(Due to inadvertent error the profile, name and picture of the personality had previously been referred to and mentioned as ‘Shraavya Reddy’. The name and picture have been corrected and is to be read as ‘Niki Chawla’)
By Puja Gupta
March 8, (IANSlife) Bigo Live host Niki Chawla who is a transgender and also an actress by profession is famously known as a ‘History creator of India.’
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, IANSlife spoke to Chawla about the lessons she’s learned and difficulties she’s faced, to make a name in the world of glamour world.
Q. How has your journey been till now?
Chawla: My life is a blockbuster movie, it has drama, pain, romance, thriller, suspense, heroes, villains and of course there’s a climax. But the journey has been a roller coaster ride. I’ve had days when I felt lost, alone, misunderstood, betrayed and had a lot of self doubt. On the other hand I have seen magic in life where people who I don’t even know have become my angels, moments I have been saved by a supreme power. There are days when I was broke and there are days where there has been plenty.
That’s why I believe in my destiny and the universe. I believe I exist for a great reason which is yet to reveal itself. I feel blessed that after going through so much my life is an example and achievement for others.
Q. Looking over your shoulder, any regrets?
Chawla: Frankly speaking, I have stopped looking back. After my first TV show ‘Emotional Atyachar’, where I have told everyone in the world about being India’s first transsexual model/ actress, after that thousands of people have sought me out and connected with me on social media. The wishes and blessings they gave me that day has washed all the pain away. The love and appreciation of strangers has won over the hate and pain given by friends, family and people.
Q. The biggest lesson you have learnt?
Chawla: I am still learning… but if there’s one thing I have learnt in life is that if you want to be happy and achieve something in life then be passionate, believe in karma, love yourself and don’t allow anyone to dim your light. If you can’t take stand for yourself then you are good for nothing.
Q. Being transgender, how difficult was it for you to get recognition?
Chawla: That’s a good question. Well first of all, I would like to educate others that the Trans community is vast. People in Western countries have different definitions of Transgender than people in India.
I have gone through proper medical treatment and support. All my documents have been changed and updated. I am a transsexual, a female soul who was trapped in a wrong body, but with hard work and medical help I got a SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery) done. The Indian Government also supports this under Medical Term.
I turned my weakness into my strength. People who said ‘No’ to me, who denied me work as they found me different and not acceptable by society, are now the ones who give me opportunities, love and respect. When I chose To Be ‘Me’ I got recognition. I believe be yourself with pride and the world will accept you. Yes I have many problems but someone had to take initiative. I took the initiative and became the voice and the face of transgirls openly. Now, I feel proud that in last 10 years a lot of new transgirls and transboys are showcasing their talents proudly and living the life they want. I feel proud.
Q. Is it harder in the world of glamour?
Chawla: Actually no. Being in the business of glamour actually helps to ease everything. In this world people are welcoming. Most importantly, if you are not happy in your skin, then you can’t be happy anywhere.
Q. The impact of social media?
Chawla: Well social media is a blessing and a curse. You feel like giving everything but you should know better. You learn this gradually. But, thanks to social media apps and handles I am able to keep in touch with my fans, followers and friends. You just have to create a line. Social media is very tricky, the more popular you get, the more love and/or hate you get.
Q. What message would you give on Women’s Day?
Chawla: First of all I want salute to evey woman on earth. Be she from a village or metro cities. To be born as a woman is a blessing. I choose to be a woman, so I understand the value of being a feminine divine power. My message to is be who you are! Discover you powers, abilities and become unstoppable. Educate others, Learn how to say no and draw a line when it comes to your self respect. Help other women grow in life, educate your sons and daughters to be respectful and understanding towards each other. That’s how we can make this world a better place for everyone.
Q. What are your upcoming Projects?
Chawla: Well I have been on break from the past one year due to my father’s passing away last year I have been busy on BIGO Live streaming app from past two months and have written a book on my life which I am planning to publish later this year. I will be making some good short films as a producer for film festivals. My last film ‘QAID’ with Nykaa has inspired me to make such cool projects for general awareness. So wish me luck so that I can make some changes in people’s lives.
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(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])