Growing up in Bollywood: Trishala Dutt

Trishala Dutt

by Mahrukh Zaidi

Ever wonder what it feel likes to grow up in a famous Bollywood family? What kinds of pressures must one face or what kinds of luxuries does one have? To weigh out the odds we spoke to Trishala Dutt, the daughter of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and granddaughter of actor\politician Sunil Dutt and actress Nargis Dutt. More so, Trishala is the founder of DreamTresses Hair Extensions. Although her family is regularly part of the spotlight, she is one of the sweetest, most down to earth girls I’ve ever had the pleasure of profiling.

Trishala, 25, born and raised in Queens, N.Y., said she loves to have fun and laugh. She said she is a lover of beauty, forensics, fashion, fitness and she’s a true foodie. She’s obtained a bachelors and masters degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

I love watching Forensic Files and I originally wanted to become a FBI agent or be in the CIA,” Trishala said. “However, I was told I had to become a cop first, which was something my family and I didn’t like, so even though I had a degree in criminal justice, I decided to pursue my other passion which was beauty.”

You have made a lot of changes the past few years – one of them being getting more in shape, how did you lose the weight and how do you stay in shape?

I lost weight the old-fashioned way – diet and exercise. I’ve tried all the shortcuts you could imagine. I’ve tried fasting, detoxing, cutting calories, limiting carbohydrates, etc. While some of them worked for a short amount of time and have shown results, the minute I started eating normal food again, I would gain all my weight back along with additional un-wanted pounds.

One day I decided to join a gym, invest in a trainer, eat healthy in limits and the pounds started to melt off on its own. The key is to get your heart rate up for that one hour you are working out and you will see results. You must go to the gym three to four times a week for one hour to see results. I continue to stay in shape by going to the gym daily and eating healthy. I still splurge here and there but when I do, I make sure I work out harder the next day at the gym.

You have a great sense of style! Any style tips for our readers? What are some of your favorite brands?

Thank You! The best style tip I could give and it is something that I live by: ‘Create your own style, let it be unique for yourself yet identifiable for others.’

Dress that way you feel most comfortable dressing. Once people see that you have a unique sense of style, they will be able to recognize you from a mile away. Be creative when dressing and using accessories. I have a lot of favorite brands! As for brands without a logo, I think Bebe is very stylish and it’s always moving with the current fashion. Expressis very chic and casual, Forever21 never fails when it comes to the basics and experimenting with color. I love Victoria Secret and“Cute Booty Lounge” by Kelly Nishimoto for loungewear.

Trishala Dutt

Your makeup is always flawless! What are a few of your favorite make up products? Any must haves?

I have a lot of favorite must-have makeup products! Since I don’t like full coverage foundation for everyday wear, a must have is MAC’s Face and Body Foundation. It’s light coverage and blends in with your skin beautifully. It’s buildable, light on skin, long-lasting, and has a nice dewy finish. It’s perfect for winter and summer.

If you are opting for a full coverage then I would recommend Tom Ford’s stick foundation called “Traceless.” Stick foundations tend to be higher coverage and the more coverage you get, the more the color match matters and the less forgiveness you have if there is a mismatch. It is a heavy foundation and it can be built up over any problem areas for more coverage.

As for eyeliners, a must have is MAC’s “Graphblack” or Revlon’s ColorStay Pencil. My favorite Mascara is L’Oreal False Lashes Mascara and Lancome’s L’Extreme. For my lips, I think Tom Ford’s lipsticks are the Holy Grail! The formula is creamy, long-lasting and non-drying. They feel like butter when applied. I also love the colors “Blankety” and “Snob” by MAC.

On the subject of beauty, your hair is very voluminous as well! What’s your secret to gorgeous hair?

My secret to gorgeous hair is clip-in extensions! When I was younger, I had extremely thick hair. Unfortunately, after attending many media events and photo shoots, I completely damaged my hair. My hair went from thick to thin! Also, when I was younger I had liked someone and decided to change up my looks (hair) to please him – biggest mistake of my life. I completely ruined my hair! My only options were to incorporate hair extensions to achieve that big, voluminous look.

