of one of the key sessions of P&G’s #WeSeeEqual Summit on ‘Driving equality in education and economic opportunities’. Periods are still stigmatised in many parts of the world, how do you think we can break this taboo?

I think education is one of the strongest tools to overcome this taboo. Counselling has to be done not only for girls, but also for boys at a very young age when they are hitting their puberty so that the men they grow up to be are more aware that this is not a taboo. The educational structure needs to be improvised where every school regardless of any course has counselling for both girls and boys to normalise it. It becomes a taboo when you avoid a discussion. So, in addition to technical education, moral education is important for both genders so that they are aware and respectful.

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First published on: 23-05-2022 at 12:30 IST
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