Inspired for acting by Yash Chopra’s Shahrukh Khan starrer superhit Hindi film Dil To Pagal Hai, stage dancer Shriswara is at first seen upon celluloid screen in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s period film, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag before to fully act Nafisa in D-Day as RAW agent Wali Khan(Irfan Khan)’s Pakistani wife. Her own early life experience at Lucknow helped her in naturally doing so since Indian sub-continent is still so similar at the core.
Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Shriswara at SANGKRIT.net, please tell our netizens about yourself, your story.
Shriswara: I don’t have much of a story to tell and am quite far from the climax of my career. I grew up watching many films which influenced me towards the performing arts from a very young age. I’ve given nearly a thousand auditions in the last four years with ads sprouting from some and one main one resulting in “D-Day.”
Shardul Pandey: Think back to your first audition. What was it like?
Shriswara: My first audition was for Samsung with Aamir Khan. I was a little more excited about Aamir than the ad itself. There was a long line at Nirvana Studio 97, Shreeji. There wasn’t anything scary, actually, at that point. I had waited quite long to give an audition and internally was prepared. I gave the audition and went home keeping my fingers, toes, eyes, feet, laces, brain, everything crossed for the next week, but of course, nothing happened. That was a bit of the hard part, as that happened 250 times again before I landed my first ad eight months later.
Shardul Pandey: So what advice would you give to newbie actors and someone who wanted to do what you do? What do you like most about this profession ?
Shriswara: I would say to a newbie that they’d better want this with every last electron in their soul. If luck is on your side then yes, things fall in place coincidentally, else you can do everything in your power without any positive result, and despite obsessive desire, it’s usually the later most of the time. You have to keep your heart and mind open to failure but remain tenacious, else it will eat you alive from within. What I love about acting the most is acting itself. When you finally act in something you love, in my case, D-Day, all the complaints, all the frustrations, all the tried patience become worth it. You become free of everything, including yourself.
Shardul Pandey: After acting in D-Day, what you learned about yourself from the experience? What are cushy and hard parts of acting? What is your profession’s greatest challenge today?
Shriswara: After acting in D-Day I’ve learned that I still shouldn’t lose my patience. I’ve graduated, perhaps, to level two of the video game. Challenges have also graduated and this time in different disguises. The difficult areas in acting for me is making sure what I feel internally reaches my face and body language. My heart can be pounding in my chest in the scene, but the audience cannot see or feel that unless I emote correctly. Getting that balance is difficult. My professions greatest challenge is staying afloat outside and inside of the industry. Choosing desired work, waiting for desired work, achieving that work and still be able to eat and pay rent in Mumbai; plus balancing the pressure from those related to you. It’s hard to explain to them why it takes so long and requires so many interviews before you’re seen on screen consistently.
Shardul Pandey: I must applaud you for your phenomenal instincts in acting. What you feel is your strength as an actor and how would you like to be remembered ?
Shriswara: I believe my strength as an actor is that I’m emphatic and emotional. I’d like to be remembered as being a good human being.
Shardul Pandey: So now what’s next for you? What can we expect from you this year or in the next few years ? What kind of character roles do you prefer and where do you see yourself in future ?
Shriswara: I have no idea what’s next for me. What characters are in line for more, which will be taking birth in scripts that I may be a part of in the future, I haven’t any idea and perhaps, it’s better that way. This year of 2013, you can expect a low profile from me. Inshallah, I’ll pull a bunny or two out my hat next year. I’m not too limited on roles, except for the fact that they have to have a reason for being in the story. I have to feel what that person is feeling without the emotions being forced or cliched. As long as I’m not type casted or limited to one particular role, I’d like to play any type of any age that I can genuinely pull off.
Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?
Shriswara: मानो तो सब कुछ है, ना मानो तो कुछ भी नहीं. ख्वाब और हकीकत में कोई फर्क नहीं है सिवाय सूरत के , और उनकी अपनी कोई उमर नहीं होती (Mano to sab kuchh hai, na mano to kuchh bhi nahi. Khuab aur haqeeqat mein koi farq nahi hai sivaye soorat ke, aur unki apni koi umar nahi hoti). Be practical about your dreams, but not cynical. Be dreamy about them, but not completely careless or gullible. Be flexible where required and rigid when needed. Don’t give up; what is desired will come.
Shardul Pandey: Yours is an exotic name almost unique upon world-wide-web and that creates highest possible value upon largest media of humanity i.e. the Internet.
Internet is distributed in to domain names. You must have one like shriswara.com as that would indeed be accommodating your fan-following independently to make some value for you. Have a domain, use WordPress, integrate all social networks from within that to regularly keep on blogging about little things of life. This works wonderfully in show business.
Shriswara: Sounds good. Thank you. :)