Speaking of it, congrats on the recent launch of your very own hair extension line!

In the past, I could not find affordable, high-quality human hair options that gave me the thickness, length and volume I desired without it damaging my hair, so I decided to create my own! DreamTresses clip-in hair extensions are Grade A 100 percent Remy Human Hair. I know a lot of hair extensions on the market claim that they sell genuine, human hair, but they don’t. While they claim it’s human hair, it can possibly be mixed with synthetic hair. I stand by my quality and products 100 percent and more so, I want all women to feelempowered and beautiful without breaking the bank!

Whether you have fine/thin or medium/thick hair, you can achieve that true ‘Victoria Secret’ bombshell hair with DreamTresses Hair Extensions. I’ve also created a hair powder and hairspray to really give you a boost of extra body and volume. While my products are targeted for women, men can use my hair powder as well to make their hair appear full with lots of body.

Trishala Dutt


Being younger, I know you have mentioned you faced a lot of self-esteem issues, how did you overcome them?

I overcame my self-esteem issues by accepting the fact that I am who I am. I was obese at one point and then I got a mean, unsupportive, harsh reality check from my boyfriend then. I decided enough was enough and it was time for me to make a change in my life. I knew I needed to lose weight and I did! Being overweight (in my opinion) is a curse. I remember, I used to avoid all social events, run from people when I would see them walking my way, and I never had many friends because I never wanted to meet anyone. I’m glad that time in my life is over. No doughnut or pasta dish is going to make me go back to what I was. I worked too hard, cried too much and sweated more than eight glasses of water a day to be where I am today. Even though I lost weight and look different, my attitude has not changed one bit. I’m still the same friendly girl who I’ve always been.

The tabloids in India have said some pretty vicious things about you and your family, even though you have tried to stay away from the spotlight. How did you cope with the constant media attacks?

It used to be annoying when I saw the media saying certain things about me. The latest was, ‘Trishala doesn’t want to date an Indian boy.’ It’s ridiculous but amusing at the same time. I learned not to care and just move on with my life. I could be a saint and someone will still say something about my family and I. It’s the price you pay for being born into a Bollywood family. I don’t mind what they say about me anymore because I know it’s not true.

People can believe whatever they want, but as long as my family and I know the truth, I could care less what others say. When my father went to jail last year, a few girls rudely asked me on Instagram, ‘Your father is in jail, how are you still posting happy things on Instagram?’ Well, what am I supposed to do? Make people feel sorry for me? Post something depressing and ruin everyone else’s day because I’m going through something? I don’t get them and their logic. It baffles me!

When it comes to dating, what’s the best advice you have given yourself?

The best advice I’ve given myself is to never change for anybody. A boy should never ask you, or give you hints to change yourself. If you happen to be overweight and he encourages you in a nice way to lose weight while being supportive and standing by your side, then that’s totally different. However, if he asks you to change something about yourself that you think is fine just because he “prefers” something else, than that is totally wrong and he is not the one for you. I’m living proof of that today and wish I had someone to tell me this years ago!

You are beautiful just the way you are. If you want to change something about yourself for you, then by all means do what makes you happy. If you change because someone is telling or hinting at you, then tell that person to take a hike! He does not love you, trust me!

Trishala Dutt

Keep up with Trishala Dutt by following her blogInstagram and Twitter

Order your newest genuine hair clip-ins from Dream Tressses Hair Extensions. They offer worldwide shipping with two locations in New York!

 All photos provided by: Trishala Dutt

By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›

‘Thank You For Coming’ Unapologetically Begs the Answer to a Very Important Question

It’s never a dull moment with your girl gang; some shots and conversations about sex, right? If you agree, you’re in for a treat with Karan Boolani’s directorial venture, “Thank You For Coming,” which had its world premiere at the 48th annual Toronto International Film Festival. This coming-of-age story unapologetically begs the answer to a very important question: Why should women be left high and dry in bed?


