“At 22, I bought my first mobile phone using my own money,” says actor Divya Dutta

At the age of 22, where were you career-wise?

My career was all about multi-starrers. I was still struggling to get a breakthrough film, where I could show my real talent. So I was a little frustrated as even at that time I considered myself to be a competitive actress.

And what was the money situation like?

My bank balance had just begun to grow. I’d count money in thousands and feel proud that, by God’s grace, I have earned something!

Any romance in the air…?

I was a little conservative and shy at that time, and started dating when I was 23. The relationship was sweet and fun, and quite filmy too. Even though it only lasted a few months, it was definitely a lesson learnt.

Did all this impact your mindset?

It was never stable. At times, I’d feel like running back home to Ludhiana and there were times I would call my mom and want her to be with me in Mumbai. She kept encouraging and motivating me.

What were you focusing on?

I hadn’t had a dream launch. So, I wanted to find a new film that would give me a good role and prove my worth as an actor.

And your biggest dream at the time…?

To work with the best directors, biggest stars. Gradually, I realised that it’s never the destination, it’s the journey that matters. I think I found roles which weren’t the roles I thought I’d be doing but they were the kind that brought me where I never imagined myself to be.

What was your fashion sense like?

Atrocious! I’d wear anything I was asked to, including some very blingy clothes.

And your most prized possession?

My first mobile phone bought with my own money.

What did you do for fitness?

When I joined films, I was a bit plump but then I lost a lot of weight. I was never a gym person but I used to go for Zumba, walks, swimming etc.

Finally, if you could rewind and change one thing what would that be?

That I was very naive and believed people easily. I took up some silly roles in the hope of getting a big film, but I guess these are lessons you learn. Looking back, I am proud of who I was and wouldn’t want to change it.

From HT Brunch, November 22, 2020

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