‘Thhapad De Darr Nahin Lagta Hai Sahab, Lekin Pyaar Se Lagta Hai’ When you hear this iconic dialogue from Dabangg, the bubbly and talented Sonakshi Sinha comes to your mind. And this Sunday Brunch we had Sonakshi Sinha dining with our Chief Editor Kamiya Jani. The Bollywood star expressed her ardent love for food and travel, and also gorged on a delicious bowl of Sindhi Curry prepared by Kamiya Jani herself. So read on to find out more about this fun, candid and amazing Sunday Brunch.
Kamiya Jani (KJ): Hello Sonakshi! Welcome to Sunday Brunch! Since when did you start biking?
Sonakshi Sinha (SS): I just learnt it for something that I’m doing. I enjoyed biking so much that I decided to take a friend’s bike and try my skills every other day. But I will get my own bike very soon. I am really enjoying it as the Mumbai traffic is bad, as you know. So to beat the traffic, its best to travel by bike.
KJ: You’ve had a mixed upbringing, a Bihari father and a Sindhi mother, so what kind of food have you grown up eating?
SS: All sorts of food! My mom is the best cook I have known. She makes amazing Sindhi food. So we have grown up eating Sindhi kadi, Aloo Tuk and fried masaledar bhindi. When my mom got married, she also learnt to make Bihari food from my grandmother, like Sarson wala fish, Litti Chokha and stuff like that. So we have had a very good spread cuisine wise while growing up. And this showed as I was a very healthy, chubby kid growing up. I blame it all on my mother’s cooking.
KJ: So what is that one dish that you really like that your mom cooks?
SS: Her Sindhi Kadi is out of this world.
KJ: Are you sure about that? Have you tried Sindhi Kadi anywhere else?
SS: I have tried it in other places. But I haven’t tasted Sindhi Kadi prepared by anyone which tastes as good as my mom’s. And I’m very confident about that.
KJ: Since your childhood, to what lengths would you go for good food?
SS: Don’t even ask! It’s so sad that I have to be on a diet. My heart pains because I have chosen a profession that requires me to be slim and fit. So whatever I wish to eat, I cannot eat because my body type is such that even if I just smell food, I end up putting on weight. So I have to really control what I eat. But I love food. When I was in school if I would daydream it would have to be about food. I would just be thinking of my next meal.
KJ: Are you one of those people who go abroad and look for Indian food?
SS: Always! Oh My God! Everyone is so tired of me because no matter where I go, I always want my Indian food. I ofcourse try other things but I like the comfort of having my Indian food. I was shooting in Budapest and I was there for 50 days. I told my help to look for Indian restaurants for me, so we could order from there whenever we craved for Indian food.
KJ: Is that really your favourite cuisine?
SS: Yes! Indian is my favourite cuisine. There is no food like Indian food. Food which is prepared with lots of oil and ghee like Chole Bhature, Rajma Chawal, Butter Chicken just makes my mouth water.
KJ: Now that I have fed you the Sindhi Kadi prepared by me, I’m wondering if I will get a lot of pyaar or thappad for this.
SS: You will get lots of love for this Sindhi Kadi. It’s so delicious. I have to tell my mom there is competition in the market.
KJ: Tell me, how was it during your childhood, were you concious about the way you look?
SS: I actually wasn’t, but unfortunately everybody around me cared more about how I looked than I did. I was very happy being a nice rolly-polly child. I could eat whatever I want earlier, without a care in the world. I used to play sports and I was really enjoying myself. My looks weren’t something I used to concern myself with too much.
KJ: And now does it bother you?
SS: It bothers me that I can’t eat but I am thankful that I have become fit. I think your happiness and your health is most important. I am very happy that I’m fit but I would ofcourse love it if I could eat whatever I want.
KJ: Were you bullied or fat-shamed in school?
SS: All the time! People get picked on for the way they look or how much they weigh, and the boys used to bully me alot. I was a very confident person within myself because I used to think that I have so much more to offer to the world. I was in good in sports and great at other extracurricular activities in school, I could speak well, I could paint and draw. So I had alot of other talents that made me confident, it wasn’t about looking at all. So I used to give it back to them. I used to beat up the boys. I used to really beat them up cause I wasn’t going to sit and take that nonsense. I have thrashed them badly. I used to sit on them. I used to use my weight to my advantage.
KJ: Did anyone’s parents come to complain?
SS: No, nobody dared to come.
KJ: Did everyone in school know that you were Shatrughan Sinha’s daughter?
SS: Yes! On the first day of school, my dad was very excited so he took me and those who didn’t know, even they came to know. I went to a lovely school where nobody really brought that up or treated me any differently for it. I loved that and I really appreciated that. So they didn’t set me apart based on whose daughter I was. I feel that plays a very strong part in making me the person that I am today. So I am very thankful to my school, peers and friends.
KJ: Which school did you go to?
SS: I went to Arya Vidya Mandir in Juhu.
KJ: You also have twin brothers, Luv and Khush, so did you all fight when you were young?
SS: Alot! Growing up with a brother you anyway get to know about WWF. And you have to learn these moves to protect yourself. So we used to fight alot during my childhood. They are twins, so they were always together and I was sidelined by them. I had to always fight my way to be included. They would also fight alot cause I would get all the attention being the only daughter.
KJ: Sonakshi, you studied fashion designing, you’re a singer, so when did you realise you wanted to become an actor?
