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Tahira Kashyap on Battling Stereotypes: ‘I Am More Than Just Ayushmann’s Wife’


Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, the multifaceted filmmaker who has recently released her debut feature film ‘Sharmajee Ki Beti’, is making waves for more reasons than one. In an exclusive conversation with mid-day.com, Kashyap speaks candidly about the oft-repeated tag of being introduced merely as the wife of acclaimed actor Ayushmann Khurrana, and how she has evolved to break free from such stereotypes.

Tahira Kashyap Khurrana’s journey to the director’s chair has not been straightforward. Though married to one of Bollywood’s most versatile actors, her professional identity has often been overshadowed by her husband’s fame. However, this has not deterred her from carving out her path in the competitive world of cinema. Kashyap, who previously directed three short films, is now stepping into the limelight with her maiden feature film, ‘Sharmajee Ki Beti’, a project that she holds close to her heart.

Despite the undeniable fact that Ayushmann Khurrana’s support and pride in his wife’s achievements are palpable—evident when he posted on Instagram crediting himself as “Tahira’s husband” during the film’s release—Kashyap shares that she still finds herself battling labels in media reviews. “Trust me, even in the reviews, I’ve been addressed as Ayushmann’s wife, Tahira, who’s directed a film. It used to bother me a long time back, and I was like, why can’t people see me for the person that I am? I’m Tahira; I’m Tahira Kashyap, and I’m not Tahira Khurrana or Mrs. Khurrana,” she reflects.

The filmmaker admits that there was a period when such references would affect her. “I used to get worked up, and then as part of self-evolution, I questioned why I was getting worked up. It’s because I wasn’t sure of myself at that time. I needed to be sure of myself to such an extent that a random person’s way of addressing me shouldn’t affect me at all. It doesn’t define me. It should not give me a kick or make me feel bad about myself,” Kashyap shares.

Her journey of self-discovery is not just a personal one but echoes the experiences of many women striving to create their identity in a patriarchal society. “All these years, I was working on developing myself, being sure of my bearings, and finding my center.

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. Most of our lives, we women are doing that, not just as professionals, but also as individuals. We try to center ourselves and be okay with whoever we are. That work in progress took me to such an extent that a day came when people said Ayushmann’s wife or Viraj or Varushka’s mother, and I took pride in that because these are my relationships. These are the people I root for always; they mean so much to me, and they’re doing well in life. If people address me as their relative, I’m okay with it.”

However, Kashyap is clear about drawing the line when it comes to her professional work. Despite choosing not to raise the issue with her publicist about how she is often written off in reviews, she questions: “Why are they saying Ayushmann’s wife Tahira has made a film? This is the least of all. At least not in the review of a film that I have written and directed. It’s not even like I’m attending a screening or a public event. It’s a piece of work which is mine or my own. But it really doesn’t matter to me very honestly,” she concludes.

Through ‘Sharmajee Ki Beti’, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana aims to reach out to the audience with a voice that is distinctly her own. Her journey reflects the broader struggle for recognition faced by many women, not just in the film industry but in various walks of life. It’s a poignant reminder of the necessity to see beyond the labels society conveniently assigns and acknowledge individuals for their accomplishments and identities.

This conversation with mid-day.com is more than just about a film release; it is a powerful narrative of self-actualization and breaking free from imposed identities. Tahira Kashyap Khurrana stands as a testament to the fact that while relationships are integral, they do not entirely define who you are. She is carving a niche for herself, one film at a time, making sure that her voice resonates loudly and clearly beyond the shadows.