Dreaming and working towards them is the key to success. Meet Harshada Kulkarni, who is following her passion to fulfill her dreams. Coming from a typical Maharashtrian family, Harsha fought against all odds to keep moving to conquer her dream of becoming a fashion model. Harsha pursued Marketing from Pune University. She has always excelled in whatever she did. She started her modeling career by participating in Miss Pune. Harsha is doing modeling since her college days. Initially, she pursued it just as a hobby. Little did she know that modeling will become her profession.
When asked how difficult was it for her to convince her family, Harsha told that it was very difficult. Being an only daughter her parents were a little scared, as I had to shift to Bombay.
“They allowed me and told me to give a few years to myself or else find a Plan B. When I was in school at that time only I decided that I have to model.”
Harsha told she took inspiration from Sushmita Sen. She was very attracted to ramps. While discussing her modeling career, she mentioned what she adores the most about the modeling industry,
“I love the feeling when you are on-ramp, it is like you own the world. You make love to the camera. You can’t see anything else. It is like you are the queen.
Harshada is in the modeling industry, since 2014. Along with modeling, she started acting as well. Her debut film was Mastizade where she played the role of Sunny Leone‘s sister. Harshada has done a lot of acting and modeling projects. She walked the ramps of Rajasthan Fashion week, Jaipur fashion week, Pune Times Fashion Week, and many more. The brands she has worked with are Big Bazar, Vivo, Samsung, etc. She also did a Telugu film named Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Her recent movie is Vanguard.
On asking Harshada about her career goals, she told that lockdown has knocked everyone down. Therefore, nothing is working as planned. She recently shifted back to Mumbai. Also, she lost her grandmother last year which was a very tough phase for her. Expressing more,
“I had to come out of the pain of losing my grandmother. So, it is like I am not setting any goals right now. Because I have realized that you have to be happy.”
Dealing with criticism, Harshada said that I am always pampered because I am an only child. Earlier she did not have the confidence to face the camera. Elaborating more she said,
“When I came to Mumbai I realized that I don’t look beautiful. Because fashion does not have beauty criteria but acting has. Whenever I use to go for auditions some people told me that I am not that beautiful. Some people told me that I have a problem with my lips. You have a problem with your eyes. And I was not able to speak Hindi well. So my roommate was really good. She taught me how to talk in Hindi. She taught me how to pose, walk. So they were friends who actually supported me at that time. Gradually, all those criticism made me realise my strenghts. Because people were just trying to show me my weakness but they were other poeople who were showing me my strength.”
Sharing her festive plans, Harshada told that she will celebrate festivals with her family in Pune like every other year. Explaining her festive look, Harshada told her she will be opting for a long Kurti skirt.
Talking about societal pressure, Harshada said that there are certain stereotypes that are still followed. Society has always questioned women of doing or not.
“They dont trust their own girls. On the contrary for the boys they give them full support. Society thinks it is very unsafe for the girls. When it comes to costumes, many families restrict their daughters. I won’t say everybody faces that. When I started doing shoots, my relatives,they use to questions my parents on allowing me to wear revealing clothes. So, it is very important to trust their own daughter. The society will criticise no matter what.”
On asking Harshada about facing any sort of favoritism in the fashion industry. She mentioned that it is always there. Also, she has lost many good opportunities due to this.
“It does works everywhere. I wont take names but they expect you to be in constant touch with them, party with them. Obviously groupism is very common. They give chance to their favourites. I have cried a lot due to this. because i have given certain work and the it was given to someone else. Sometimes I have got through the part and gave the auditions then it was given to someone else. It affects really badly, but you need to continue working without cribbing about it.”
In the end, when asked about what changes she would like to bring to the world, Harshada told that not just one but there are many. Firstly women’s safety is the most important. Women should get equal rights. Secondly about the caste system followed in India. The reservations should be based on an economic basis, not on caste. Thirdly, we should be compassionate towards animals and take care of them.