'I have been quite a problem child,' says Taapsee Pannu

Taapsee Pannu on being quite the argumentative Indian in her growing up years and valuable life’s lessons from her parents.

Priyanka Sinha Jha November 02, 2019 11:29:41 IST

Taapsee Pannu turns up for this interview just a day before Diwali, accompanied by parents Dilmohan Singh Pannu and Nirmaljeet Pannu. Given that she has just received positive reviews for the film Saand Ki Aankh, it’s a surprise. Starry tantrums usually come faster than the rains in Mumbai monsoons, but then Pannu is not the quintessential star. Not yet. And if her parents’ unshakeable faith in her is anything to go by, Pannu will manage to keep a level head. Pannu admits that while her mother loves everything she does, it’s quite the opposite with her father who is a lot more critical of her actions.

Growing up, the 30-something actor was a hyperactive child, and a questioning one at that, never satisfied till she obtained a logical reason for doing what she had been asked to do. “I have been quite a problem child that way that I used to question a lot!” she recalls. Her argumentative streak exasperated her parents no end, once prompting her father to suggest that she become a lawyer! She did not end up a lawyer but she did get to play one in her critically acclaimed film Mulk.

Through the course of our conversation, the gentle pride in her parents’ eyes is evidence that Pannu has gone from being the problem child (her choice of words) to the perfect one.

The realisation of Pannu’s ambition is one of those shining success stories that India loves: a middle class girl from Delhi who, on her own steam reached out to touch the stars and succeeded. The journey like most, has had its shares of triumphs and disappointments. For starters, she could not clear her IIT entrance exam or the CAT (Combined Admission Test) for pursuing business management but she bounced back quickly. Or that she did not get top billing in a beauty pageant that she participated in. Pannu is candid about the experience. “At least it gave me a reality check that I am not meant to be here probably.” Aadukalam, her first film in Telugu which won much critical acclaim and National Awards followed soon after the setback and ever since there has been no looking back.

Presently, the young actor with critically acclaimed films like Pink, Mulk, Badla and Saand Ki Aankh in her repertoire is carving her own niche in movies. Off-screen she has turned entrepreneur. Besides an event planning business that she runs with her sister Shagun, Pannu owns Pune Seven Aces—a badminton team!

Given her diverse portfolio, it helps that her father, who has extensive experience in running a business, keeps a watch on her accounts and advises her on financial matters. From him, she has learnt the importance of keeping things organised and in order as also the simple principle of living within one’s means. “Earn more and spend less,” is her father’s matter- of-fact money mantra. Her mother on the other hand has taught her why patience is a virtue. “From my mom I have learnt that this too shall pass,” she says.

Pannu has chosen her lessons well for they are likely to hold her in good stead in time to come.

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