“I wish I had saved some money back in those years had begun earning from my films but was spending recklessly without saving a penny. I had no one to guide me about money. My mother used to advice me to put something aside from my earning but when you are 21 the last thing you do is listen to your parents,” award winning actor Saie Tamhankar said recently.
Tamhankar was replying to a query by author Sudha Menon about what advice she would have for her 21-year-old self, looking back at her life. Menon was in conversation with her during the second edition of PuneWaali, a chat show series with accomplished Pune women, that she is helming for ShethePeopleTv.
The actor of movies including Tu Hi Re, Pune 52 and Duniyadaari said that it was only recently she has learnt about the importance of money in the lives of women.
It was only when responsibilities came my way that I realised how important it is for every woman to be financially independent and to set aside money for herself. Being financially independent gives a woman security and the freedom to make choices about her own life, Tamhankar said.
Replying to the same query, art promoter Lisa Pingale , co-founder of the Mona Lisa Kalagram said that she wished her 21-year-old self had more self worth and confidence to live the life that she dreamt of. “When I was that age I yearned to follow my own path but chose to live the life that those around me expected of me because I did not have a sense of self confidence. It was only much later that I developed self worth and the self confidence to follow my own dream,” she said.
It was a packed house at The Flour Works, Salunkhe Vihar, where Menon, the author of multiple books about the journeys of women, conducted PuneWaali.
“As a public figure I am now used to the fact that I am constantly being watched on social media, including a 1 million community on my FB page.
My stand on this is very clear: My personal life is my own business. I don’t allow the trolling to touch either my head or my heart.”
The actor added that she was glad to use her influence as a public figure to help drive social causes such as water and environment conservation. She is actively associated with actor Aamir Khan’s Paani Foundation and spends time carrying the message of water conservation into villages around Maharashtra.
The star, who is known for her bold choice of roles in films such as Pune 52 and the Hindi film, Hunterr, said she consciously chose roles that broke stereotypes and were about people our society who do not fit into slots that society has created.
Pingale, who began her career as a French language teacher said that her life has been enriched by the fact that she has chosen to follow her various interests and even the opportunities that life has thrown up.
“ I think it is important for every woman to get to know herself well, figure out what she really wants in life and follow up her chosen path with determination. Challenges will always be part of the journey but they teach you hard lessons.”
Both women spoke passionately about the need for women to take time away from the constant concerns about family, spouse, children and other responsibilities to appreciate and celebrate themselves, their choices and their achievements .