I am Suchitra Pillai, and everyone who knows me well knows that perseverance, self-belief and love for the craft are the pillars on which I built my career. I didn’t need to break any glass ceiling to thrive in the acting field. Making the most of the opportunities that came my way was a simple approach I followed and I did this without compromising on my values or stepping on anyone’s feet.
My mother is the woman who has inspired me the most. She sacrificed so much to be there for her children until they grew up and then went back to studying before becoming one of the best college teachers. I try to imbibe her never-say-die spirit, non-complaining attitude, laughter even in the face of adversity and confidence.
There have been many life altering events in my life. A few of them are my first marriage the love of her life her husband Lars and then the divorce, getting my first job as a Channel V TV presenter on my own and seeing myself in my first Hollywood film on screen in 2016. Further, singing on Top of the Pops in the UK alongside artists such as Take That, Sting and Everything But the Girl and that too when I was only miming the song for Bally Sagoo were my WOW! Moments. The birth of my daughter Annika and many more!
The happiest day of my life is when my daughter was born. The moment I saw her face, I learnt selflessness in a fraction of a second. Nothing else in the world will ever be more important than her happiness and safety. My darkest moment was my divorce when I was just 27 years of age. What I learnt from such dark moments is that I could still make a successful life without having a Mrs. prefix to my name. I could still be independent, happy and successful – all I needed for that was me.
Being a woman in India today means that it’s a sense of power to be a woman in this country because people are realizing that women are a force to be reckoned with. Women are no more a submissive race. We can stand shoulder to shoulder with men in any field. We have the strength to weather every emotional storm. Women are better at multitasking – something that men lack. It’s great to be a woman – I would not give it up for the world.
International Women’s Day for me is a time to celebrate the force of women – we are a species that bind families, communities, societies together. Without us harmony and compassion are extinct words.