The first thing that strikes you about Yami Gautam is her name. And the actress is only too happy to oblige with an explanation.
“This name was given to me by my maternal grandfather. It means daughter of the sun, she’s also sister to Yamraj, and is an apsara, ” says she over a cuppa coffee.
Well, at the moment, this half Punjabi, half Pahari girl is feeling like a princess after being the toast of Bollywood. Yami chats with CS about her journey.
I was studying to be an IAS Officer. Nobody expected me to become an actress because I was such an introvert as a child. I remember there was a poetry recitation competition in school and my mother asked me to recite in front of her.
I refused because I was feeling so shy! On the day of the competition, I went on stage, forgot to wish the jury, blurted out the poem and ran away! I didn’t win and I’m not surprised!
So what I’m doing now is totally opposite of what I am as a person, I’m very private. People who know me are really surprised that I’ve taken up acting, They tell me now that I am a born actress, I was just pretending all this while! (laughs)
It’s really difficult to make my best friend cry. But I was watching my film with her in the theatre and suddenly, I saw her crying at an emotional scene.
She turned to me and said, “Yami you made me cry!” A few days back I came back from my hometown, Chandigarh and people there just didn’t believe that I’m not a Bengali! I went to a beauty saloon and there was this bunch of girls there.
They started asking me questions about Kolkata and I asked them from which angle do I look like a Bengali? (laughs) I don’t want to sound pompous, but when people say that without shedding clothes or trying really hard, I managed to convince them, it’s a compliment.
Success is relative
You must have heard this, but I think it’s true when people say their only competition is with themselves. There is so much work to do, where’s the time to think about others?
When you start thinking who else is doing what, you lose focus away from yourself. Success is a state of mind. It’s relative. I might believe I have a long way to go, but for my friends I might be successful.
Peace of mind is important for me. You need to control your mind and that’s what this field teaches you.