You Are Born To Be Happy
Femina|March 09, 2019

In an honest conversation, filmmaker Tahira Kashyap speaks to Anushree Kandalkar on what led her to filmmaking, her cancer journey, and why self-love is the supreme form of love

Anushree Kandalkar

Life changed completely for Tahira Kashyap when her husband Ayushmann Khurrana made it big in the Hindi film industry. But along with the accolades and fame, came self-doubt and unhappiness. According to Tahira, while life seemed perfect on the outside, she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Turning to Buddhism helped. She regained her self-love and clarity. In fact, it was her faith and practice (of Buddhism) that kept her going during her cancer treatment earlier this year. We catch up with this filmmaker as she gears up to start direction on her first feature film.

You’ve been a professor, a writer, and a filmmaker; what do you love the most?

Every process has been a journey for me. But what I’m doing right now is what I’ve always wanted to do. I have done a lot of theatre, I joined a collegiate, and I have worked with a popular radio station as its programming head. I enjoyed wherever I was, but I always knew that was not what I wanted to do. I am one of those people who take time to figure out what they want to do. My journey has been more of an elimination process, but I’m so grateful for the experiences that I had, because that’s what has led to what I’m doing right now.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

In my family, my folks are educationists and bureaucrats. As a student, even though I pursued science, I participated in plays as I was interested in theatre. But I didn’t really explore my creative side since practically, I didn’t think that I could be making films someday. My logical side kept telling me: “You’re staying in Chandigarh. This can’t happen for you. How can you end up making films?” So, I kept doing what is pragmatic. I did corporate jobs, but they were so transient.

It was only after I started practising Buddhism and started chanting that I got clarity. Until then, I was unhappy and was going through an identity crisis. I didn’t have the courage to admit to myself that I wanted to be a filmmaker.

What would you be if not a filmmaker?

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