MUMBAI: Popular VJ Anusha Dandekar, who shifted base from Australia to Mumbai in 2002, says she never felt like an outsider in the country, but it was the language which was a huge barrier.
Anusha in April had tweeted that when she shifted base from Australia to India, she was overcharged for everything as she was considered to be a “foreigner”.
Asked if she still feels like an outsider, Anusha told IANS, “No, not so much. I’ll always be seen as an NRI (Non-resident Indian) because of my accent. For me, in the beginning it was very hard even though everyone was very nice to me. I have never had a bad time with people… I had a bad time trying to fit in and to explain to people that I am a ‘desi’ girl.”
The 36-year-old TV host says when she was in Australia she felt like an outsider.
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“When you are there you don’t know whether to be Australian or Indian. When you come home you are a ‘desi’ girl and when you go out you are trying to be an Australian.”
Anusha says one of the most beautiful things she learnt in Australia is “to be free”.
“But when I came here (India) I was like ‘I am home’. I didn’t have to explain to anybody what my culture was. I never felt like an outsider, I just felt like the language barrier was huge for me in terms of Hindi,” she added.
Anusha says she can speak Marathi fluently and that India is where she feels safe.
“I felt foreign there (in Australia),” she added.
Anusha is currently seen hosting the third season of “Love School” on MTV with her boyfriend and TV actor Karan Kundrra.
She says working with Karan has made her bond even stronger.
Anusha made her acting debut in Bollywood in 2003 with Mumbai Matinee and later did films like Viruddh and Anthony Kaun Hai?. She was also seen dancing on the song “Chumme main chyawanprash” along with actor Arjun Kapoor for the film Bhavesh Joshi.
Asked if she would like to do more films, Anusha said, “I love what I do and I got beautiful roles in films like Delhi Belly. It was just fun for me. I love to act but then again because I was such an NRI when I came… I got that tag, unfortunately, and I did not push myself to go there because Hindi was not my first language and I was scared to face it…”