I’m an actor and fashion designer with a degree from NIFT Kolkata. You may recognise me from my debut in the movie ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!’ where I play the part of ‘Satyawati’, one of the pivotal characters in the movie.
Before I landed the role and entered Bollywood I used to work as an assistant designer for the iconic designer Mr. Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Currently I’m working on my own clothing line called ‘Geru’ and varied art projects that excite me and expand my palate.
Tell us about any current projects
I’ve gone back to my roots in design and have started working on my own artisanal clothing line called ‘Geru’. I’m still very much interested in acting but there are certain passions that I can’t quit.
One of them is my love for art, lifestyle and expression and I’m concentrating all that energy into the Geru. We strive to promote an artisan friendly environment for our artisan team here in Kolkata. Our products are locally and tastefully made statement pieces that are the perfect balance between sophistication and sensuality.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Taming my curiosity! I’ve been a nosey, all-questioning kid. I never really had a problem taking the back seat and just observing everyone else. But now, when it’s time to create and “do”, I found it really daunting. I guess that’s been a tough thing to overcome but I’m slowly coming out of my shell and learning to tell my story. We all deserve to.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
I feel blessed to work with truly inspiring people like Dibakar Banerjee and Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Observing their work ethics and their motivations helped me understand what honest creativity means. I’m living my life unapologetically now. These were all just words to me till they finally dawned on me and became a reality. I struggled before blossoming – at least on a personal level and that is what most people don’t see. I cared too much about impressing other people. It is an internal struggle for me to be happier, better, kinder, mindful and aware. I couldn’t be all that if I looked to others for permission. So I’ve stopped seeking approval from others. I’m happier now and I feel like I’ve achieved something.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
Farming and cooking (professionally)
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I get inspired by so many people! I wear my heart on my sleeve whenever I read or hear about people who have a strong personal style. Not just how they dress but who they are – the stance they take in life. My biggest inspiration comes from Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn and Shabana Azmi. All three are people who’ve done exceptionally well in their field yet are truly unique individuals. They are passionate and happy when they work. Out of all the jobs in the world they’ve chosen the one that they truly believe in and they’ve taken that platform as a medium to demand a change.
That to me is very inspiring!
What does the future hold for you?
Meeting many, many more inspiring people. Hopefully, more travelling, more channels of creativity. I’m just using this question as a manifesting ground and wishing it would all come true!
About Divya Menon
Divya Menon is an Indian actress, fashion designer and model. She is known for her role as lead actress in the movie Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015). Divya graduated from NIFT Kolkata with a bachelor in design degree and has since worked as an assistant designer with Sabyasachi Mukherjee. She has also modelled for Sabyasachi editorial campaigns and walked the ramp on numerous occasions.