Passion, Plus and Positive with Akshaya Naik
Best known for her role in Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata hai, Akshaya Naik has made a mark, both
in the Hindi and Marathi television industry. An actress, singer and a beautiful dancer, she
inspires people with her charismatic aura, a contagious smile, and is a firm believer of
My journey started at the age of 4 with a drama workshop, followed by a film at the age of 8,
and then there was no looking back. I knew I wanted to be a part of the entertainment
industry and make a difference here. I was stoked when I bagged my first Hindi TV show at
19 – Mere Rang Me Rangne Wali, starring on Life Ok Channel. Although I was always more
inclined toward theatre, life had its own plans. One after the other opportunities came rolling
in, and here I am today.
“I was always more inclined toward theatre, but life had its own plans”. – Akshaya Naik
Whatever you do, the kind of relationships you have around you plays a crucial role. All
through my journey, I have had my share of struggles ( like everyone else ) but I chose to not
give up. Luckily, my family and friends have always been my biggest support. With their
continuous encouragement, I attended various workshops in school and actively took part in
extra curricular activities during my college days. It all helped me enhance my skills. We
worked together as a team where my father assisted me to auditions, my mother pushed me
to participate in competitions and helped me prepare for them too. My sister was always
there with me for my most important meetings. I have also cherished some beautiful
friendships through thick and thin. All this makes me feel truly blessed!
“Whatever you do, the kind of relationships you have around you play a crucial role”
Hindi or Marathi TV serials
“The Marathi industry always makes me feel at home”
I have got the chance to work for a seemingly diverse television industry from Hindi to
Marathi. And TV serials, both Hindi and Marathi, have been a great learning experience for
me. In my initial years, I got the opportunity to work with and learn from some amazing
veteran actors which was wonderful. Whenever I go on a set, or start a new show, I make it
a point to go with a blank mind and start afresh. This way I get to learn something more
every single time. For me, it really doesn’t matter which platform or industry it is, till the time I
am making the most of it while enjoying my work. Although the Marathi industry always
makes me feel at home! Making a difference and inspiring many more with my work on an
international level will not be just an opportunity but a big responsibility. I would love to take it
up as a challenge.
“The word ‘plus size’ just puts us in a box and makes us feel indifferent”
Being an actor, seems all glitz and glamour, but there is another side to it too – one with the
struggles especially for the plus size. Where at one side there are only very specific stories
written for the chubby ones, with strikingly limited character roles, on the other, I have often
been typecasted to be on the heavier side. Nevertheless, I have always taken this in my
stride, and never stopped myself from taking auditions. I had to accept it the hard way that
this is a part and parcel of my career.
We are living in a time where trolling is in trend, and I have experienced that too. Although I
managed to sail through it slowly, people don’t realise how it can lead to mental health
problems for some, and that they should be more sensitive towards it.
The body positivity movement has been a great step in the right direction, reminding us that
all bodies are beautiful. Infact, the word ‘plus size’ just puts us in a box and makes us feel
indifferent. I am glad that at least now different companies, brands, entrepreneurs and
artists, in India and across the world are breaking barriers and creating a safe space for all.
We have come a long way just by replacing ‘plus size’ with ‘size inclusive’.
And for all my lovely actresses and models, I would say just take each day as it comes.
Honestly, struggles are everywhere and you are really not supposed to be treated differently
for your size (it’s just a number ). Stay true to your art, your work, have faith and ace it with
confidence. I don’t believe in Plan B, because putting effort into your existing plan will prove
to be much more valuable. Leave no stone unturned to get what you want.