Despite being an actress and working in several popular TV shows in the last several years, in the recent times, Chahatt Khanna’s name was in the news for all the adversity she faced in her personal life. However, now with ‘Prassthanam’ releasing and several projects in the pipeline, she is determined to let her work do all the talking. In this interview, Chahatt talks about her new release, her life story being an inspiration for many, buying a house, her clothing brand ‘Amarzoo’ and more.
You started very young and were seen in some very popular TV shows. There was a long period in between when we did not see you on the screen. Now, you are making a comeback of sorts in ‘Prassthanam’. Do you look it as a new beginning?
I am not sure if it is a new beginning but yes, I have been absent from the screen for a while and I am coming back to the screen after a long time. I am glad that despite not being visible for some time, people continued to show faith in my talent. I said a ‘no’ to ‘Prassthanam’ when it was first offered to me as I did not want to play a mom on screen (laughs). In the industry, people have this tendency to stereotype actors and I was worried about that. Later, I kept all my fears and apprehensions aside and decided to do the film.
A couple of months back, you launched your own clothing brand called ‘Amarzoo’, which you have named after your daughter. Tell us something about it.
‘Amarzoo’ is actually London based brand which we have got into India. We are doing very well on the e-commerce front. We have not yet commenced with our retail business in India but we will start doing that very soon. The brand will soon have its presence in UAE and other Asian countries.
In the last couple of years, you went through a lot of upheavals in your personal life. Do you think, being a public figure, your story can be an inspiration to women who have been in abusive relationships or marriages or have gone through some other kind of trauma?
I do get a lot of messages on social and on email from people telling them that I have inspired them. In the last one year, I must have got more than 1500 messages. If my story, in any way, can inspire people, then I can only feel happy about it. Once, when I was in a supermarket, I met this young woman who told me that she was in an abusive relationship with a man and my story gave her the strength to break her engagement. Her fiancée used to beat her up and when she read an article about me, she got inspired by my story and decided she will not take this abuse any further.
Where do you derive this strength to deal with hardships?
My mom is no more but she was the biggest strength in my life. To be honest, I do not think I am doing something which requires strength. I am just living my life and being honest about everything that happens in it.
You bought a house last year.
Yes, it has been a year since I bought it. I was happy that I worked for long enough to save enough money to buy a house for myself.
You started your career with television and worked in it for several years. Now, you are doing films. Is there any medium you prefer over the other?
I prefer films and web content. In fact, I would like to work more in the digital space because of the reach they have. I am also open to doing television. It is the medium I started out from and it gave me everything I have today.
There is an extra ‘T’ in your name. Are you a believer in numerology?
I added that extra ‘T’ long ago on the recommendation of Mr. Sanjay B Jumaani, who is a renowned numerologist. I do not think it did any wonders in my personal or professional life but it did not do any harm either. So, I just stuck to it.
Sanjay Dutt, apart from being the central protagonist, is the producer of ‘Prassthanam’. How was the experience of working with him?
This is the first time I worked with Mr. Sanjay Dutt. He is a very humble human being and a beautiful soul. Maanayata (Dutt) was more involved with the production aspect of the film. She is a very caring producer and a wonderful lady. The overall experience of working on the film was very good.
Have you seen the original film, the Telugu version which it is based on?
Yes, I have seen the original film. It is considered to be a modern-day classic, so we did not make any alterations while making the Hindi version. The director (Deva Katta) is also the same. There are lesser number of songs in the Hindi version.
You started out at a time when there was no social media. Now, a lot of people get work based on the number of followers they have on social media. What is your take on this?
Your success rate can never be measured by the number of followers you have. If the audience likes your work, only then you will be accepted.
What are you doing next?
I am doing a web series. It should be announced in a while. I am also in talks for a couple of projects down the south.