Twenty five-year-old Meera Nandan is a starlet in her own right. The South Indian actress is happily juggling films and RJ-ing, thereby standing as an inspiration for those aspiring girls wanting to stand on their own feet. After going through a phase of struggles on her own in Dubai (where she has grown up to be a celeb RJ over the last 1 1/2 years), Meera has no regrets. Far from that, she is happy that she is getting to learn a lot as an RJ in UAE can’t afford to go uninformed to work.
“The way we see RJs here in India is completely different from how they are seen and treated in UAE. I once attended an event in Dubai to perform. After the performance, the chief guest of the event, Kareena Kapoor, was treated in the same way as the RJs were welcomed. As the award for the best RJ was being given away, people were cheering for her,” says Meera, her voice filled with pride and joy.
It was in the year 2014 Meera took the call to turn an RJ. Since then, it has been a grueling schedule, to say the least. “I was doing three movies at that point of time. Somebody from a radio station called me randomly. I was a bit confused about whether it would be a right decision on my part because I was going good as an actress here. After all these months of being an RJ, I have no regrets,” says Meera, despite the fact that it has been a physically taxing life throughout. “I am kind of used to physical strain. What matters to me is that I have had a lot to learn. I can proudly say that I am not the person I was 1 1/2 years ago. My best friends say that I am a lot more mature now,” Meera says.
Personality-wise, Meera has only emerged stronger. “I realize that I can’t lie on my mom’s lap every time. I got to fight on my own. Something hard happens every week. I have learnt to overcome all the stress. I make lots of friends there. I have met some very good people in Dubai who help me overcome any difficulties. Since an RJ in UAE has to be very cautious in getting the facts right, I have had to improve my reading habits, and groom my general knowledge. Previously, I used to be a very laidback person,” she says.
RJ-ing has helped this 35-films old actress in becoming a better actor. “This time when I came back for dubbing, I realized how fast I could complete it. I could get the voice modulation, the emotions, etc right in a short time.”
From falling back on her mother to being a strong woman living on her own in Dubai, Meera has come a long way. “I had my mother with me till I became comfortable there in Dubai. The first 6 months was terrible for me. I can’t explain the kind of feelings I was going through. I was going through major mood swings, was emotionally very down. From buying grocery to making a home, I have been doing everything myself. The good thing is that wherever you go, you bump into any Malayali there. There are six radio stations catering to Malayali-speaking population there,” Meera says.
Her 8-year-long journey has been riddled with ups and downs. “I now know how to handle a fall. I now know how to handle a rise. As far as I remember, I always had the confidence in my capability to handle lows. In 2011, I was really low. Not just on professional front, but also otherwise. It’s always good to be busy,” she quips.
How challenging has it been to balance films and RJ-ing? “I never consider it as a challenging thing to balance both. I see it as my work. That’s it.”
What kind of a girl is Meera in real life? “I am a very normal person. I am just like an average girl. There was a time when small hardships would make me sad. Not any more. Back then, someone or the other was there with me. So, I didn’t even know how to pack my bag,” she says.
Has she ever wanted to transform into a sensuous diva on screen? “That’s not me. I never wanted anyone to call me hot. Girl-next-door is what I like to be known as,” she says.
Did she have any crushes as a child? “My biggest crush was Hrithik Roshan. I used to keep his pic in my notebook, in my bedroom, everywhere. I was done with that phase by the time I was in class 12. I never fell in love with any. Not that I never liked anyone, but I have not found anyone who is like the man I wanted to live with. I can’t say what turns me on in a man. It depends on that minute. I have no checklist of my ideal guy’s qualities. That would lead to disappointment.”
There was a time when Meera didn’t know Tamil and nothing in Telugu, but now she speaks good Tamil and manages Telugu. Saying that she just just left the FM she was working for, Meera says that there is something else coming up.
Not many know that Meera has a special love towards singing. “Given a chance, I will definitely take it up as a full-time work,” she signs off.