"People sometimes ask me for sexy signed photos"
Even after 26 years, Suchitra Pillai is still known as the "Dil Chahta Hai girl". Besides the annoying girlfriend of actor Saif Ali Khan's character, though, Pillai has etched herself in the hearts of 90s kids in various ways starting from her days as a video jockey at Channel V. In a recent TEDx talk, the former VJ and theatre actor spoke about the importance of being whole. "Never stop pursuing love," she insists in this video after revealing how she rebuilt her life in Mumbai after suffering a heartbreaking divorce at age 27 and made a niche for herself in the entertainment industry. Pillai may not have been born with a silver spoon but she does own a signed silver spoon which was bent by an illusionist. Read on to find out who
Do you remember the first autograph you ever sought?
The first autograph I remember asking for is probably one from Ravi Shastri when I was a kid. He is my mum's best friend's son. And I had his poster in my room .
What's the most prized autograph or piece of signed memorabilia that you own?
A signed silver spoon which was bent by the illusionist Nicolai Friedrich in front of my eyes.
What is your earliest memory of giving an autograph?
When I was a veejay at Channel V.
Did you regularly answer fan mail? Has the number of people writing letters to you dwindled over time?
yes i do answer fan mail but it's mainly on social media now. very few send e-mails. it has been years since i got a hand-written letter from a fan.
How do you generally sign autographs? Did you work on your signature?
I write "to dear.... . love (I draw a heart shape) and smileys or good wishes. And I sign my name fully. I do not use my regular signature.
Are you particular about what to say in the autograph?
I try to make it personal sometimes if someone is getting it for someone else etc so i ask a little about them before writing.
Do you recall any strange or quirky requests from fans seeking autographs?
Nothing quirky. Just that some ask for 'sexy' signed photos (laughs). Which i don't send.
Do you remember any conversations or interactions with ardent autograph seekers?
Yes. There have been many. Once in London, a woman told me I had changed her life because she had followed what my character in a TV series did as she was living that in real life, it really helped her.
Your take on selfies?
I always make the time to take selfies with my fans as they are the reason that I am who I am today. The fame and fortune would never have been possible without the ones who watch our work and make it all possible for us actors.
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