Theatre has been a part of Devaki's family for over 90 years. As a toddler in the crib, she would be at her parent's rehearsals and listen to them perform. She started her journey in theatre at the age of five. Beginning with the chorus, she worked as a child artist, played a few main roles, managed productions, and has grown to be a solo performer. Devaki started her journey in radio 18 years back. Radio pushed her to find her own mojo & personality of expression to the audience. With an incredible journey for over 18 years, Devaki rules the airwaves. She's the most awarded RJ in the last one and half decades. Concerning her acting, she won the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2017 for her contributions to Theatre. She also represented India in Malta at the International Radio Festival. To all the awards Devaki received, she wittily adds, "It's surprising when you get awards, people think you are good. But the fact is, you got the awards because you were good".
What is your favourite word?
Love. My father just passed away about 6 months ago. As a kid, we used to carry autograph books to different people. It used to have hearts, flowers, a few questions about the favorite player, question with an unfinished phrase –Love is…. (blank), Friendship is….. (blank). My father filled them up as – Love is an illusion.
I sat beside him on his deathbed and apologized for the things I did wrong as a child. I felt like I must have hurt him somehow then he told me this one thing. Devaki, throughout my life I fought for things that hurt me and sometimes said to people about how they have hurt me, but today, at the gist of my life I tell you that there is nothing beyond love in the world. All of us struggle for the same thing in the end. We just want to be loved. If you can give that to people, that's what matters.
What was the moment in your life that made you Blossom into the person you are today?
Oh my god. There are many. I've had a very rollercoaster-y life. My life was filled with so many challenges and problems for which I had to find a solution on my own. Every time I faced it, I used to tell myself that -This is it. I can't do it anymore. But then, by not giving up and coming out of it I looked back and thought -Thank God that I got out of it!
I have stuck to the same people for a very long time now. I have had the same circle of people being close for the past 25 years of my life. I am very grateful for my family. The art, which I have with me enables me to experience the Catharsis through my expression every single day. And I feel that only a few are fortunate enough. To elaborate, maintaining a diary that will reflect on your past is a very good habit. Because, when you will look back it will inspire on how you dealt with the problems 10 or 15 years back. I have maintained a digital diary for the past 18 years which speaks about my profession and self. That made me a better actor because I could exactly differentiate the character and me.
Now when I think about the choice I made to express myself every day, signing up for things that appreciated my expression and for being true feels like - "Yeah, maybe I am in the right place, doing the right thing at the right time."
What would you want the young boys & girls to learn from your journey?
Never take what you have for granted. When you stick to the same work for a very long time, it starts becoming mundane for people. That's where the challenge begins. I don't think we initially start with our passion, it’s the opportunity. And once, when the opportunity is provided, we try to excel in it. We try to give our best and believe that we have arrived at a certain peak. The problem begins. Start challenging yourself, find a new peak and that’s how you will grow. But remember, the new peak will always cost you loneliness. Why, because there's only one who can be at the top. Time will come when somebody else will occupy that peak. By then, build a new peak and keep working for it. Never take what you have for granted- Keep exploring more. Don't get affected by the claps you get. Look into how you can sharpen your skills further.
I do question something simple- Do you want to explore so many things and experiment yourself in life or just stick to one thing and give your best of all? Well, it all depends on what YOU want to do. For instance, if you really want to be a superstar, succeed in life, and just be known for that single thing you achieved then prepare yourself for the boredom.
Boredom strikes when you don’t take step towards doing things differently. It’s where you don’t reshape everyday work. If you don’t learn every day and don’t re-create things, automatically it gets dragged into boring.
Once I heard the famous singer Sunidhi Chauhan’s words in an interview "When people win music shows, they think they've achieved everything. No. That's when you begin." The award is the first step from where you begin. That’s when your talent grabs the attention and you need to start living up the things that have been packed for you.