The last time I spoke to Athiya Shetty was more than two years ago...which now feels like a different time, a different world, a different dimension. And battling a pandemic is just one of the things that has changed between then and now. At that time, Athiya was coming into her own as an actor...but as an individual, she knew exactly what she wanted and how she wanted it. We discussed everything from her being a staunch feminist to social media, and even her career path...
This time round, though, on the outside, Athiya seems like the same person she was before. But on the inside, something has shifted. The best analogy I can conjure up is that she’s like a kettle: she seems warm and steady on the surface, but there is a bubbling storm underneath. “I am definitely more aware of the voice I have, and I feel more confident and comfortable in my skin... Like, I don’t seek anyone’s validation anymore,” she tells me. “When I started out, social media wasn’t as big, and it definitely wasn’t this important. Today, there’s so much hate and negativity on the Internet, but back then, it didn’t reach us because we weren’t as accessible. But I know now that it’s important to understand what’s important to you. And, for me, it’s knowing that I am a good person and that I have been able to help people in any way possible,” Athiya explains. I tell her that this fire in her veins is definitely a new look... one that suits her! “I just want to be true to myself and ensure that I have a positive voice...and that it is heard.”
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The lockdown has been a transformative period for Athiya. “In the beginning, I was very conscious about using this time wisely. But soon, I realised that every day is a different day. Like, some mornings, I used to wake up with immense anxiety because I just didn’t know what was going to happen...we have no control over the future. And, as human beings, that is such a scary thought because we’re always planning ahead. So the past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions. I feel like I have really grown as a person, and my outlook on life has changed, too. Remembering and reminding yourself that each day counts is so important... It makes you realise how grateful you are to have a home and have food on the table every single day,” she says.
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