RJ-turned-actress Malishka Mendonsa recently appeared as a protagonist in the short film Parde Mein Rehne Do, which delves into the sensitive avenue of the difficulty in finding love in a world obsessed with appearances. It also examines the problem of body shaming and how it affects people’s mental well-being.
Malishka reveals she has been body shamed in real life too. She shares, “I used to stand with my hands in front of my chest when my breasts started growing because I was insecure. Everyone will tell you all sorts of things. Now, I want to listen to things from people who care about me. Every person, khud kaise bhi dikh rahe ho, will come and say ‘thodi moti ho gayi, thodi kaali ho gayi’. So I have been shamed. My point is, why don’t you pay attention to people’s mental health? You think shaming them is the easiest thing to do and you have no idea what they’re going through.”
Malishka says she always wanted to become an actor. She explains, “For the longest time, I felt I didn’t look typical. It was a time when heroines were a certain way. Now, with the advent of OTT, that’s changing. A few years back, when I was doing another TV show, my director told me they needed someone who is tall, thin, fair and with straight hair and that stayed with me. Later, a very big casting director told me that there’s a role for everyone and that also stayed with me. I was just waiting for the right platform and the right thing to come along.”
Opening up about what attracted her to play the role of Kuhu in Parde Mein Rehne Do, Malishka says, “It sounded like a story that the world needs to hear. I just knew that the story would establish my acting dream. For me, to be able to say that I’m an actor has taken a lot. I have been a certain person in the eyes of the world while internally knowing that I am an actor. Also, I got a chance to do what I believe is empowering.”
As per Malishka, her role was challenging. “It’s a beautiful and empowering role and I’m happy that I got this. But it was definitely tough because I had to break my self-image. My nails are always on point but I had to not have those glamorous nails. My director told me that my curls make me look pretty so I had to open up my curls. The character was not supposed to be unpretty but because of her belief, she carries herself a certain way.”
On a parting note, Malishka reveals what she learned for the show. “I had to learn to tie a dupatta in a certain way. After the audition, I also learned to ride a bullet,” she concludes.