Kanika Kapoor (Bhumi Pednekar) is a successful, 32-year-old, Delhi food blogger who makes a huge revelation on her 30th birthday: She’s never experienced an orgasm. This dirty little secret (no pun intended!) has now become detrimental to her self-esteem. She feels so down and out that she even accepts the proposal of a very boring suitor, Jeevan-ji (Pradhuman Singh Mall).

[Read Related: Meet Fashion Blogger and Media Star Dolly Singh]

Thank You For Coming

But, it’s not like she hasn’t tried. Kanika’s been a monogamist since her teenage years, starting with puppy love in high school — unfortunately, their sexual endeavors coined her as “thandi” (cold) by her first boyfriend — all the way to dating in her adulthood. But, regardless of how great any relationship was, nobody had her achieve the big O. All until the night of her engagement with Jeevan, when the drunk bride-to-be leaves the party for her hotel room and gets into bed. What follows is her very first orgasm. Ghungroo, finally, tute gaye! But, with whom?

The morning after, an initially-satisfied Kanika works herself into a frenzy of confusion and frustration as she makes her way through the list of potential men who could’ve been in her room the night before.

Thank You For Coming

Was it one of her exes? She’d simply invited them to come to wish her well.

Was it her fiance?

Or, God forbid, was it actually the rabdi-wala (ice cream man)?

Boolani takes a straight-forward and on-the-nose approach to drive the point home. There are no cutting corners, no mincing words, and no hovering over “taboo topics.” The dialogue is raunchy, the characters are horny, and no one is apologetic. It’s important for a film like “Thank You For Coming” to be so in-your-face because the subject of women achieving orgasms can’t really be presented in any other way. Anything more conservative in the narrative would feel like the makers are being mindful of addressing something prohibited. And there is no room for taboos here.

But, there is room for a more open conversation on the reasons why many women feel the need to suppress their sexual needs in bed; how generally, women have been brought up to be the more desirable gender and hence not cross certain boundaries that would make them appear too brash. The fight for the right of female pleasure would have been a little more effective if the modesty around the topic was addressed. But, that doesn’t mean that the point is remiss.

The plot moves swiftly along, never lulling too long over everything that seems to be going wrong in Kanika’s life. “Thank You For Coming” is full of all the right tropes that belong in a comedic, masala film, too; the direction very seamlessly takes classic fixings like the abhorrent admirer (enter Jeevan-ji) and effectively plugs them into this contemporary feature that will remain perpetually relevant.

Thank You For Coming

And now, let’s come to the star of the show: the well-rounded characters.

Producer Rhea Kapoor has mastered the formula of a good chick flick and her casting is the magic touch. She’s got a knack for bringing together the right actors — cue, “Veere Di Wedding.” So, just when we think that it doesn’t get better than the veere, Kapoor surprises us with a refreshing trio — they’re modern, they’re rebellious, and they say it like it is. Thank you, Dolly Singh (Pallavi Khanna) and Shibani Bedi (Tina Das) for being the yin to Kanika’s yang — and for the bag full of sex toys your homegirl oh-so needed!

To complete Kanika’s story, we have her single mother, Miss. Kapoor, brilliantly portrayed by Natasha Rastogi. She is the face of a headstrong and self-assured matriarch and a symbol of the modern-day Indian woman. Rastogi’s character exemplifies the fact that with access to education, and a stable career, women do not need to mold their lives around men.

I love the fact that Miss. Kapoor is almost villainized by her own mother (played by Dolly Ahluwalia) in the film because she had a child out of wedlock in her yesteryears, she chooses to remain single, and she brings her boyfriends around the house to hang out with. But, there’s a point to be made here. The fact that Kanika’s mother is being antagonized just highlights that she is challenging the norms and pushing the envelope for what is socially acceptable for women. Miss. Kapoor definitely deserves an honorable mention.

