Multifaceted Himanee Bhatia Not Only Proves To Be An Advocate For The Law But Also For Mental Health
by Aparajita Jaiswal
24 January 2023
While pursuing her passion for acting, in a freewheel chat with Aparajita Jaiswal, Himanee Bhatia shares her journey about building her career from scratch , from working as a lawyer seeking justice to writing and now being a beloved actress. Her fans are eagerly awaiting her latest releases, wanting to see more of the beloved actress on screen, including but not limited to a webshow for Zee5, two Punjabi music videos , one to be shot in London and one in Japan and a Hindi film for a leading OTT platform and for a south film which is still untitled.
An ambitious young woman with much to bring to the world, Himanee Bhatia talks about her fashion mantra, "As cliche as I sound, but really just be yourself. As they say, fashion may come and go but style is eternal. Discover what represents your personality rather than copying what someone wore at a party. See what represents you." Adding to that, Himanee talks about her own fashion style, "I constantly change my fashion choices. One day you'll see me wearing a princessy frilly dress, one day a leather jumpsuit that represents the adventurous side of me and sometimes just a plain white lakhnavi kurta with jeans and no make up- which represents the innocence and simple side of me. It really just depends on my mood."
In a race to the death for the spotlight in a trying and difficult industry such as acting, one needs to be patient and have the courage to follow their dreams. What most of us lose out on while looking at the glamorous outlay of Bollywood, Tollywood or Hollywood is the struggle behind the screen for each and every aspiring actor. The key to success is not only perseverance and talent but also the patience to try again after getting rejected multiple times. Himanee Bhatia talks about the struggle of making it as an actress and offers her two cents. "I would like to advise all the girls, that firstly be proud of yourself. It takes courage to follow a path not everyone takes as when you do, you know you have immense competition, you may feel like a drop in the vast ocean, fingers will be raised at you by society, friends may leave you when you struggle and there will be thousands of people who will tell you that your dream is impossible. So be proud that you actually have the guts to take the risk to follow your dreams.
"Having said that, I would encourage the girls to believe in their dream and work extremely hard. It is not a cake walk, you will get many rejections unless you're lucky and get a call back right away. But for most of us, we need to understand to be patient, to keep trying, to work on your skills and craft, to take care of yourself, to regularly give auditions and put yourself out there, to train in theatre and to work on yourself and identify what makes you different from the rest. Be unique, rather than falling for the rat race and never, ever compare yourself with others as everyone has a different journey. I would also advise that you need to be extremely disciplined in all aspects. Discipline and hardwork is what will actually make you talented, rather than relying on 'luck'."
The multifaceted writer is also an incredible writer, dipping her toe into all genres of writing including poetry. "I write poetry, in both English and Hindi, and each and every poem of mine stands for everything I believe in; love, friendship, questioning society, health, hard work, success and talks about struggle, heartbreak, rising, falling and different experiences we face in life," says Himanee Bhatia. "People inspire me to write. When I see how everyone has a deeper layer to them than what meets the eye, I just feel writing is a beautiful way to see the soul of another human being. I aim to heal through my writing. I also believe in writing comedy, love, friendship and so much more, because a book often helps us escape a darker reality we live in to a happier place."
The darker reality of today is the unaccepted and needed cure of therapy. Therapy for mental health issues amongst men and women in today's climate is a must and yet we are extremely judgemental and uninformed about the need of mental health therapy. Himanee Bhatia brings to life this very argued conversation. "Therapy should be accepted as much as going to any other doctor for a case of mild cold or cough. When someone has a fever, we never ask them, 'What led you to have a fever?' or 'Just get over it. Just smile.' Then why do we question this in the case of mental health? As a society we need to understand mental health is as important as physical health and the change begins at home. I urge all parents to recognise the signs and even for children who may see signs in their parents. Teachers need to educate and spread awareness about mental health not just for students but also for their parents. I feel even offices and other workplaces need more awareness for mental health. Therapy is essential for people who need it, and it is time we raise more awareness and stop asking people to 'Just get over it' and for that, change begins at home."
As a former lawyer, Himanee Bhatia talks about what inspires her about the law and with our country trying to climb up from the cracks, what is the most heartbreaking thing about our legal system according to her. "I feel the need for justice is what made me do law. Law is for someone who believes in the concept of thinking, rather than just following the rules. Our country is doing our best, however I feel we can do much more. For starters , there are over 5 crore pending cases in India. We need to ensure everyone has a right to justice and speeden up the process, rather than delaying it and making the common man spend years of their life in courts. We all know we have a long way to go for stricter laws for violence against women and children. Every day you read of a case of domestic violence, sexual assault, abuse and so much more against women. Most of the cases are not even reported because as a society we still have a tendency to blame the victim. When a woman goes to report a case of rape, she is made to answer all sorts of derogatory questions which make her relive her trauma and is ridiculed at each step. We still read cases where a woman is chopped alive by her own lover, burnt to death for not giving dowry, rape which also involves marital rape and torture, both mental and physical. A country that cannot protect its women and children has indeed a very long way to go. We also need much, much, much stricter laws for abuse of any kind against children."
The passionate actress adds to her thoughts on our law enforcement by also talking about animal abuse. "I wish there would be stricter laws for violence and abuse against animals. Day in and day out we hear of animal abuse and the punishment for some cases is as low as a fine of Rs 50. Only in cases of extreme abuse, is their imprisonment which is also bailable. I also feel we need to take strict action against acid attacks. For starters, even though sale of over the counter acid is banned in India, it is still extremely accessible and we need extremely strict laws to ban this." The actress passionately goes on to add, "the uniform civil code should be applicable in our country, rather than multiple laws applicable depending on different communities. Last but not the least, the men and others that are falsely blamed for false cases of dowry ,rape, etc by a woman or any gender should also be dealt with strictly as laws misused by women are detrimental to the women who actually seek justice."