“11:11” is a lucky charm for everyone but it holds a greater significance to those whose idol lovingly calls them her ‘Jaans’ because it marks the birthday of the very beautiful and exceptionally talented, Shrenu Parikh.
This year, it’s an even more special day as it is preceding a few days from a decade of Shrenu’s presence in the television industry! 10 beautiful years of gracing the Indian Television with her impeccable performances through her roles from her very first appearance as Roopa in Gulaal followed by Aastha (Havan), Rajni (Byaah Hamari Bahoo Ka) to Aastha Agnihotri (Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? Ek Baar Phir), Gauri Kumari Sharma (Dil Bole Oberoi and Ishqbaaaz) and recently Janhvi Mittal/Pooja Sharma (Ek Bhram Sarvagun Sampanna). Her great performances were awarded in 2014 by Star Parivaar Award for Best Patni as Aastha and in 2017 by Indian Telly Award for Best Bahu as Gauri. Versatile by excellence, Shrenu Parikh made her Bollywood debut in 2017 as Neha Dutta in Thodi Thodi Si Manmaaniyan and her entry into Gujarati Cinema as Shruti Yagnik in Lamboo Rastoo earning her a GIIFA Award for Best Debut Actress (2018).
However, for her fans, Shrenu Parikh is not simply a talented actress whom people adore for her work, she is so much than that. Shrenu’s humble nature and the respect she has towards her culture and traditions are qualities that resonate with her Jaans. From the small Gujarati girl who dreamt of becoming a star like her own idol at the age of 5 to becoming the star herself making it to the top within the television industry, the journey was not easy, yet she made it without giving up on her core principles, hence loved worldwide. Thus, Shrenu’s journey is inspiring as she demonstrates how a woman can be modern, independent and still rooted in her cultural values.
It is certainly difficult to put in words all the love her fans have for her, for she is their all.
In an open-hearted interview Shrenu humbly accepted to give to her fans through her Squad, sharing with honesty and love the replies to all their enquiries in this tribute we’re happy to offer her:
In conversation with Shrenu Parikh
1) Every journey begins as a dream, what inspired you to become an actress and what was the first step you took to make this dream a reality?
Shrenu: Yes, I always dreamt of being an actor, Aishwarya Rai inspired me, and my preparations started as a kid where I would play Khana khazaana, act, mimic, imitate actresses. My first step towards achieving my goal was to participate in a beauty pageant.
2) First times are always memorable. How was your first audition and have you overcome those tingles or it still makes you nervous when you give an audition?
Shrenu: Yes, my first audition was very bad, and more than the audition it was an audition day! In one day, I had to cover 7 auditions that too with my dad in the same makeup and dress and travelling in an auto! It still gives me tingles before any audition!
3) If you could travel back in time, you choose the period, tell us one thing you would do that you didn’t get a chance to do, and one thing you would undo.
Shrenu: I would go back to my early twenties as I was too serious about life and naïve too! I’ve not lived my life at ease and would only work! After meeting my Ishqbaaaz gang only then had I realised I can live my life whilst working. Also, I’ve been bullied in the past and let it slide which I wouldn’t allow now if I were the woman that I am today.
4) The best things in life are always savoured in beautiful memories. So far, what has been the most memorable moment of your career?
Shrenu: That’s true I do have a lot of memories attached to my career, but the best one was when years later an old fan addressed me as ‘Aastha’. For me, these moments are cherished.
5) For the past 10 years, you have been gracing our screens with versatile roles; both positive and negative. How does Shrenu Parikh prepare for a role?
Shrenu: I do a lot of homework overthinking at times about the characters. I try to bring a difference from each one. I make a reference in my mind about the character I want to be and try to work on it.
6) To every successful person, there is a pack of haters who scream the loudest. As a successful person yourself, how do you deal with negativity?
Shrenu: Yes, it took me a while to digest that it’s normal to have haters and it does affect me to be very honest but I’ve learned to ignore the negativity.
7) There are moments in life that one can feel demotivated or held back by an invisible force of self-doubts. Have you had such experience and how did you overcome that?
Shrenu: I’ve always been an over-thinker, anxious person who would sink into self-doubts based on other people’s opinion but I have some amazing people in my life who held me close and made me stand with my head held high even during those time. I’d say that time has been the best gift, as God has been kind and so far, I’ve never had to prove anything to anyone as everything would fall in place naturally.
