Aditi Rao's happiness mantra
The charming actor talks of her beauty routine, how to choose the right product and how to get one's mental makeup just right…
The charming actor talks of her beauty routine, how to choose the right product and how to get one's mental makeup just right.
Dressed in a simple lightg reen dress , face scrubbed free of make up, Aditi Rao Hydari, 26, the much-in-news actor, looks gorgeous. She exudes a piquant mix of sophistication and innocence, and is blessed with great skin, is slim and has a classic bone structure-thanks partly to her illustrious lineage (see "Early Life.") Adds the actor: 'I have my unique beauty routine which is unconventional and simple but it works for me!'I discover that her dewy morning freshness is not the result of eight hours of beauty sleep, but her special "ritual". In fact, she had been shooting for her new movie till 2.30 that morning and had just a few hours of rest but looked far from fatigued. But before we go on to know more of her beauty secrets, here's a glimpse of her life which started far away from the arch lights.
That Aditi is cut out to face the challenge of the fast-paced life she finds herself in, is evident in her professionalism. She lost her father, Ehsaan Hydari just three days before our meet, yet she chose to keep her appointment. Her parents were divorced when she was two and she was brought up by her mother, but in recent years, father and daughter were known to have picked up the threads of their relationship, and his passing must have been a blow to the young actor. When we meet, so soon after her loss, she is dignified and calm and merely says: 'Life goes on. He had been suffering from lung cancer for long, and passed away peacefully.'
Though she lived with her mother, Aditi does not recall missing out on anything. She had a happy childhood, and was 'brought up with immense love and the freedom to do anything.'Aditi's mother, Vidya Rao, hails from Mangalore and is part Chitrapur Saraswat, and part Telugu. (Her mother's father J Rameshwar Rao was the Raja of Wanaparthy, a principality of Hyderabad; he was also one of the first rajas to give up his title. ) Aditi's father was a Bohri Muslim. When her parents separated, a young Aditi moved wit h her mother from Hyderabad to Delhi and began adjusting to a totally different life from what she was used to. From the early years, Aditi found herself being attracted to the fine arts. 'I would wake up to the sound of the melodious tanpura every morning (her mother doing her riyaaz); it was the most surreal feeling ever… Later, I went to a special school which was run by the Krishnamoorthy Foundation and my love for fine arts grew stronger there.'
Films And How Her inspiration in the growing up years was her mother, a thumri dancer. 'I learnt Bharatanatyam under Leela Samson in Delhi and was performing all over the country in the early 2000s. Back then, we didn't even have a TV in the house and while I was happily oblivious to what I was missing, life had other plans. It was just by chance that I happened to see Amar Akbar Anthony with my neighbours in Delhi and was completely enthralled! I was fascinated with the world of cinema, much to the anger of my nani who caught me enacting a popular itemnumber in front of the mirror. I remember her admonishing me saying it was an ashleel naach (dirty dancing!)'Today, her nani is proudest of her granddaughter's foray into films. In 2007, Aditi was noticed during one of her dance performances and offered a Tamil film called Sringaram.
She was to go to London for a dance performance but since the visa had not come through, she decided to take up the film offer. There was to be no looking back. 'I realised that inspite of not knowing a word of what I was saying, I was confident when the director called the shots and a certain sense of calmness took over.'The movie was critically applauded. However, it was not smooth sailing thereafter as Aditi was based in Delhi and had no clue of how to go about things in the film world. 'I didn't even know how to prepare for an audition,-I would land up in ganji, jeans and my hair rolled up in a bun!'After a few months of getting no work, she landed a role in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Delhi 6. 'It was a small appearance, something similar to what Jaya Bachchan did in Sholay. (But) when people saw the movie, I felt they realised I could act.'
Her conviction soon paid off as she was offered Sudhir Mishra's Yeh Saali Zindagi and Rockstar followed by lead roles in London Paris New York and the recently released thriller Murder 3, a film where she plays the role of a young girl who picks up her life after a traumatic incident. Appreciation poured in and even veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan praised her. 'It felt great when he told me that my work was getting better each day!'She adds, 'I am glad that I have a long list of directors on my wish list since it means that there is so much talent in the country.'And what is her kind of cinema? 'A story well-told works best for me. Like everyone else, I admire the romanticism and lyricism in love stories, but just like I love wearing everything-from sarees to shorts, I like all kinds of cinema,'she states. She is currently shooting for Anthony D'Souza's Naam Hai Boss with Akshay Kumar, a film she says is a "full-on masala" entertainer. Looking Good 'I am lucky; I inherited my looks from my mother. I had to do nothing! As far as beauty is concerned, anything that is aesthetic is beautiful to me, even if it is my sabzi bag. I have been a dancer so anything that helps you express yourself is beautiful,'she says. For her own self, she feels "natural" works the best.
'I have been brought up on Homeopathy and Ayurveda,'she says. So sensitive is her skin that she can't even wear glasses for long as they leaves marks on her face. And she dreads mosquito bites. She tells us her beauty routine*. 'I go to the fridge and whatever fruit I find, I apply it on my face. It helps me refresh!'As an actor she cannot stay off cosmetic grooming but she emphasises that it is vital to "listen" to one's skin, find out what it needs, and only then buy the products. Blessed with a small appetite, she says she only eats when hungry. 'I enjoy healthy food but also love chat and chocolates. I just try not to binge. I have also been practising yoga and find it therapeutic. As for working out, even though I love stretching, I must confess that my trainer is the only person in the world who can make me go to the gym, so you know how much I enjoy it!'she laughs. And what is her beauty advice to the Good Housekeeping woman? 'You must learn to look good, no matter what your age or schedule. It is significant and makes you a confident person. You feel happier and are able to do things better. More importantly, learn to celebrate yourself. Derive happiness from something which works best for you, whether it is baking cupcakes or wearing a red lipstick.'
And while she believes that relationships are all about give and take, she is quick to say that no one should sacrifice oneself to any other human being's whims and fancies. Being Grounded For someone who is always in the limelight, whether it is because of her looks or films, Aditi remains downto-earth and humble. She is director/producer Kiran Rao's first cousin (their mothers are sisters and grew up together) and says that it is great to have family in an otherwise alien city. 'Even though Kiran is much older than me, whenever we meet, she treats me like a close sibling. I admire her for her amazing mind and spunkiness.'Also, while she says it's great to get help, she never expects her brother-in-law Aamir, one of the country's topmost actor, director and producer, to make it easy for her.
'If tomorrow he comes and asks me to do a movie with him, I will jump at the offer, but Aamir and Kiran are a dignified couple and so am I, and we are happy this way', she says. Always Herself When things don't work (Aditi was briefly married to bureaucrat-turned actor Satyadeep Mishra ) how does she cope ? 'If I had my way, I would change the entire world into a happy place… However, there is light at the end of every tunnel and sometimes you have to go through the dark bylanes to see that light. You will be angry for a while and that is okay. Let go of bitterness and face the world; don't be the ostrich who sticks its head in the sand to hide from the world. I believe that people are not black or white so I try not to be judgmental. Stay close to people who make you happy and if that is not possible, just keep your own zone clean and pure,'she says. Clearly with a mind that matches her looks, Aditi has thought-through opinions on myriad subjects, including politics: 'The people who run this country remain ignorant until something touches them personally. Things have to change at the core level.'And what of her future? 'Acting always, and lots of pets and children.'