Hello Folks! This week’s Blab with Sandy has actress Sheeva Rana (also known as Jyoti Rana) with us. Sheeva has been part of many Bollywood and Tollywood films. She is known for her work in films like Pokiri, Devudu Chesina Manushulu, Cabaret and the much recent Puri Jagannadh’s flick Mehbooba. Let’s dive into the blab I had with her:
Sandy: Hello Sheeva! How are you doing? 🙂
Sheeva: I am doing well, as always Sandy. How about you?
Sandy: I’m doing fine! 🙂 Could you let us know about your background and when did films interest you?
Sheeva: Well, my foray into the films makes for a decent script in itself (laughs). I was born and brought up in a humble town called Mandsaur, in Madhya Pradesh. Since a very young age I was actively involved in acting be it in school plays or the society Ram Leela, which was my favorite, year after year.
At a very young age (15 years) I decided to give Mumbai, the city of dreams, a shot. Defying logic I made the move. The initial years, as expected, was no cake walk and like most new comers’ struggle was served on a platter almost every day, especially since I had moved here alone with no relatives or friends to fall back on.
A born fighter and with hardly any other option, I worked hard to achieve my goal and after a successful stint as a model and Gladrags contestant, I made my foray into Bollywood with movies such as Dev Anands ‘Love at Times Square’ among others.
Along my journey I have done a few films that most would consider forgettable but for me the learnings were immense, which has contributed in making me the person I am today. I am a strong believer in the saying that no work is either bad or below ones’ dignity.
My true break came with Director Puri Jagannadhs Pokiri, which I can say with some authority is a film to be reckoned with, especially in the South. My recent projects include Pooja Bhatt’s Cabaret (yet to be released), Puri Jagannadhs Mehbooba and a few others that are currently being shot and which I am not in a position to talk about.
I have also tried my hand at Television with a serial called ‘Life ka Recharge’, which unfortunately did not go ahead after the first season. Apart from the films and television industry, I am also involved with other things which we shall discuss going forward.
Sandy: Your role in Pokiri was the biggest thing to happen for you as it is still widely recognized. How did you land yourself in Pokiri?
Sheeva: Puri Jagannadh came across my photos in Gladrags and contacted me. I came to Hyderabad for an audition and the rest as they say, is history!
Sandy: You have worked with Puri Jagannadh in films like Pokiri, Devudu Chesina Manushulu and Mehbooba. How was it working with Puri Jagannadh?
Sheeva: Working with Puri and his unit is akin to being with a family unit. It’s a kind of feeling hard to describe. On the one hand while it doesn’t feel like work, owing the warmth and comfortable environment, its equally demanding on the other.
The equation and bond that I share with him in particular and the entire unit and the trust and confidence they have in me makes me work just that bit harder to deliver more than what is expected of me.
Quick Shot Round:
- Pokiri: Life changing
- Puri Jagannadh: Friend
- Tollywood: Professionalism
- Hyderabad: Special
- Favorite Director: Mani Ratnam
- Favorite Movies: Dil Se, Sadma, Chandi, Original Sin, Life is Beautiful, The Pursuit of Happiness
- Acting: Oxygen
Sandy: You have started a line of completely natural, organic, homemade, superior skin care products under the brand “Earthy Fusions”. What is it all about?
Sheeva: I have always been a practitioner of natural remedies for both skin care as well as my diet/nutrition. Having gained a lot of experience in this over the years, I decided to share it with others and explore the option from a business point of view.
The initial response has been very encouraging, but scalability is something that me and my team are now working on and hopefully, in the near future, we will be launching it in a bigger way.
Sandy: Now that you have mentioned diet, tell us the secret to your glow and fitness.
Sheeva: Many find it hard to believe that I am an out and out foodie. While I do ensure to eat healthy, I am not one of those to starve myself. Smoothies, salads and normal home cooked food makes up most of my daily diet.
My mantra over the years has been not to eat post 7 pm and the results are there for all to see. I am a big fan of Mumbai street food and do indulge whenever the craving gets the better of me.
Sandy: I am told you are a fitness freak.
Sheeva: I would like to call myself a fitness ‘enthusiast’ instead. Gymming had been a part of my daily routine since the last 20 years, if not more. Hardly miss a day, come rain or storm.
Have also started to include yoga into my daily life. While most confuse yoga as being synonymous to Asanas, I have learned in time that it is much more. Yoga is a way of life and a combination of mind, body and soul.
Have actually undergone a teachers training from ‘The Yoga Institute’ in Mumbai, which is a 100 year old institution with an amazing faculty and world class infrastructure.
The experience has been enriching in more ways than one. So much so that I have now enrolled for the advance course. I guess I’ve been bitten by the Yoga bug and have embarked on what seems to be a peaceful and enriching journey
Sandy: So do you now plan to teach yoga as well?
Sheeva: Teaching is definitely on the cards. I’ve always believed that if you are good at something then it’s only fair to share it. Fitness, diet and nutrition has always been my forte’ and now with the additional knowledge of yoga I am sure I will be able to help others improve their lifestyles, especially in today’s stressful times.
Will be starting my classes sooner than later.
Sandy: So how does Sheeva Rana unwind?
Sheeva: Hmmm… I am a romantic at heart. So when free you’ll usually find me listening to old Hindi film songs, ghazals as well as Country and Western music. Am an avid reader and you will always find a book in my bag.
Sandy: Have noticed that you are very active on Social Media?
Sheeva: Social media is a wonderful tool that we have at our disposal today. It makes it so much easier to connect and communicate with a wider audience. I have been using both my Instagram handle (@sheeva_rana) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SheevaRanaOfficial) to connect and interact with likeminded individuals as well as my well-wishers, which has been an enriching experience this far.
Apart from that I use my Instagram handles @chefsheeva to share my food/diet/nutritional tips and @sheevaranaphotography to share my passion of capturing moments.
Sandy: What is in store for Sheeva in the coming months? Any projects in the pipeline?
Sheeva: They are a few Sandy. In fact have completed shoot for Indrajit Lankeshs’ upcoming biopic on the south Indian Star Shakeela. The project is still being shot so I would rather not mention much, you can keep an eye on my social media platforms for updates.
Have also written a few scripts (short films), which I plan to produce and direct, sometime soon, under my own production banner ‘She Creates’. So all in all life is keeping me positively busy Sandy, which is a blessing in itself (fingers crossed).
Sandy: Few words about Hyderabad Local
Sheeva: Hyderabad Local is a beautiful concept I must congratulate and applaud you for conceptualizing and executing the same. I have been following it for a while now and I can see it grow in front of my very eyes. Am sure the platform will grow leaps and bounds in time to come. It has been a pleasure to feature on it as well.
By the way Sandy, sooner or later, I look forward to blabbing with you again, even if it’s just for fun. 🙂 Thoroughly enjoyed this experience.
Loads of love and best wishes to all readers and to you as well Sandy. God bless!!!
Editor’s note: Sheeva Rana has been a delight to blab with! Hope her wishes come true real soon and wishing her a fantastic ride at the cinemas! 🙂
Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)