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Exclusive! Ahsaas Channa, addicted to Instagram, talks about digital detox, fame and dealing with anxiety

Ahsaas will next be seen in Girls Hostel 3.0.

Exclusive! Ahsaas Channa, addicted to Instagram, talks about digital detox, fame and dealing with anxiety
Ahsaas Channa (Instagram).
  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 04.14 PM, Nov 22, 2022

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Ahsaas Channa had recently revealed that she is dealing with anxiety. The actress, soon to be seen in Sony LIV’s Girls Hostel 3.0, speaks to OTTplay about her situation now, what is she doing to cope and if things are better. Ahsaas, obviously, also talks about getting back in the role of Richa and what her future looks like.

Excerpts from the interview…

How does it feel to come to Girls Hostel season 3?

Very nice, yaar. It's always nice to do a show that gets renewed for new seasons. It has been renewed for season 3 so I'm very excited for its release.

Richa is this sweet girl who fit in so perfectly since Girls Hostel season 1. By season 3, where do we see her now? How has she grown?

She's definitely grown as the character a lot. In the first season, she's a new girl who's exploring a lot. She's very young. So, she hasn't found her voice and doesn't know what she wants to fight in life for. By third season, she finally knows what she wants and what her voice is. What she really wants is the betterment of the hostel and people getting what they deserve.

This season is about talent shows and welcoming the freshers such that they feel like home. This season is going to be surprising because new characters are introduced. We talk about new topics. We picked up rare topics that I haven't seen other web series talk about in such depth and detail. It's something we're excited about. This season and even the characters in the show have matured.

I would somewhere disagree with you when you say Richa didn't have a voice before season 3. She often spoke up and put her opinions forth, don't you think?

In the first season, she was scared because she was a new girl. She started speaking up in the second season but by third season, she's standing up for what is right, taking decisions that might piss off a lot of people. You will see a different side to her.

You are right. She used to speak up but in this season, you will see a rebellious side of her. That's something new.

Is she becoming the next Jo in a way?

Yeah, you can put it that way, yes.

How much time did it take for you to get back into the character of Richa?

To be very honest, Richa is very much like Ahsaas. So, I didn't have to put in too much of effort to get back into the character. It's so special to me. I love Richa's character so it's always easy to get back to being her.

Obviously, I did a lot of reading before going on floors. We did a lot of workshops. The whole vibe of the show and when you're on sets, it just gets a lot easier to get into the character but yes, our writers have helped massively. It wasn't very easy but wasn't that difficult either.

You have often taken up roles of a sweet girl who can voice out when she wants to. Is it by choice or do you feel that you are offered such roles more often? If the latter, are you trying to change that? If yes, how?

It is definitely the latter. Girls Hostel is a popular show and usually, when a project is a hit, then people look at you that way. They see you as the girl-next-door and that is me. I fit into the age group of teenage-dramas. When I did the first season, I was 19.

Nonetheless, I'm definitely trying to change the perspective and you'll see me in a very different role in the next two seasons. I love these characters and so, I wouldn't refuse the roles if I get them. However, I want to take newer kind of characters so that people see me in a new light.

You recently spoke about having anxiety issues. Are you still dealing with that? How are you coping?

Anxiety is something that doesn't go very easily. I'm sorry but it just stays with you. You learn how to deal with it and manage it. It has taken me a while to manage it and learn to deal with. I've figured things out. I'm doing the right things to manage my anxiety. I have friends and family who support me in that sense. I try to talk about it as much as possible on social media because there are other people who are going through this. Anxiety is where easy to happen in the kind of world we're living in which is the social media driven world. Social media is the biggest cause of anxiety in my opinion. A lot of people are going through it and I'm fortunate that I have people who read my posts or want to see what I'm doing. I just want to tell them it's okay to have anxiety. It's not the end of the world and we can deal with it. It's not that it doesn't get cured. Once you figure everything out, you learn to live with it. Anxiety is just bound to happen with the world you're living in. Getting the rhythm of it and understanding how to deal with it, is important.

I heard that you are addicted to Instagram, which has been tagged as the first step to getting anxiety issues because everyone seeks constant validation there. Do you believe a detox from time-to-time would help the condition?

Yes, absolutely. One of the things that helped me deal with anxiety is the detox that you take from social media. There are times where I have to be on social media. Since my shows are releasing now, hence I'm active on Instagram.

It's okay to not be on social media for a bit. We should all take a break from it. I always delete the Instagram app from my phone so that it's not accessible. I cannot take a longer break but it really helps you. It puts you in a better zone to not know what the world or your peers are doing constantly.

Isn't it also relaxing to know that you don't need to seek validation from strangers?

Absolutely. We are on social media for validation. The likes and comments constantly put you in a position where you care about what other people think. You are always in a judgement zone and want to be judged in a good way. The anxiety is constant. That is why I said that social media is one of the core reasons why anxiety happens. Detox - taking a break from social media and your phone only - really helps. If you look away from your phone, look out, read books, watch films, go out and spend time with your friends - that really helps. It's the best thing you can do not only for people going through anxiety but also everybody else. It's the best thing in the world, is what I realized.

Since you have been a child actor, would you say that all of the attention can get stressful for a kid? Has this happened to you? Does it get stressful after one point?

I wouldn't say it has gotten stressful. I enjoy it. The reason I'm an actor is because I enjoy the attention. I enjoy the fact that people are interested in me and they find me interesting. It hasn't gotten that stressful but there's a lot of responsibility because you are a public figure. You need to be self-aware. I don't want to say or do something that puts out a wrong message. I think there's this pressure - where you have to be the best version of yourself since you are in the limelight. I found a way to enjoy it and be okay.

Is it that these shows and movies take you to a world where you are away from these stressful situations in life? Do you enjoy acting because of that?

It is one of the reasons, definitely. It puts me in a different zone. I'm the happiest on sets, in front of the cameras. I love my job. I also like acting because I play characters that gives me, Ahsaas, the experience that I otherwise don't have in life. For example, I've never been a dental or medical student. I haven't even been in a hostel in my life. Thanks to Girls Hostel, I could explore all of this. I've never been an office employee so shows on that are exciting. I'm looking forward to new experiences.

What after Girls Hostel 3?

I have two shows that are coming up. They are very different characters. I'm very excited for those since people will see me in a different version and play very different characters. I'm really looking forward to those. Filhaal I have Girls Hostel. Richa is also different from the first two seasons. If they love Richa generally, they'll love this version of her too.

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