Pednekar’s unexpected yet impeccable comic timing is the highlight of the entire film. Everything from being a damsel in sexual distress to a woman who unabashedly chases self-pleasure, Pednekar puts on a genuinely entertaining act for the audience. From being portrayed as a high-schooler to the 32-year-old, independent woman, Pednekar is fit for each role. Her naivety as a teen wins you over, as does her gusto as a full-blown adult with a broken ankle and some very messy relationships. This also speaks volumes about the versatility of her looks.

And, of course, Pednekar is not new to films that address social topics, but “Thank You For Coming” challenges her to balance Kanika’s droll with the responsibility of delivering a very important message to the viewers. Mission accomplished, Ms. Pednekar!

Thank You For Coming

“Thank You For Coming” is a through-and-through entertainer. Everything from the casting — a huge shout out to the rest of the supporting cast including Anil Kapoor, Shehnaaz Gill, Karan Kundra, Kusha Kapila, Gautmik, and Sushant Divkigar, without whom this roller coaster would have lacked the thrills — to the homey locations and even the glitz and glamor in the song sequences, they’re all perfect pieces to help drive home a powerful message: Smash patriarchy!

All images in this article are courtesy of TIFF.

By Sandeep Panesar

Sandeep Panesar is an editor, and freelance writer, based out of Toronto. She enjoys everything from the holiday season to … Read more ›

‘The Romantics’: Revisiting the Legacy and Grandeur of Yash Chopra With Filmmaker Smriti Mundhra

The Romantics

If you are a South Asian, born in the ’80s or the early ’90s, chances are your ideas of love and romance are heavily influenced by Hindi films — that first gaze, the secret love notes, that accidental meeting somewhere in Europe, over-the-top gestures and dancing around trees. While reality may have been far from what was promised on reel, you still can’t stop pining over a hopeless romantic, with chocolate boy looks, chasing you across the earth and many universes; in the life here and the ones after. Somewhere deep down, you still dream of that possibility despite your husband sitting and sipping his morning coffee right next to you. And much of the credit for weaving this dreamland, that we can’t resist happily sliding into, goes to the legendary Yash Chopra. Award-winning filmmaker Smriti Mundhra’s docu-series, “The Romantics,” that released on Netflix on February 14, chronicles Chopra’s prolific career; offering an illuminating look into the highs and lows of his journey, his unblemished vision for Hindi cinema and sheer love for filmmaking. 

I wanted to look at Indian cinema through the lens of it being a major contributor to the global cinema canon and Yash Chopra seemed like the perfect lens to explore that because of the longevity of his career and the fact that he had worked across so many different genres. His films, for so many of us, defined what Hindi cinema is.

— Smriti Mundhra

As “The Romantics” unveils, in a mere episode — a challenging feat in itself — Chopra did experiment with multiple genres as a budding filmmaker, initially under the shadows of his elder brother B.R. Chopra. From the religiously sensitive “Dharamputra” and the trendsetting “Waqt” to the action-packed and iconic “Deewaar.” It wasn’t until later on in his career that he set a precedent for a Hindi film having a wholly romantic narrative; though “Waqt” did offer the perfect glimpse into what would go on to become Chopra’s cinematic imprint. And then came “Chandni” which ushered in a new era for Hindi cinema; defying the formulaic approach to box office success and making love stories the golden goose.

In the words of more than 30 famous faces, a host of archival videos and interviews, and personal anecdotes, audiences get an extensive insight into the life and career of Yash Chopra and the evolution of his vision through the business acumen and genius of his polar opposite son and a famous recluse, Aditya Chopra. “The Romantics” is not a fancy portrait of a legendary filmmaker but an exploration of what goes into making a successful film family and a path-breaking production house. As viewers, we not only get a peek into the making of a fantasy creator but also learn of the many failures, hurdles and uncertainties that the business of filmmaking comes packaged in, the impact of socio-political shifts on the kind of content being produced and demanded, and just how much control we have as an audience over the fate of the film and the filmmaker.

