With her larger-than-life screen presence, Radhika Apte has carved out a niche in the world of cinema. In a freewheeling interview, she talks to us about travelling solo, balancing life in two countries, diving with sharks, and more. By Priyanka Chakrabarti
1. Dubai is often associated with luxury. Have you had a chance to go beyond the usual attractions?
I’ve been to Dubai many times in the past for events, promotions, etc. However, this is the first time I am exploring a hidden gem, Alserkal Avenue. I couldn’t believe the food and the architecture inside. There’s an element of art in everything that I see here.
2. You’ve been travelling since you were a child. Does it get exhausting?
I was born in Vellore, but my parents soon moved to Pune. I spent my entire childhood there. Moving to Mumbai happened at a later stage in my life. But I’ve always wanted to travel, and because of this field, I literally travel every week. It’s been my life for the last 10 years, and I love it. Of course, there are instances when I cry about packing and unpacking all the time, but I can’t imagine a stationary life for myself.
3. You transcend languages and platforms for your work. Is that a conscious decision?
I won’t say it’s a conscious decision, but I just function with this conscious realisation that language and platform should not be barriers.
4. Your husband lives in London, and you in India. How do you manage in your daily life?
I live in two countries now, and that has its own positives in terms of what India has but London doesn’t and vice versa. I enjoy both. I also forget about the other country when I’m in one. My lives are very different. At times, I feel that’s also a crazy advantage—to just forget about a part of your life.
5. You are a trained scuba diver. How did that happen?
I had an accident when I was very young, and that instilled in me a deep fear of swimming in the ocean. I had it for 25 years, and then, I decided to overcome it. That’s how and why I learnt diving. Today, I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful in my life than diving.
6. There’s a rising awareness about the climate cost of travel. Is there anything you do to travel consciously?
I make sure I don’t take chartered planes at all. In London, I use public transport only, and in India, I try to carpool as much as possible.
7. For any woman who is afraid to travel solo, what advice would you offer?
It’s entirely valid to have that fear, especially when travelling to destinations that are known for their notoriety towards women. So, you need to study the place, understand the dos and don’ts, and then travel, because you can’t change a place overnight. Also, if you don’t want to travel solo because you don’t feel good about it, then that’s a subjective thing. At times, I like to travel solo, and at times, I want company. So, it really depends on your state of mind.
Aspect of Dubai?
Diving with sharks in the Galápagos Islands.
Mumbai or Pune?
Mumbai for work, Pune for family and friends.
A spot in London?
Wanstead Flats; it’s a beautiful forest park.