The beginning: I never thought I would become an actor. I did my graduation in psychology and was doing a time-pass job in a call centre. I was a chubby girl and had no plans of becoming an actress. One day, while chilling at a friend’s cafe, someone offered me a print ad. After asking my mother, I said yes. Later, I got more commercial ads and started my career as a model.
My big break: When I got my big break, my mother supported me and convinced my father. Coming from a Muslim background, nobody in my family had done a glamorous job. I had to convince my family, they supported me and that’s how I started my first show Palampur Express, which was a learning experience for me.
Taking the lead: I got my first break as a lead in the Star Plus show Behnein. It so happened that I was selected for another show, but Star Plus took me in this one where I played the role of Akashi. Everybody appreciated my character and I enjoyed working in the show.
Another lead: I got my second show as a lead in Amrit Manthan with Rajan Shahi, who I consider a mentor and father figure. Being the main lead, I got to play many shades in a character. Usually, main leads are never negative, but I played a lead with shades of negativity and really enjoyed it. People still remember me as Amrit.
Equation with Rajan Shahi: My relationship with Rajan sir is still the same. He considers me as a daughter. I am so happy that even after the show, the bond has lasted. There was a dull phase in my life when my mother passed away, during the show. She was diagnosed with cancer and I had a really hard time coping, because she was my only best friend. I stayed with my parents, so, for me, it was the biggest breakdown. When my mother passed away, the world broke down and in spite of my show, Rajan sir gave me leave and asked me to come back whenever I felt okay. That was the lowest phase of my life and that vacuum cannot be filled by anyone in my life, and her support will always be memorable.
Bagging Naagin: My biggest break was Naagin 1 and Naagin 2 with Ekta (Kapoor) ma’am. Initially, I played a positive character and then it turned negative. People loved Shesha and I enjoyed playing her a lot. I would say that was the peak of my career. I had a lot of fun shooting with Santram sir and my co-actors. We are still in touch. People loved my look, performance, hair and everything was appreciated. Now also, when the repeat comes, I get messages from those watching it.
Naagin’s international appeal:Naagin became a big success internationally. I was in Thailand and locals called me Shesha. I was really surprised and the next thing I know, they called me for a big event with Arjun Bijlani. The stadium was filled with fans wearing Naagin t-shirts. They were coming to us, hugging and crying.
Venturing into comedy: That was another experience altogether. I did a comedy show called Comedy Nights Bachao. I enjoyed doing it very much. I was paired with Krishna Abhishek and Sudesh Lehri, who are legendary comedians. I also enjoyed working with Bharati Singh, Shakeel Siddiqui and others. I had a blast both seasons. I met a lot of Bollywood celebs and it was a stress buster for me. An amazing experience.
My travels: After Naagin, I took a one-year break because of health issues and had a desire to travel. I love travelling. If given a chance, I would definitely want to do travel blogging. Travelling to Canada was a beautiful experience. There were a lot of adventure sports in Canada, which I enjoyed. I also travelled to Thailand, where I did sky diving, which was on my bucket list. I also travelled twice to Kashmir and it’s the most beautiful place. The second time I visited, I did the entire tour on a bike. If I get a chance, I would just like to travel as it makes my soul happy.
The return: After a year’s break, I was ready to work and signed Vish Ya Amrit Sitara, as a positive lead for Colors TV. I also signed Kanpur Wale Khuranas, a comedy show for Star Plus where I played the wife of Sunil Grover. Sitara is still on the air and I am getting to play different shades. The look is very different to what I have done previously. I am so glad people have appreciated it so much. I was scared that people might not like it, but they do. It is very different than Naagin.
Adaa Khan is an acclaimed Indian actress, currently starring in TV serials Vish Ya Amrit Sitara and the recently-concluded Kanpur Wale Khuranas. Follow her on @adaa1nonly & Instagram: adaakhann