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In the last few years, Bollywood actress Kirti Kulhari has earned the reputation of a bankable star. With films like Pink, Mission Mangal, and Amazon Prime’s Four More Shots Please!, she has shown how versatile she can be, and audiences absolutely love her for it.
What also strikes you is Kirti’s persona off-screen, especially on social media, where she can be seen engaging with her followers from time to time through various live sessions. From sharing skincare secrets to her fitness regime, she often gives her audience a lowdown into her life, without going overboard.
In an exclusive conversation with Health Shots, Kirti tells us how she is ‘comfortable’ being in the public eye, her tricks to deal with trolls, and how she maintains a calm and composed demeanour amid the pandemic.
“This is what I do, this is not who I am”
Being a celebrity is not as easy as it seems. After all, you’re under scrutiny all the time and sometimes, it can get to you. Kirti, on the other hand, is pretty comfortable being in the public eye, because she has created boundaries between real and reel life.
“I handle the pressure by reminding myself time and again that this is my job, this is what I do but this is not who I am. I keep going back to my roots, and make sure that I spend enough time with people who treat me for who I am, not just as a celebrity or public figure. I also spend a lot of time by myself contemplating, meditating, or just being centred. That’s why no matter what’s happening around me, and who’s saying what, it really doesn’t impact me. I am generally a person who likes to lead a simple life,” she shares.
On her relationship with social media
One look at Kirti’s profile on social media, and you know she’s just like any of us! She’s candid, raw and oh-so-relatable, and you know she’s not sugarcoating any content that she puts out. This is exactly why she shares a positive relationship with social media.
“Personally speaking, social media has not made it worse for me. I have managed to create a profile, where there are no filters, and I am not pretending to be somebody else, or putting on a different face other than who I am. People have not just accepted this, but also celebrated it. I feel when people see others doing this, they tend to do the same. I have actually enjoyed being on social media, and I do everything possible to let any kind of negativity get to me,” she adds.
When it comes to social media, her biggest mantra is ‘it’s only a part of your life, not your whole life’. She prefers to get away from the screen every now and then to spend time with her friends and family, and people who help her stay grounded.
How she tackles trolls
She feels there are some posts, especially pertaining to religion that always attract unwarranted comments. And even if the post doesn’t really convey any hurtful sentiment, people are always ready to attack you. Kirti blames this on the polarised state of our country today, where people have zero threshold to deal with sentiments and opinions of other people.
“Trolls can go to any length, they can say anything they want, and there’s nobody to stop them. It hasn’t impacted me as such because thankfully I have gone beyond a lot of these things, but it does surprise me and a lot of times it’s very shocking as well, as to how people react. If anything, it’s a great study on what’s going on in the country and I take it in my stride, and I make sure I don’t take any of this to my heart,” she adds.
Kirti also feels trolling is more visible on Twitter rather than Instagram, which is why she prefers to spend her time on the photo-sharing app. She also feels it’s more personal, and gives one a platform to really express themselves without limiting words, and so much more. Not that the social app is completely devoid of trolls, but Kirti says most of the time, she pays no need to their comments.
“I sometimes don’t even read what is being written. There are some times, when I go through something and feel like I need to respond, so then I say what I have to say. But when I realise it has also fallen on deaf ears, then I just let it go. There are times when I report or personally block each and every person, who doesn’t deserve to be on my handle, because I have the freedom to do that. I am fine with people expressing opinions, but when it comes disrespectful in the tone or words that they use, then it’s a complete no-no, and I just let it go,” says Kirti.
On dealing with the pandemic
“I didn’t really have to use any coping mechanism, because I am not someone who is not comfortable being at home. If I am not working or travelling, I love staying at home and i don’t really like stepping out too much in Bombay. So, I was very comfortable staying indoors, and in fact, it personally gave me a lot of time to connect with myself to contemplate on my life, my choices, who I am and who I want to be,” shares Kirti.
For her, the last few months have served as a ‘period of self-introspection’ and being comfortable in your skin.
It has been a time of being in silence, and just observing myself and everything that’s happening around me. And knowing that, this too shall pass.
Keeping her mental health in check
Kirti loves to practice yoga and engage in meditation to keep herself centred. And she feels these habits have really helped her deal with several situations in her life. Travel is another weakness, and that’s why she makes sure she sets out on an adventure at the very first opportunity!
“I think I try and not lose myself in the so-called drama of social media, and whatever is happening in the world. I also indulge in travel as much as I can, because it helps me forget who I am, and about my public status. There’s also music that keeps me calm, and soothes me. It makes me forget a lot of things. All of this keeps bringing me back to the balanced state that all of us desire to attain, especially with everything that’s going on in the world,” shares Kirti.
Her advice to the younger generation
“I want all the young people to know that you have a choice, you don’t have to be on social media, if you are so impacted by what it offers. It has its good side but it also has its ugly side, and when it gets ugly, it can get really bad. Unless you are someone who has learnt to cope up with it, or to deal with it. You don’t have to do what everybody else is doing, it’s not a test of your strength and courage. You can always take a step back and not be on social media, or take a break,” cautions Kirti.
Spending some time on these apps is not a bad idea, but only until one enjoys it, and doesn’t get impacted by the negativity.
“It seems like the end of the world, but it’s nothing when you look at life and what’s happening around you. Social media is the least important thing, and the sooner we realise it, the more we can focus on things that truly matter and can make us happy,” she says, signing off.