Meet the SHEROES - Shrishti Arya
Shrishti Arya took up a job in marketing at a young age of 15, she went on to co-produce Angaaray starring Akshay Kumar and Pooja Bhatt. She made a successful debut with her daily soap ‘Lipstick’ which aired on Zee TV. The show, which was about two women fighting for power, was well- received by audiences. Her next show ‘Jeet’ was about professors and their relationships with students in colleges. Shrishti tells us about women in movies and more -
Tell us more about yourself.
What do I say about myself? Producer, wife, mother, daughter, sister, boss. The order of priority keeps changing. I’m every woman and like every women, I’m unique. Growing up i really didn’t have any set ambition. I was good at my lessons. Good at painting and writing, but the death of my father at an early age exposed me to another aspect of my personality, I am good at stepping up to the plate.
You started working at the age of 15; at that point in time what is that motivated you?
I guess I found a job that I love so I never had to work! I started out with production and I think I took to it like a fish to water. I still believe that you have to be a born producer, it’s not a skill that can be developed. Fortunately being a woman seems to predispose us to being good at production!! I enjoy being organised, solving crisis and being around people. And imagine I get paid for being the way.
You did Lipstick, which was a story of women in corporates. Keeping in mind the general portrayal of women on Indian TV what is it that led you to work on this show?
See, I do believe that a person’s value systems somehow permeate into their work. The women I have portrayed on television are largely the women I see around me. Now that you mention it, I don’t think there has been a single show (save when the characters were not old enough) in which my leading lady has not had a job or skill of some sort. I believe that women are doing so much besides just the home and their stories outside the house, are as integral to their being as they are interesting to tell.
Do you think movies and television can change the way people think about women at work in India? How?
I don’t think that cinema or television is solely responsible for changing the way we perceive women but yes, it’s a powerful tool in subliminally programming the minds of the viewers to be more accepting of women beyond the stereotypes. We have the opportunity through the mediums to change the predisposition towards what is the “correct” way for a woman to behave.
What are the 3 most essential things that you look for in a movie when producing it?
If the story is something I would be personally interested in watching. What is the relevance of the story to a wider audience? And, of course the commercial potential. By commercial potential I mean with respect to setting the budget based on potential revenue. Very often entire genres are written off only because there is no understanding of their appeal and this, i believe is a great disservice in the long run towards experimentation.
A message to all SHEROES out there.
Be you. Be true. Don’t get distracted by what you feel others expect from you. Be kind to yourself. Take your work personally but don’t get personal at work. Be kind to yourself. Nurture yourself as you would anyone you love.