Shweta Basu Prasad: “Back benchers are achievers today”

You probably remember her as the bespectacled little sister to the mute Shreyas Talpade in Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal. Or you may recall the award winning actor in the witchy drama Makdee with Shabana in the lead. Either way, you can’t mistake Shweta Basu Prasad for any other actor because today as a gorgeous 26 year old, nothing much has changed about her.

She still has that baby face, twinkling eyes and a dusky glow about her as she steps out of her hectic shoot for ChandraNandini – a period drama where she plays Nandini, the lead. “I enjoyed working in Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya too,” says the bubbling with energy actor who was recently nominated for a screen award.

“I was like this as a student too. A total back bencher. While I was studious and all... I mean I always had my projects done and work completed and always scored in the vicinity of 70%... yet I am a back bencher at heart. Loud, mischievous but studious. I was never a front bencher,” she smiles.

“All back benchers are achievers today. I am a proud back bencher,” says the child of liberal parents who always encouraged her to find her own sun, doing what she wanted.

“Many child stars are exploited for fortune. I never went through that. I don’t even know anyone close to me who went through that. After Makdi and Iqbal my parents encouraged me to finish my education. I had great offers from Madhur Bhadarkar and Raj Kumar Santoshi, but parents were insistent that graduate first.”

A decision that ultimately led to a world of discoveries for this child star. “I learnt languages, sports dance, travelled” says the star confident that she wants to be a mother someday. And yes.. she has a man in her life, so back off guys!

Here are three things that Shweta would and wouldn’t do as a parent.

1. Reading definitely. I was brought up on a steady diet of books. I’d love for my child to read up on all Ruskin Bonds and all the classics

2. I am going to insist the child learns one sport and one art. Art could be painting, or singing or an instrument even. Anything.

3. I am going to make sure I take my child to concerts and travel because that really broadens one’s horizons

Three things that she would avoid at all costs are:

1. Give undue importance to curriculum and marks.  It is complete bogus that children who top academics do well in life

2. Have a sense of entitlement over her child just because she is his/her mother. Child is not owned by the parent.

3. Free to choose the career he/she prefers.

The actress has also just wrapped up shoot for a short film which is relevant to women in the cities and society in general.