Aishwarya Rajesh spoke about so many things, from losing her father when she was 8 to sexual harassment to facing disparaging comments in the film industry, at a recent Tedx event at IIM Trichy.
Stating that she grew up in a housing board in Chennai, the ‘Kaakka Muttai’ and ‘Chekka Chivantha Vaanam’ actress said that when she lost her father at the age of 8, her mother, who is uneducated, had to step up to bring up her four children.
Revealilng that the youngest of four siblings and the only girl, Aishwarya said her mother didn’t know any English or Hindi but would travel to Mumbai and procure sarees that she would sell to her family and friends’ circles in Chennai.
“Over the years, she also became an LIC agent and dabbled in real estate. Even now, she tries selling LIC policy to my co-stars,” the actress added.
Aishwarya further said that her eldest brother died when she was around 12. “He was in a relationship and the family still does not know if he killed himself or was murdered”, she added.
At a time when the audience was in shock, Aishwarya added that within a short period, her second brother also passed away in a road accident. These events pushed her mother into a shell, and Aishwarya had to grow up rather quickly to manage the family.
Stating that her first job was to promote a chocolate brand outside a supermarket, Aishwarya said she was only in Class 11 when she started on this job, which paid her Rs 225.
She said that she had big dreams and eventually got into reality TV shows where she even won a popular dance contest. When she realised that TV serial actors only got paid well if they had a film background, she decided to jump into cinema.
Aishwarya also said that she faced all kinds of obstacles – from sexual harassment to cruel comments on her looks and personality. However, her ability to speak Tamil was considered a disadvantage in the film industry, she said.