“It was a world I wanted to go but did not know how and when it would happen” – Jividha Ashta
She is simple, understands the deeper meaning of life and wears her intentions on her sleeve. All these qualities are precious in showbiz; especially if you want a long career. Model and actor Jividha Ashta spoke to IAD about her first break being the movie Taal, what struggle means to her and how her passion to work triumphs anything that stands in the way
What does Jividha mean?
Jividha means a source of life!
Tell us your story of how you got into the movies?
I am from Delhi – born and brought up there. I came to Bombay with my mother, to visit my uncle. My school vacations were going on at the time and one of uncle’s friends told him that there were some auditions going on in Subhash Ghai‘s office and maybe I should give it a shot. They were looking for a girl who looked like Aishwarya Rai’s sister and could dance. I was training in dance in Delhi at the Birju Maharaj institute. Saroj Khan auditioned me for the movie.
I have always wanted to be in the movies. That was my only ambition as a child. I used to like dancing, acting, looking good and behaving like a star. So I had the feel for it from an early age.
What were the tell-tell signs that you were inclined towards it?
I used to watch heroines and then do the same things in front of the mirror. I was born like that I guess. Kahinpe gaana chal raha hai and I would start dancing without caring who was watching me. It was a world I wanted to go but did not know how and when it would happen.
What do the terms luck and destiny mean to you?
Luck and destiny – I believe in this. I know after so many years that there are well deserving people in this industry and some people who have what they completely deserve but there is always the luck factor. They have to be at the right place, at the right time.
I struggled for years after Taal and I was just about to go back to Delhi. It was very heart-breaking for me to not get the work I wanted. I was about to go back look for some other work. That’s when Yeh Dil Ashiqana happened to me. I got a call for an audition from Aroona Irani’s office. I went for it and my journey really started.
What was the struggle period like for you and how did you deal with it?
Very honestly, the struggle is still going on. In this industry, everyone is struggling. Maybe the A list actors are struggling in their own way. There is no end to the struggle. You get something and then you want to get to the next level and then you want more. So that’s how it is – never ending.
What are the things you like doing when you aren’t working?
I love listening to music; depending on my mood I categorise my music-happy music, sad music and so on. I can listen to music for 24 hours. I am walking currently as I speak with you. I was listening to music when you called (laughs). I also watch a lot of movies to get the idea about what’s going on. I love reading books and the best book I have read and keep going back to is Bhagvat Gita.
I have learnt one thing from this journey I have been on and from this book which is that you have to do your karmas and the rest God will do for you. Don’t hurt anyone, don’t let anyone down, give respect, give love, be passionate and definitely God is there to look after you. I know I am struggling but it is my karma and god is looking after. I am not expecting anything. I lead a very simple life. I am not a hi-fi kind of girl; I got to market in t-shirt and pajama and I love it.
Any instances while shooting Taal that you particularly remember?
Everyday was special to me; even today I remember each and everyday of the shoot. It was a school for me. I was working with people including Subhash Ghai, Akshay Khanna, Aishwarya Rai and it has been my most cherished experience. Working with Ash was like working with a diva because I would always look at her and be like “wow” she is so beautiful. Girls should be like her-so graceful and never had any airs. She was always very nice.
Who is your all-time favourite Bollywood star?
I like Madhuri Dixit a lot. According to me, a heroine should be like Madhuri. She is very genuine and passionate, and I like that she wants to work. I am like that too. I don’t want to ever sit idle.
What are some of the projects you have worked on recently?
I did two Johnson’s ads; they are very particular about who they cast. This is the first time they are repeating the model and they never repeat. I have done two ads with them and it was like working with a big brand, good people.
I am also working in a Malayalam-Hindi bi-lingual movie with Shashilal Nair.