Prachi Tehlan is ‘Queen of Everything’ she sets her eyes upon. A dreamer, an achiever and in midst of all this, a simple girl who adjusts according to her vicinity; Prachi is bound to win hearts wherever she goes. In a candid talk with Urvi Sharma, she reflects upon her journey as a sportsperson and then her experience in the movie industry.
Prachi Tehlan is an Indian netball and basketball player, and an actress. She is former captain of the Indian Netball Team which represented India in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and in other major Asian Championships in 2010-11. Under her captaincy, the Indian team won its first medal in 2011 South Asian Beach Games. Interestingly, she has been given the title of “Queen of The Court” and “Lass of The Rings” by sections of Indian media.
You have headed the national team of softball and basketball at so many reputed platforms and won so many awards for the same. Tell us about your journey as a sportsperson?
As a child, I was quite interested in playing ball but nobody in my family was a sportsperson. So I had to struggle to convince family because I had to travel to play all the time and they were concerned about my security. I made them meet my coaches and the parents of other girls in the team. I was taller than the other girls in the team and that was an added advantage for me. I played without stopping for 11 years consecutively. But when you reach early 20s, you want to stabilize your financial situation. And that is why I was forced to leave sports in 2011, marking a full-stop to my journey of professional sportsperson. I went ahead to do my MBA in HR. Soon, I got a reputed internship but I began to realize that HR is not for me. I am more of an outgoing person. I love travelling and learning new things. I worked for Accenture and few other corporate, which was a nice experience for me.
Then how did the transition happen to become the part of entertainment industry? Was it a childhood dream?
I never had the slightest of hint that I was going to end up in the entertainment industry. But you know when things are meant to be, God also makes ways for you. I was the chief guest in one Goa marathon. A certain lady had texted me on social media regarding a role and one of my friends suggested that there is no harm in talking to her. I talked to her and she offered me a role whose description was very much like me. Everything happened so suddenly after that. I left Delhi and arrived in Mumbai. It was the first time I experienced this kind of freedom, being all by myself. I never had thought that my parents will agree but they were very supportive, specially my father. I did not know how to act but they had belief in me and I took this call of changing. All of this happened in three days. And there had been no turning back. I reached out to people. I realized that there is not always going to be an opportunity. So, I made the best of the choices I had.
Given the choice of being a sportsperson or an actor, what will you choose to be and why?
Basketball will always be my first love. Entertainment industry is more challenging. It is not about fame and money but how you succeed in keeping your mind stable and remember who you really are under all the pressure of glamour world. It is about keeping in touch with your roots. In sports, you have to practice to be perfect. In the acting world, you have to practice but you need to look good at the same time. You have to emote something. You will be required to cry when you are happy and be happy when you are having a low moment. Sometimes, it becomes extremely difficult to get in a certain state of mind. Shooting ain’t easy. There was a scene where I had to slap an actor and he holds my hand in repulsion. Once the scene was over, I was all exhausted and started crying because my hand was all bruised with retakes. People think that because I am a sportsperson, I can pull all sorts of stunts. So, that is the kind of an extra baggage I have to deal with. It is a roller coaster ride, altogether.
What are the recent projects you are working upon?
I am planning to sign a Tamil action film and there are few other projects in the pipeline which I will reveal once I finalise my choices.
Tell us about your upcoming movie, Arjan?
Arjan, releasing 31 March, is a thriller in which I have worked with Roshan Prince who is a very grounded and cooperative co-star. Arjan is basically the eigth sikh guru and it refers to being focused. The storyline is amazing. It is about how this girl travels from Malyasia to India for selfish motives and how she ends up getting married to Arjan. It was a challenging act for me. All the drama unfolds in a spectacular manner. I am sure the audience is going to love it.
Besides sports and acting, what are your hobbies?
I love reading books, travel freak.
Who is Prachi Tehlan, people do not know of?
I am a very nice, fun loving, people’s person who cannot see anyone upset. I am grounded and in touch with my people. My idea of enjoying life is sitting by beachside with a friend and talking about life instead of partying in a bar. After wrap up, I will prefer going to local joints for good food than heading to the 5 stars. I am comfortable in my own skin and do not need to pretend to be anybody else.
“In sports, you have to practice to be perfect. In the acting world, you have to practice but you need to look good at the same time. You have to emote something. You will be required to cry when you are happy and be happy when you are having a low moment. Sometimes, it becomes extremely difficult to get in a certain state of mind.”- Prachi