Born and brought up in Lucknow, Aahana moved to Mumbai during her childhood years and this would bring about exciting things for her. She discovered herself in the city and ventured into what her passion drove her to pursue and she became an actress. She sits down with The J Mag to share with us her story.
Tell us about your journey
Well, it started very coincidentally. I joined a workshop at Prithvi when I completed my 10th. I had moved from Lucknow to Mumbai in seven standard and then, after three years of studying in Mumbai, not wanting to go back to the north to study because of the freedom I got in Mumbai, I joined the Prithvi theater for a workshop with my friends for our summer vacation and then I just really took to the stage and I love the stage, I loved being on stage, performing there. So I just absolutely was taken in by the world.
Tell us about your films and how did you bag your entry into movies
My first film was called The Blueberry Hunt, which was a film opposite Naseeruddin Shah and he was my mentor. He recommended my name to this director who was from FTII.The film is about a recluse farmer who grows marijuana, and I played a captive of his. The film was just between characters and it was very interesting. We shot in Kerala and I got the chance thanks to Naseer sir. The shoot was pretty unpleasant because there were a lot of like problems on set but doing the film opposite my mentor was a huge learning experience and overall a positive one. I enjoyed applying everything I learnt in class practically with my teacher and I thought it was pretty cool. I got to spend a lot of time with Naseer sir,
Rathna (Pathak) ma’am came on set and she brought us food and we were shooting in Kerala and it was fantastic.
"I got my first show opposite Mr. Bachchan on Sony Entertainment Television called Yudh. Anurag Kashyap had seen some of my work on stage and then he met me right outside his office and he offered me the part. I wasn’t even tested so I’m very, very grateful to Anurag for casting me as Mr Bachchan’s daughter. There were big names attached to that show and it was a great moment for me. I was thinking ‘wow like this was my debut and I had never
expected this’. That led me to my next one which was Lipstick( Under my Burkha) so
everything was very organic journey for me and one thing has literally led to another."
Which is your favorite Luxury Brand and why?
It’s always going to be Louis Vittion. It’s the one brand I have always been invested in. I’ve always loved the Louis Vittion bag. There have been instances where I’ve saved up incomes just to buy that bag and I use it for many years. It works for me!
Tell us about your family and childhood
My childhood was very simple. I come from a middle class family where both my parents were working. My mother is now a lawyer but she was a Deputy Superintendent of Police. She served the police for 37 years. My father worked in a company called Lupin laboratories
for 40 years when he lived in Moscow. He set up business for Lupin in all of CIS (USSR and neighboring countries). So a lot of my childhood was spent in these places. I used to shuffle between Lucknow and Russia quite a bit. We finally decided to settle down in one place and we chose Mumbai because it was getting difficult for my father to visit us in Lucknow. So my mother decided that we needed to move to a city which could have been like the base for all of us and my mom didn’t want to leave India. I think Mumbai provided a lot of opportunities for us so we stayed. My childhood has been between Lucknow, Mumbai and Moscow. I have very fond memories everywhere but Mumbai gave me my voice, it gave me an identity and helped me understand that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life and I am eternally grateful to the city for everything.
I started working at Prithvi theater. I started assisting wherever I could. I did everything that could require me to stay up to Prithvi and be close to the theater. I wanted to understand
backstage, understand how theater works and it was really fun. I think it was fun at work and I realized that if this is going to be work, then I’d rather do this as work. When I was in college I started dancing with Shamak and trained in professional dancing there. But I soon realized that I didn’t want to be a dancer, I wanted to be in the performing arts because there were lots of things that I did in college that made me realize that I wanted to act. I joined Whistling Woods after my graduation and I studied filmmaking for two years. Post my graduation, I started working as an assistant casting director to Shanu Sharma. I did a lot
of assistant jobs. I worked as a production assistant and assistant director and a lot more
before I actually got my first break, which was Yudh. It was a huge debut. Then on, everything has led from one film to another. I’ve just been very grateful and very thankful to my journey that has happened.
Describe yourself in a few words
Unbeatable. Unstoppable. Fearless. Someone who has a lot of love.
What makes you smile and what scares you the most?
My Nephew makes me smile the most and the only thing that scares me is waking up one day and not having my loved ones around.
What are you currently working on?
I’m doing a show called “Call my Agent” directed by Shad Ali which I’ve wrapped and a Madhur Bhandarker film called “India Lockdown” both slated to release sometime this year and I’m looking forward to both.
Describe your plans for the next
5 years of your life I intend to produce content. I intend to make my own shows and films.
What is your greatest strength and weakness?
My greatest strength is my family and my greatest weakness is my family. What type of movie do you like to act in the most I would love to do a biopic where I have to play a real character. I think that it will be very interesting to do.
What do you spend the most money on- Clothes, accessories, perfumes?
Food. I spend the most on food and I don’t spend anything else. Everything else gets gifted to me. My sister is a perfumer so I get perfumes all the time. Accessories are sent to actors mostly so we don’t really spend money on those but I love spending money on property
Has stardom changed you?
Not a bit. I don’t think I’m a Star, I’m just a working actor. I think that my job comes with its pros and cons. There are lots of pros to my job, but I don’t think I know what Stardom is.
Adoration? Yes, I get a lot of lovee. Respect? Yes but Stardom? No.
How do you balance your work and private life?
I am a very private person, I don’t need to balance. I never bring work home. I don’t have too many friends outside at my workplace. I have friends who I grew up with, those are my the people I spend all my time with and my family. I consciously made this decision early on, when I wanted to get into this business. This business teaches a lot of lessons and I’m
glad I made these decisions early on and I’m reaping the benefits of it now.
Photographer: Ruskin Felix Barar | Styled by: Juhi A Ali | Make-up: Danica Drego | Hair: Deepali Deokar & Annushree Menon |Outfit: Shantanu & Nikhil | Jewellery: Beena Raheja & Syndiora