How are you planning to spend your special day?
I was supposed to be shooting which would have made me very happy. I like to spend my special day being on the set or to be travelling or spend time with my friends and family. For me, to celebrate my birthday means to be thankful for the kind of people I have in my life, where I am and what I am doing in life. To be able to celebrate smaller joys is very important to me. I am going to be eating my favourite food that is cheesy naan and chilli chicken. My mother-in-law is going to be making that for me. I am happy like any other day on my birthday but all those wishes and blessings make me feel really special.
What are your fondest childhood memories of your birthday?
I don’t really remember much of my birthdays but I remember going to birthday parties of other kids. I used to love the return gifts that they used to give me. Apart from that, I think the games and the dancing is something I fondly remember.
My birthday comes in July, which is a monsoon month. We have summer vacations before this so my family used to go to Lucknow and we used to celebrate my birthday there. So it was not just one day, I celebrated it whenever I could.
Have you ever celebrated your birthday on your film sets?
Yes, I have celebrated my birthday on the set. When we were shooting for ‘Mirzapur 2’, I remember we were shooting in Lucknow and my parents had come down to be with me. My husband also came on the set to surprise me. Ali Fazal and Divyendu Sharma were the ones who brought in my birthday. We sat in my room and had cake. Then the next day, we all had a party. It was a lot of fun.
‘Mirzapur’ is also one set that has my most favourite people. Whenever I get an opportunity to be with them and celebrate with them, I never let it go. In fact, I will be meeting a few of them today also.
What is the best birthday gift that you have received to date and from whom?
Every year, my husband Chaitanya Sharma writes poems for me and I wake up to that. It is very special because it is just between us. I don’t have to put it on social media, I don’t have to show it to anybody, I don’t have to forward it somewhere, it is just for me. It is very close to my heart.
What do you wish for on your birthday today?
On a larger scale, my birthday wish this year would be to give love and strength to all the people who have lost their loved ones. There is just so much going on around these days. I want to say prayers for everybody. So many people need it.
On a personal level, I want to be a better human being than I was yesterday. I feel even if we improve just a little every day, it would be more than enough. I also want to focus on my mental and physical fitness. And of course, a good script is something that always makes me smile. I want to explore stories and characters that are different from what I have been doing.