SS: I didn’t realise it until my first day on set. That’s when I realised that acting is what I wanted to continue as a career. I truly feel I am destiny’s child. It’s not something I wanted to be when I grew up. I used to not watch that many films, I was always interested in sports and other things. So for me films was never on the card. Salman Khan saw something in me that even I couldn’t see. He used to really encourage me to lose weight and start acting. And even before I started my first film, I still doubted if it was something I wanted to continue doing. And when I faced the camera for the first time, I realised that its what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I felt so comfortable in front of the camera. I can’t even explain the feeling, you won’t understand the feeling I’m trying to say. It was just bizarre. I felt like I have been doing this for years. I just want to keep doing it. It didn’t feel like I have to do anything more than what I am feeling right now. And that for me is the best thing ever.
KJ: Do you remember your first encounter with a fan?
SS: I remember the very first autographs I gave, we were shooting for Dabangg and this was in Panchgani. We were staying at a beautiful resort and there were 2 pretty girls, I remember the names also- Zaina and Shireen. they came to me in 2009 and sweetly asked for my autograph. And I was like yes, you can please take it. So that’s something that I always remember.
KJ: It’s nice that you remember their names. You know, our platform is also about travel. So are you a passionate traveller?
SS: I love travelling. I feel like my end goal for working hard is to be able to travel wherever I want. I can travel wherever I want to in the world. And my incentive for working hard is that I should be able to place my finger anywhere on the map and be able to travel there. I love travelling.
KJ: Which was the last place you visited?
SS: The last place I visited was Bangalore. I have friends there. But I keep going diving to the Maldives, Seychelles. I am a complete water baby. So most of my holidays are in places where I can go diving and snorkelling. Last international trip was at the Maldives.
KJ: So you’re more of a beach person than a mountain person?
KJ: So what kind of a traveller are you?
SS: When I travel, I don’t enter a shop. I’m the kind of person who just wants to walk around because it’s difficult to walk in India. So I like to explore the entire city just by walking around. I love it.
KJ: Don’t your travel partners get tired walking around with you?
SS: No. That’s why it’s very important to travel with people who are like you, who share the same interests and who want to do the same kind of things. And if they want to do something different, you have to be very open. You have to be very open-minded when you’re travelling. Touchwood, I have always found very nice travel companions. And I really have a blast. I am not the kind of person who plans alot before travelling. I like it when someone else plans and then I go ahead.
KJ: Who are you most travel compatible with?
SS: I am most travel compatible with my best friend her name is Vidhi. But now she has a baby so she can’t travel with me too much. But I have lots of friends who I like travelling with. So I am sorted with my travel companions.
KJ: Do you travel with your parents?
SS: Not so much. My dad whenever he goes travelling, he just sits inside his hotel. I tell my dad to go do that in Mumbai and I tell him what’s the point of coming so far and doing this. So dad is not the right person to travel with.
KJ: What about your mom? Is she adventurous?
SS: mom likes to explore. She likes to visit museums and go sightseeing.
KJ: What about adventure sports? What have you tried?
SS: I love adventure sports. Sky diving is not something I want to do. I find it stupid to jump off a plane. Who does this silly thing? I am okay, I don’t want to jump.
KJ: What if it’s for a film?
SS: If I have to do it, I will do it. But personally, I don’t want to jump off a plane.
KJ: Name a place that’s on your bucket list.
SS: Japan. I really want to go to that side of the world. I haven’t remotely gone anywhere close, so Japan is a place I really want to see. I want to go to Tokyo.
KJ: When you go for movie shooting, do you take some time out to explore the place?
SS: Ofcourse. In fact, that’s the only time I get to explore new places. When I was going to become an actress, I thought this would be my opportunity to explore new places, but no one takes me. Like the one film which I shot outdoors completely, was Force 2, which was in Budapest. Otherwise, I have just gone to different locations for shooting songs which is only for 2 to 3 days. I haven’t gone anywhere out of India. I have seen every nook and cranny of India and its beautiful. In fact, I am glad that if not for my profession I wouldn’t have been able to see the beauty we have in our own country. So I would not have seen these places in India, like Hampi, Hubli they are beautiful. I have seen so many places in Rajasthan that are stunning.
KJ: What is your favourite place in India?
SS: Kerala and Goa are two of my favourite places. They are all beautiful. I had gone to Kerala for my dad’s birthday. And we went on the backwaters in Alleppey and it was so peaceful and stunning.
KJ: It must be hard to travel in India right since everyone recognizes you here?
SS: Thanks to my profession, I am able to travel to these places. And the best thing about travelling in India is that I get my Indian food. I am happy with Indian food.
KJ: Do you like street food in Mumbai?
SS: I shouldn’t love it so much, but I do.
KJ: What do you love the most when it comes to street food in Mumbai?
SS: there used to be dosa stalls outside my college. I used to have Schezwan Cheese Dosa. This happens just in Mumbai. Only we can do this. I mean you put Schezwan noodles inside a dosa and sell it to me. And I’m eating it too! It’s so tasty. Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji, Cheese Pav Bhaji, it’s making my mouth water already. I used to gorge on it in college. When I was in SNDT, I used to eat red coloured Schezwan Noodles. It used to be so spicy and yum. I used to eat it every day for lunch, for 3 years when I was in that college. I used to have 2 big bowls of Schezwan Noodles.
KJ: If God were to tell you that for one day you could eat whatever you want and you won’t put on weight, what would you eat?
SS: Please grant me this wish, God! I would create havoc if this would happen to me. Restaurants have to beware of me then. I love pizza, street food, Chinese, Thai, especially rice. I can eat loads and loads of rice. No matter how much rice I eat, I just don’t feel satisfied. Even if you give me two plates full of rice, filled like mountains, I would still eat it. I love rice. Just talking all this makes me feel bad for myself. But it is worth being fit and healthy.