8) Most people view actors as distant stars shining from afar. Do you think that the acting industry is as glamorous we see it?
Shrenu: Of course, there’s a lot of bling and glamour but I feel social media has enabled the fans to connect with their stars easily now.
9) Having come so far from when you started, being successful and more beautiful every day, what advice would you give to a 15-year-old Shrenu if you got a chance to?
Shrenu: I would say you’re brought up with great values, don’t let anyone pull you down, even if it may be your doubts. Stand your ground always!
10)If you get to play an inspiring character in a TV adaptation, who would that be?
Shrenu: Opera Winfrey or Ekta Kapoor.
11) They say that acting is a mirror; a sharp reflection of society. What message do you wish to convey to society by a character you play in the future?
Shrenu: All my characters have been quite different from each other and quite relatable too. Aastha was a strong-headed girl stuck in a male dominant home who uplifts the women in that family. Gauri a small-town girl, not educated but learns to become independent. Janhvi was a hurt woman who was scarred to a limit where she forgot that she was a good person. These women exist in our society; hence I take inspiration from them and vice-versa. I have received so many messages about women standing up for themselves against domestic violence after they saw Aastha fight for the same.
12) A family makes a big impact on our life. From what your fans have known, you’ve got a beautiful, supportive family. Do they have an impact on your choices be it professional or personal ones?
Shrenu: They are my pillars of strength and an integral part of all my decisions.
13) You are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful actresses in the industry. People from around the globe love you, both, for your inner and outer beauty. What is the secret for all your beauty and cuteness? What advice would you give to young girls who deal with low self-esteem because of the beauty standards set by the glamour industry?
Shrenu: Thanks a lot for the compliment, but I guess the secret to my beauty is the acceptance you have for yourself. I’ve never been that quintessential hottie that I once wanted to be, but yes more than the eyes of the beholder I think beauty lies within your own eyes, flaws also look pretty when you accept them, curves look attractive when you flaunt them, dusky skin used to be an issue for girls now the scenario had changed where people want to look tanned, short girls are now considered cute! It’s all in your eyes than in the eyes of the beholder.
14) 10 beautiful and proud years in the industry, you have worked with many people. Having met and known so many people, what is that one quality about your co-stars that you appreciate the most?
Shrenu: I’ve mostly met good people, have learned a lot from them, one good quality about my co-stars would be being humble and modest.
15) Every artist has his approach to a role or a scene. Are you an actress who will improvise depending on your interpretation of the scene or you perform strictly according to what’s written in the script?
Shrenu: I try to improvise with respect to the script and direction.
16) As viewers, we fans were countless times awestricken by your performances wondering how could you reach such perfection. What was the most challenging scene you had so far?
Shrenu: It was undoubtedly the suhagraat sequence for Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon – Ek Baar Phir in which Wasim sir had prepped me for 3 days.
17) 2020 has been a challenging year for the entire world, but you experienced it a little closer than many of us by winning a fight against COVID-19. Can you share with us your journey of recovery and what changes did these trials bring for you?
Shrenu: Oh, it’s been very difficult and I guess it was meant to happen! I had gloomy days when I had to let go of work because I would still feel sick or weak and It took me a while to get back on my feet. Then there was the battle around the stigma attached to the virus. So that fight is still on, fight the virus first then the mis/uninformed people.
18) You have incarnated some of the most beautiful love stories onscreen but what’s the definition of love for Shrenu Parikh? What are the qualities that have to define her prince charming?
Shrenu: Well the love stories we portray are subjective to practicality in real life! For me, my life partner should have basic qualities like handling me (which is not easy), respect for my family and a great sense of pride.
19) Your fans miss you onscreen. We receive messages daily asking about your comeback, and likewise, we are as eager to see you back. Do you have a certain idea of the characters you’d like to play someday?
Shrenu: Yes, I miss myself too. Let’s keep telling the universe and it shall answer us soon!
20) We fans are always expecting big things from our stars, is there something this star expects from her fans? What are your expectations from your fan family?
Shrenu: Nothing. Just be the way you guys are! Keep loving me unconditionally and I’m as human as are you guys are if I make mistakes forgive me because we are no God.
Well there you have it, a bundle of joy and positivity, that is Shrenu Parikh in an exclusive conversion with Shrenu Squad.