For both the uninitiated and fanatics, there are some interesting revelations like Shah Rukh Khan’s lifelong desire to become an action hero as opposed to a romantic one and the creative conflict between Aditya Chopra and his father Yash Chopra on the sets of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” — a project that, surprisingly, did not seem too promising to the latter. Mundhra penetrates deep into the family’s history and industry relationships evoking some really candid conversations; almost as if these celebs were eagerly waiting for their moment to speak. With one appraising interview after the other, it’s a panegyric that does border on being a tad tedious but there is enough depth and fodder in there to keep one hooked. Kudos to Mundhra for managing to achieve cohesion despite there being more than enough material to chew on. In the process of bringing this project to life, Mundhra also ends up achieving a number of milestones: one that the series features the last of actor Rishi Kapoor’s interviews and two, it brings Aditya Chopra, who, it appears, can talk a blue streak contrary to popular belief, to the front of the camera after almost two decades. The moment when he puts the nepotism debate to rest by referring to his brother’s catastrophic attempt at acting is quite the show-stealer.


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A post shared by Smriti Mundhra (@smritimundhra)

At some point during the four-episode series, you might question if it’s fair to credit the Yash Raj family for being the only real changemakers of the Hindi film industry and for picking up the baton to get Hindi cinema the global recognition that it has. But then there is no denying the Chopra clan’s body of work, their ability to understand what pleases the crowd and their commitment towards growth and progress amidst changing times and technology — Yash Raj Studios is in fact the only privately held and one of the biggest, state-of-the-art film studios in India. Chopra’s career and legacy are in no way under-lit that Mundhra can claim to throw new light on with “The Romantics.” But what she really has on offer here are sheer nostalgia, some fascinating discoveries and an ode to a cinephile and his art with a bit of fan service.

In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, Mundhra discusses why it was so important for Chopra to be the subject of her docu-series, her own learnings during the series’ research and creative process and her accomplishment of getting Aditya Chopra to talk, and that too, at length.

By Nida Hasan

Managing Editor at Brown Girl Magazine, Nida has worked and written for several publications in a journalism career spanning almost … Read more ›

Abhishek Bachchan, Saiyami Kher, and Angad Bedi on ‘Ghoomer’

“Ghoomer,” R. Balki’s latest directorial venture, had its world premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2023 (IFFM), earlier this month, and the moment was nothing short of memorable. Lead actors Abhishek Bachchan, Saiyami Kher, and Angad Bedi, were present to unveil their labor of love to the world, and all three were left speechless at the reaction of the global audience; the film received a standing ovation on opening night, leaving the team extremely emotional — a feeling that Bachchan tells Brown Girl is one he cannot put into words.

“Ghoomer,” tells the story of Anina (played by Kher), an exceptional cricket player who loses her right hand in an accident. Downtrodden and with no will to live, Anina finds a mentor and coach in Padam Singh Sodhi (played by Bachchan), an insensitive and brash failed cricketer who helps her turn her life and career around; Anina also has the unwavering support of her husband, Jeet (played by Bedi). Sodhi teaches Anina unorthodox techniques to make her mark on the cricket ground once again. Enter, ghoomer, a new style of bowling.

[Read Related: 5 Tidbits About Bollywood Royalty Abhishek Bachchan For His 41st Birthday!]

Balki checks all the boxes with this feature — his protagonist is a female athlete, the film is his way of giving back to cricket (a new form of delivery), and he highlights the idea that nothing is impossible for paraplegic athletes. The heart of Balki’s film is in the right place — Kher mentions that the film is meant to be more of an inspirational movie and less of a sports-based movie. One can only imagine the impact that a film like this would have on an audience that’s hungry for meaningful cinema.

And, to chat more about “Ghoomer,” Brown Girl Magazine sat down with the stars of the show. Bachchan, Bedi, and Kher came together to talk about their inspiring characters, the filming journey, and how their film aspires to change the landscape of cricket and paraplegic athletes in the country. It was all that, with a side of samosas.

Take a look!

The featured image is courtesy of Sterling Global. 

By Sandeep Panesar

Sandeep Panesar is an editor, and freelance writer, based out of Toronto. She enjoys everything from the holiday season to … Read more ›