Tahira Kashyap has no qualms about being referred to as actor Ayushmann Khurrana’s wife. However, slowly but surely, she has managed to carve a niche for herself. She donned the role of lecturer, published author-turned-scriptwriter, and director with her debut short film, Toffee only last year.
The 18-minute short film Toffee — an incident taken from her life — is in her words, “an ode to friendship.” As a 12-year-old, Tahira gets acquainted with Ritu (also the name of the protagonist in the film) during an annual visit to her grandfather’s house in Jalandhar. “One of Ritu’s jobs to support her family was wrapping toffees. She was my only playmate at my grandparent’s house. I even used to help her in wrapping toffees so we could finish work early, and go play,” recalls Tahira. However, on her next visit, she was told that her 11-year-old friend had been married off.
As Tahira found herself immersed with the project, it was husband Ayushmann who anchored and supported her. The project finally saw the light of day when the Vicky Donor actor decided to come onboard as a producer. “He is the best producer one could have,” laughs Tahira. “After listening to the story he pushed me to work on the film. Apart from that, he was never seen on the sets — he never interfered.”
Though her husband coming onboard, as a producer is the most “priceless gift” ever for her, Ayushmann recently indulged her with a classic solitaire. “It was a huge surprise! He gifted me for no reason!” she excitedly says, adding that this is a second solitaire in her collection — both loving presents from her dear husband.
As the two lead busy lives, Ayushmann and Tahira make sure they take some time out to pause and soak in the sun. Sometimes, it might be working around each other’s schedules. With Toffee being screened at the Taiwan Film Festival next month, the two will be travelling together to the island nation. However, with busy schedules and young kids, Varushka and Virajveer, the star couple pick places closer to home.
“We have been to Singapore and Dubai with the kids. We are completely fascinated with Asian countries, particularly Japan. In fact, we want to pay the country a visit during the cherry blossom season,” lists Tahira. At the same time, Tahira says her fascination with India isn’t over yet, with plans to explore the country further.
Aside from ticking places off their bucket list, the itinerary for the power couple is different back home. They make it a point to attend screenings or plays in the city every now and then. “We both love to appreciate art in any form,” she explains, adding that the duo finds solace in the every day things. “With growing kids, we find ourselves with lesser and lesser time on our hand. So, Ayushmann and I don’t venture much out. But we used to go for plays at Prithvi Theatre and movies too. We also share our music with each other. If I come across a song, I’ll share it with him and vice a versa.”
Is Bollywood the next step? The filmmaker says that she will always love to be a part of a project as long as she is behind the camera. “If an opportunity comes my way, I will definitely take it. I have immense respect for working mothers and taking cues from them I’ll do the job,” she says.
Although Tahira has her own set of friends outside the industry, she does share a cordial rapport with Ayushmann’s co-stars. “I share a great relationship with Parineeti Chopra, Bhumi Pednekar, and Sonam Kapoor. Now he is shooting with Sanya Malhotra — I have already gone out for a few movies with her! And Yami Gautam was my school junior in Chandigarh, I have met her at couple of screenings,” she concludes.