From the sports arena to the living room

New beginnings

From the sports arena to the living room

She joined the television industry two months ago. With her tall abode and simple features, 26-year-old Prachi Tehlan has been appreciated for her recently introduced character Arzoo in the daily soap ‘Diya aur Baati Hum’. But little do people know that Tehlan was the former captain of the Indian Netball Team in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and has also won a silver medal at the South Asian Beach Games in 2011.

She never wanted to be an actress and her journey in acting is like a “fairy tale” as she puts it. Considering the “fewer opportunities” to grow in sports in our country, she now looks forward to continuing with her career in acting.

Tehlan speaks to Garima Arora and tells us how she turned from being amongst the top ‘Hottest Indian Sportswomen’ to a simple Pakistani girl in a television series.

Tell us about your interest in sports and why you decided to give it up.

I played basketball for my school and college in Delhi for 10 years and have attended a lot of Indian camps. Netball happened to me in college. Because of my height, I was selected to be a part of the Indian squad for Commonwealth Games 2010. However, I decided to give up because of lack of career opportunities in netball and basketball, which are still lagging behind in terms of recognition, jobs and money. I had to take a call to establish my career which seemed bleak in sports.

How did ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ happen?

My story seems like a fairy tale but I did live it. I was in Goa as a chief guest for a sports event when I received a message from Shweta Bhishnoi, the creative director of the show, saying, ‘Hi Prachi, I am from Shashi Sumeet production house and we are looking for a lead for an upcoming track in our show. Please share your number.’ I called Shweta and loved the character that she told me I would be playing.

But, acting was never my plan. In fact, my New Year 2016 resolution was to start playing golf professionally.

Is it taxing to be an actress in the TV industry?

It is the most difficult work I have done so far. I have to work for minimum 12 hours a day, look pretty, not tired and deliver scenes with various emotions.

Since I am very new here, I still am learning a lot of things and trying to understand various technical aspects of this profession. 

Do you plan to work in Bollywood?

Two months back, I didn’t know that I will be a part of the acting industry. Destiny brought me here. Currently, I am only concentrating on hardwork and getting a good hold of this profession. Here, everyday is a new day with new scenes, emotions and excitement. I am living the moment and enjoying it. Let’s see what destiny has for me.

Would you quit acting and go back to sports?

I believe that once a sportsperson, always a sportsperson. I would do anything to get that moment back with my team and girls. The feeling of being a sportsperson and representing your country at an international level is just incomparable and unbeatable.

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