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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Soumya Tandon is a known name in the film as well as television industry. From playing the character of Kareena Kapoor's bubby sister in Jab We Met, to Anita in the much-loved sitcom Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain, Soumya has had a wide experience as an actor. Soumya talks to ADC about her academic life, and how important she thinks education is in a person's life

Where did you do your schooling from?
I was in St Mary's convent school in MP. Then after graduating in English and Economics, I did my MBA from Delhi.

What is your overall academic background?
I took Maths and Science till Standard 12th, Literature and Economics in graduation and then MBA in marketing.

Tell us about your early years as a student. Were you a notorious student or a studious bookworm?
I was a good student, and a very sincere one. Being from an academically inclined family, studies were always a top priority in life. My father had a library of 12500 books and my siblings and I grew up with Shakespeare and Keats. I also loved perfoming on stage. I don't remember a single year of my the school days when I was not the one giving the speech on 26th January or 15th August. I hosted all the Annual day shows. Those years prepared me to take on this stage in life.

How did you come in the field of acting? Was television and film industry ever a planned destination?
Since I was a stage girl and participated in all competitions, I always was the house captain. If I ever came second I would cry the whole day. I was competitve student. I was very good in extra curricular activities. This all took away my stage fear. In 2006, I was Cover girl for Femina. I told my father I did not want to work in the corporate world. My parents took it well and encouraged me to follow my heart. I started modelling all over India and got a call from Sony TV to play a lead in their show. With that, I moved to Mumbai from Delhi.

How important do you think education is in a person's life and how do you think it defines a person's future?
It's very important, it shapes your personality, widens your horizon and makes you smarter to understand the world around. If I was just an actor, only 12th pass without any degrees I wouldn't have been the same person. I have hosted variety of shows including Bournvita Quiz Contest, I wouldn't have been able to do so much variety and host the way I do if I did not have an academic background .

Share with us an incident from your school or college days that was a lesson for life?
When I was 6, I dressed as Mother Mary in a fancy dress competition. When it was my turn to go on stage, I refused. My mother tried to convince me. When I threw a tantrum, she slapped me and pushed me to the stage. I went up crying and said , 'I am Saumya Tandon not Mother Mary.' But that one slap made me overcome my stage fear. After that, there was no looking back, I fell in love with stage. Here I am facing stage and camera everyday of my life, thanks to my mom's slap and my father preparing me for all stage competitions.

Tell us about your extra-curricular achievements?
I already mentioned earlier. I have a book of self composed poems I wrote from the age of 6 to 16 called 'Meri Bhavnaayen' published when I was in school.

Many celebrities such as you chose acting, despite being academically accomplished. What would you say to those who wish to choose another career despite being well-off in their current fields?
Sometimes it takes time to realise what's your true calling in life. Especially in a country like India, where the exposure is less and importance is given to the streams like medicine or engineering. One can change professions anytime, as long as you are true to yourself. If you follow your heart, you will be happy and successful.

What do you think about the extreme pressure of studies kids are facing today?
It is more important as a student is to find your true calling. When I look back, I realise the top rankers in my class are not doing the best in life. It is always a combination of lot of things like your attitude towards life. I would say do not stress too much over one percent decrease here and there in marks. Your marks are not true indicators of how you will do in life.

What was your definition of success as a child?
I was super ambitious. As child I used to go all over the country to various radio stations to recite my poems, I got my collection of poems published when I was in Standard 12th. Everyone thought I was a writer in the making. I had the best childhood anyone could think of. I thought I would win Nobel prize one day, my idea of success was crazy.

What advic`1e would you like to give to students out there?
Stage sharpens your personality and helps one overcome fear to present, sports teaches one importance of teamwork and how to face defeat and still smile, books of course increase your knowledge. It is a combination of academics and extra curricular activities both, that play an important role in overall growth.

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