Mithila Palkar is a self-taught dancer

Mithila Palkar is a self-taught dancer

‘Little Things’ fame actor talks about how her grandparents influenced her decision to enter showbiz.

Mithila Palkar

In hindsight, I always knew that I wanted to be an actor. I was 12 when I first got on to the stage. It didn’t feel strange and I felt most comfortable. I would always perform at family gatherings where relatives and friends would double up as an audience. I didn’t work towards becoming an actor, but my grandmother would always tell me that I was a good performer. This was indeed encouraging.

I lived with my grandparents and they were protective of me. They didn’t trust anybody enough to send me for dance lessons or music classes. I didn’t really have avenues to learn music or dance. But I was fond of dancing and was keen to learn the basics. So I would watch a lot of reality shows and dance videos. That’s how I picked up my first lessons in music and dance. I would watch the videos again and again till I perfected the moves. These were my first steps in the world of entertainment. Now, even after having spent a couple of years in the film industry, I still watch videos to understand the new dance steps. This a habit that I picked up in my childhood and continue to latch onto it.

I don’t come from a filmi background and I don’t have a godfather in the film industry. My sister is a neuroscientist and my parents are also into other professions.

I always knew my heart lay in acting and my biggest support in helping me achieve my dream was my family, particularly my sister and grandmother.

My grandfather, who was initially a bit apprehensive about me getting into acting, is a big fan of my movies. He is 92 years old and learnt to operate a smartphone only to watch my movies and videos. He is adept at using technology and watches my videos as often as he can. I am yet to teach him how to operate Netflix.

My upbringing has had a huge influence on how I have steered my career forward. As children, we never got anything on a platter and were taught to be independent and look out for ourselves. There was no rulebook or anything written on a blackboard at home, but my sister and I never did anything that went against the basic family ethos or disturbed our cultural settings. This is also one of the reasons why I delayed getting into the film industry. I wanted the approval of everybody at home.

There are a few people who have influenced my growing up years and one of them is my grandmother. She taught me resilience and perseverance. I have always seen her cheerful and she always taught us to handle any problem with a smile. I learnt empathy from her.

As time wore on, I realised that it is alright to not have a plan and go with the flow. In a career like mine, you don’t know what your tomorrow would be like. I have learnt to be focused on my goal and have always worked towards being a better artiste and a good human being.

Mithila Palkar