Pushtiie Shakti – Actress, Life Coach and Healer
Pushtiie Shakti known for her 2010 performance as the lead role Mahi in the TV show Mahi Way, as well as being a tarot card reader and healer. The show that depicted life for an average Indian. A girl that is not seen as “ideal” because of her weight. A show that also depicts the struggles of societal expectations such as marriage and appearance. The show captured many eyes with Mahi showing what true confidence is and finding her true identity. This show related to so many people and fans felt as if someone finally understood their pain! The eager family wanting proposals. The expectation of marriage. The bollywood romance.
Above all, Pushtiie shared her experience on Mahi Way and her journey as an actress in the Bollywood industry. Pushtiie mentioned that acting runs in the family. Her mother and brother (Vrajesh Hirjee) were in the industry. It all started with school and Pushtiie loving the stage and growing from there. As Pushtiie started attending college, main leads took place, film and then television! The continuous drive enabled Pushtiie to realize her passion for acting. How fortunate of us to be able to experience this passion by watching her on the big screen! Within the industry, Pushtiie explains that if you have the appearance, and have killer dance moves, you are a sure win for a good leading role!
As a fan of Mahi Way, I really loved the fact that they used a young woman with a realistic body type. Especially in INDIA! Finally something we can relate too! The show enabled awareness around the harsh expectations in society regarding size and beauty. Showcasing the mindset of others and the standard of beauty that is depicted in India and Bollywood.
We asked Pushtiie how she was able to get this leading role and what she learned from the experience. This is what she had to say:
“How I got the role was quite a story. I was living in Goa at the time. I was tired of acting. Everybody was telling me like “OMG, You’re so sweet, you should have just lost a little weight. You have such a pretty face, why don’t you lose a little weight. They kept giving me the typical comedy characters. You know, because of the stereotype that big girls are just funny and nothing more! There were only 3 emotions I could play : Angry, Horny and Hungry. So I got tired of playing the same roles every single time. I have a whole spectrum of emotions and I am not being able to use my talent the way I want too. So I traveled and I would go to Bombay every month to clients and I was on my way back to Goa.”
“As I reached the station in Goa, I got a call from Yashraj and they mentioned this character they wanted me to play. They did not mention that it was a series. So I was hesitant as they were not known for doing television as yet. So I thought it was a prank by one of my friends! My mother encouraged me by saying that people are writing scripts and to do it. I told her that If Yashraj gives me a main lead then I will come back. So my mother said fine. I was leaving and told them if they were casting next month when I return then I will do the series. I still thought it was a prank. When I got back, they called and said I have to come back to Bombay. So I went to audition for the character and I got the part!”
Pushtiie’s experience :
“I worked on the role and I realized that I had gone through everything that Mahi had gone through. Most of what she was also experiencing with marriage, I related to. At this age, I still didn’t feel ready for it. I had gone through the fat shaming and “eat less” stage. I became very confident in my size over the years. Mahi way for me was a reminder like revision for an exam. I went through all of the experience like Mahi and I overcame it. I found myself and my confidence. Mahi was like a reminder and revision of my life. ”
With this lead role, Pushtiie was able to showcase her talent and reach out to majority of the women out there who struggle to find themselves or accept their body. It was truly revolutionary. It is a series that is very dear to my heart. Even with the lead, there are still challenges in the industry. For an actress of immense talent fighting against the societal norm of body type and standard of beauty. We asked Pushtiie about the challenges she faced in the entertainment industry.
Pushtiie’s challenges in the entertainment industry:
“People don’t see me as anything more than just a “fat chick.” They don’t give me characters which make a difference. Mahi Way was a one off. My show AAFat got released and it is five of us in the lead. So it’s not a solo lead character. The issue with size still applies because the mindset of people in the industry has not changed. It doesn’t matter what kind of performer you are, it is all about size and what you look like. They don’t want to give someone like me a chance to do anything other than comedy because I don’t fit into their idea of beauty within a serious lead role.”
