Making friends during school and college is easier but maintaining that friendship over the years can be tough. Yet, author-director Tahira Kashyap Khurrana has been friends with her college mates since the last 19 years.
In college, she founded a theatre group titled Manch Tantra in Chandigarh, which included herself, now-hubby (actor) Ayushmann Khurrana, music composer Rochak Kohli alongwith their other friends – Sukriti Vadhera Kohli, Hardeep Sethi, Charan Deep Kalra, Vikas Shorey, Ravi Yuvraj Panthi, Puneet Khanna, Sameer Kaushal, Gurpreet Saini, Gautam Sharma, Pradeep, Aviral, Guneet, Vitty, Hargun, Raveena and Ravish. The first play, Socha Na Tha, was conceptualised by Kashyap and written along with others in the group. She also acted in the play which was choreographed by Ayushmann. Even after 19 years of their friendship, they continue to stay in touch regularly and had met right before the lockdown in Mumbai.
Talking about their friendship over the years, Kashyap says, “There is a lot of maturity and acceptance today as you cherish the other person for being who they are and respect their uniqueness, rather than try to fit them in your idea of who they should be as we thought when we were younger. Today, we have reached new heights of bonding and friendship than what we had 19 years ago. All these friends are close to me and have seen me grow. What I love is that there is no pretense between us. They know me and I know them and being completely yourself with someone is just wonderful. Even today, when we meet, we rag each other and enjoy ek doosre ki beizzati karna (laughs).”
Tahira who recently finished writing her fourth book titled The 12 Commandments Of Being A Woman, feels their passion for theatre, writing and acting kept them together. “We are fortunate to have found like-minded people at an early age. Some of them are writers, directors, actors, lyricists, art directors, music composers. Apart from theatre and arts, Buddhism has been a common link between all of us. Even the ones who don’t practice it, share a common goal to be compassionate and better versions of ourselves. We have awareness and know how we want to grow as people. I feel the level of gratitude and enjoyment changes when you seek happiness in the goals of others as well. Which is what happened when I made a short film Pinni and so did Gautam, who made Chhaju Ke Dahi Bhalle. We were both delighted for each other.”