Actor Juhi Rustagi has been wowing the Malayali audience playing the realistic role of teenager in a TV show, Uppum Mulakum, for quite sometime now. Born to a Rajasthani father and a Keralite mother, Juhi has lived in almost all the major cities in India.
The actor who is currently settled in Kerala dreams of building her own abode, if possible, in a place abound with rustic charm.
“I made my entry into the mini screen quite unexpectedly as the offer came through a friend. I am also a fashion designing student, and wish to open a boutique later. After that I want to become an air hostess,” laughs Juhi.
Juhi’s father Raghuveer Sharan Rustagi had a business venture in Ernakulam. He was very fond of Keralites and married Bhagyalakshi, who hails from Chottanikkara. Though Juhi and her elder brother Chirag was born in Kerala, they grew up in rented homes at various cities from Kanyakumari to Delhi owing to her father’s business interests. Tragedy struck the family when Raghuveer passed away suddenly. Juhi says that it took some time for them to come to terms with the shock.
“I can never forget the house in Eruvely near Chottanikkara where we stayed for quite a while. It was a beautiful hamlet, with friendly and loving neighbors. I had lots of friends who were all my age. We had goats and hens at home. It was such a wonderful time. We were really sad when we had to leave that house,” confesses the youngster.
Juhi’s parents hailed from large families as both of them had seven siblings each. She says that though her father hailed from Rajasthan she doesn’t have many relatives there as most of her uncles and aunts have got settled in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Juhi vividly remembers the family gatherings at her mother’s ancestral home in Chottanikkara during festivals like Onam and Vishu.
She says, “All of us kids loved to roam about the vast plots, doing lots of fun activities. I still remember the wonderful times when we played on the swing during Onam and burst crackers together for Vishu.”
It’s been three years since Juhi became part of the ‘Uppum Mulakum’ family. The show is filmed at a house at Vazhakkala in Kakkanadu. She says that the house has almost become like her own home. The actress, her mother and brother currently stay at Irumbanam, but they would soon shift to a rented house in Kakkanadu.
“Our greatest dream is to have a house of our own. We had spent most of our lives at various rented houses. So we really would like to settle down in a house of our own in some other city outside Kerala. I love small homes as I had lived in such houses with moderate facilities until now. I am not interested to stay in flats. I should be able to step on earth, and live in close contact with nature. My dream home should have facilities which would let in lots of natural light and air. There should be lots of trees and greenery around. We would obviously visit Kerala regularly. These are my dreams, and I hope that we are able to save some money to build our dream abode soon,” reveals Juhi.