“The fact is though, I can fall in love, I can have work issues, family issues. I can have all these emotions beside comedy. Which is what Mahi way was about! It was given in a comical manner but had the depth of a storyline which was so relatable to others. The ultimate challenge is the mindset but thankfully I don’t let it bother me because it does not define my happiness. Nothing in my life depends on it. I am a healer and tharot card reader and yoga teacher. I am so much more than just being an actress. ”
Pushtiie, The Healer and Life coach:
As a fan, I was sure to recognize the amazing work of Pushtiie on her social media. Her daily tarot card readings blessing my feed and being a healer to others. Pushtiie mentioned that she loves being a healer and enjoys witnessing the change in people and their lives after a session. She explains her love for her divine gift and how she can impact others as a medium by channeling for others without even trying. It’s just a spiritual gift that keeps on giving! She remains open to the divine to send messages to others in order to help them. She states that in a session, it is all done by the divine and not herself. Pushtiie mentions that healing as a character within the industry would be perfect as she would be able to bring a lot of authenticity to the character if need be!
As a healer, there are always certain stereotypes that we face in society when having divine gifts. Pushtiie mentioned that people claim it doesn’t really work and some stating it is not real and just drama. People claiming it is a “money making scheme” and more. She mentions that it is something that people are studying but that studying and having the gift naturally is extremely different.
Pushtiie adds “you have to be tuned into your intuition and empty yourself out of the mindset of I did this. There should be no I in your life regarding doing divine work. The most important aspect of spiritual work is that you disappear. You allow the divine to flow through you!”
Pushtiie’s advice to others who feel the divine gift but might be struggling to actively engage with their spiritual gift is that
“If you believe that you have it and you have seen it then it is probably true. She mentions that training is important. It does not necessarily mean a class but perhaps meeting someone who might be really connected which could help you to understand the next move. There are many moralities as well and Pushtiie mentions that you have to find what works for you!”
Pushtiie spends time remaining active to keep fit, watching at least one film a day, writing out courses and predictions and so much more! Pushtiie remains independent and hardworking even with the pressure of the industry. She feels as if the industry just “needs a fat chick” to make something humorous instead of giving women like her a chance to showcase her talent fully regardless of her size. Not even being able to change her appearance. Fat chick also always being the sweet and bubbly best friend. The entertainment industry has not allowed her the opportunity to change it up, which is something that we all feel needs a change! The industry should start to understand that not all women are slender. We all come in different size and should all be celebrated. This is something Pushtiie stands for and believes in. Body inclusivity is needed in this industry! “Embrace the curves and make it more real!” .
“Everyone has a story to tell. So instead of creating a story that you think a person will have. Allow that person to tell their own story. There are so many issues besides body inclusivity such as colourism as well. Anything that is not a typical 36, 24, 36 with long straight hair! ”
We asked Pushtiie what advice she had for other girls who may be struggling with their body image or self-worth. Pushtiie had some wise words to share:
“First of all, are you struggling with it because the world wants you to struggle? Or are you genuinely facing health issues? Because it is not just about being lazy. If you are then get off your butt and work at it! If you have health issues then just work towards a fitness regime to help yourself feel better. Fit comes in many sizes. It does not have to be a slender fit. You can be so flexible just like myself. If you are fit mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually then your shape does not really matter. If you look at the world and say “OMG, It has to be like that!” Then you are never going to be happy! You don’t even want to be your own version but someone else’s. Comparison does not help. “
As a life coach Pushtiie shared many tips with her clients regarding self-care. Pushtiie uses two mechanisms Pause and Notice.
The pause mechanism
Consider a thought that you get which puts you in the wrong. Negative self-talk. PAUSE. Ask yourself why you are thinking that way. If I can change it, I will. If If I can’t, I don’t need to go in a downward spiral. So pause.
The notice mechanism
You have to notice your way of thinking. Imagine a child on a swing. There are two thoughts. One person might think ” Oh wow. what fun.” and another might think “OMG it is so high. The child might get scared.” Then you realize that you are not in the child’s state but in your own. It is what you are noticing but it is not experienced by you. So notice how you are feeling on the outside and how you are feeling on the inside.
Pushtiie is more than just an actress. She is a healer, tarot reader, yoga instructor and life coach ! I know I have learned a lot from this interview! Her new series AAFat has released on MX player, be sure to watch it! You surely do not want to miss out. Follow Pushtiie on instagram to watch her amazing predictions!