Tanushree Dutta is an ex-Miss India Universe and former Bollywood actress. She is an emerging thought leader looking to create social impact through sharing her life Journey and insights and lessons learnt through her life and spiritual journey. Tanushree played a key role in leading the #MeToo movement in India and creating awareness about workplace harassment and its impact on victims. Her efforts are leading to bringing about a much-needed awareness in the Indian society and establishment and reinforcement of laws pertaining to workplace harassment and upliftment of human spirit out of oppression. She currently lives in the US and is a motivational speaker attending various events and conferences across the US within the Indian community.
How was school for you? What were your favourite subjects?
School was great, I was a distinction student and topped my class 10 years in a row.I was a school topper when I graduated high school. My favourite subjects were English and History.
Did you enjoy academics?
I made good friends in school and lasting friendships. My teachers and late Principal had an impact on me and encouraged me to excel. So it was the people around me that made the experience memorable more than the academics. I was propelled to do well because I knew they wanted me to. I was well accepted and admired and that was the motivation behind my excellence.
How did acting and modeling happen? Was it planning or serendipity or both?
It was mostly divine will, a series of opportunities coming my way, an instinct to take those opportunities and wish for more and just a tiny bit of planning in the initial stages. I took part in several local beauty pageants while in junior college because my main goal was Miss India. Moved on to professional modeling, then the title of Femina Miss India Universe leading up to movie offers.
Who have been your mentors? How have they shaped your thought process?
At different points of time, I’ve had mentors except in Bollywood I had no mentors to guide me. This is something that I wish I had in Bollywood but otherwise, I have had people in life from time to time that have shaped my thought process. These have been friends, family, colleagues and sometimes Gurus, preachers, writers and motivational speakers that I have not even had any personal equation with. God has led me to learn from whoever I needed to learn from in person or from a distance.
What has been the most significant investment you have made in your growth?
Beyond a shadow of doubt my spiritual path, the spiritual process and the time, energy and resources I have invested in it have been the best investments of my life. It’s given me priceless insights, direction, guidance, hope, love and healing. The books I read; on religion and otherwise inspirational, the self-development courses and seminars I attended, the Ashrams and holistic healing centers I visited, the time I invested in prayers and listening to sermons by world class leaders and preachers etc. have built my core and continue to do so. They say that money can’t buy happiness but I have come to realize that although God’s grace is absolutely free for all, it sometimes takes a lifetime of training to be able to receive it fully after peeling off layers of preconceived and conditioned thought patterns.
What is the one thing you believe in that others mostly disagree with?
I believe everyone has a chance at life, one just needs guidance, direction and opportunity. Many in the world agree with this so I’m not alone in this belief.
What has been the most challenging period in your life? What gave you the strength to overcome it? Who helped you?
My stint in Bollywood was definitely my most challenging period but also a period of great trial, tribulation and learning important life lessons’ got drawn to the spiritual life intensely somewhere during this period and slowly walked away from it so you can say that God helped me.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
was an agnostic at 18, a very intelligent, bright, brilliant agnostic. I would tell her to be a believer. There are things beyond our perception and miracles do happen. Life can throw you in a spin, pain and heartbreaks are a part of life and everything is transient. There is a higher power that loves you and will restore things in due time. This life is a classroom and the trials and tribulations are a test and you will pass because you are destined to.
Do you have any advice for the youth of India and the world?
I want to tell them to seek the spiritual life in parallel to their material pursuits. It gives strength when you feel weak, it will give you hope when you feel hopeless, it will make u win when you feel like a loser and it will make you feel loved and significant always despite who or what is in your life or not.
What are you most looking forward to now?
I’m looking forward to be of some service in this world. To share the hope, insight and knowledge I have received to bring about some healing, wholeness and Goodwill in whatever way I can. To be useful in whatever way is needed here. I am not quite sure of the specifics yet but to have some sort of impact and help in some way either by sharing my experiences or doing what is needed. I do have clarity that I will have a blast and a ball of a time in this world!! I like a good class party!!