Amidst all the limelight, career pressure and trying to live up to people’s expectations, Krishna found her poison in fitness, and now inspires many. She opens up about her transformation, her inspiration for MMA, her relationship with her parents, and much more in an interesting conversation with Just Urbane.
Words: Amisha Shirgave Photograph by: Sameer Belvalkar
Hair & Makeup: Riya Sheth Stylist: Natasha Bothra
Location and hospitality courtesy by: Courtyard Mumbai
A glance at Krishna Shroff and I witnessed how graceful she is in her own element. Entering The Marriott’s lounge for the shoot in pyjamas, a tee and black glares, I was mesmerized by the boss babe statement she made there. Krishna Shroff has been known as the legendary Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff’s daughter and Tiger Shroff’s sister. I can feel the pressure just while writing about it and I can only imagine the sweats Krishna must have had. Being born in a family where fame was a gift, the industry, the public; where fans expect the star kid to take the legacy ahead. That’s what the media, the industry and relatives expect and assume. But that’s not the case with Krishna here. Not only did she choose to create a niche that is far from films and acting but also chose a career that challenges her every day, where she thrives to be a better version of herself. Most importantly, you can see how grateful she is for her work, her life, and everything that she does through her hustle. Time to get to know Krishna a bit better than the world. I can already tell how interesting this story about Krishna’s journey is going to be!
The fact that Krishna is a fitness enthusiast doesn’t surprise, given that she owns a freakin’ gym. Not only any gym but an MMA matrix gym. Not many are familiar with the term MMA. MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts, is a sport that is an amalgamation of techniques from karate, judo, wrestling, boxing, etc. Krishna’s motive behind launching the MMA matrix gym was to introduce people to this sport and also help them achieve their fitness goals. “My journey at MMA has been transformational. It has been life-changing, to say the least. I have delved into numerous fitness programmes but for me, nothing works my mental as MMA does. The shift in my mental strength following the sport has been immense and that’s been the most rewarding thing about my time with MMA,” said Krishna, while walking us through her MMA journey.
Looking at Krishna’s fitness regimen and passion, I wondered how long she had been in this field. When asked about her inspiration, she said, “I’ve always been an active person. I’ve always had this energy within me but I truly got into fitness when I was 23. I was going through something at the time and I felt like I needed to do something transformational that prioritized my health above all. That’s when I found fitness as my mantra. Initially, I would say that my brother was always been my motivator and inspiration. But now, I find that inspiration in myself.”
As kids, we often have many aspirations and choices of careers we wish to have. It keeps changing as we grow up but at some point, we do feel that we are capable of doing everything we wish to if our heart and hard work are in right place. When it comes to Krishna, she has never put all her eggs in one basket. Right through her childhood she was active in various fields, experimented with them but she was more inclined towards athletics. As a kid, she was amazed by the lifestyle athletes had and, of course, the earnings were just a cherry on the top. Well, I had to dig in a bit deep for this answer but I admire Krishna for being so honest about her childhood aspiration. She couldn’t stop giggling as she told me that she wanted to become a sumo wrestler as a kid. Sure there is an athletic side to it but the fact that she could eat a lot and make a living off it grabbed her attention for a long time. When asked about the role her family plays in her achievements, she said, “My family has been my biggest support. They have given Tiger and me the freedom to think for ourselves, be ourselves and chase everything we’re passionate about. There was no pressure to follow a certain field because people expected so. I was always expected to enter Bollywood, become an actress, and carry forward the family name but I’m truly grateful for the support my family has given from the very beginning. I’m very big on following my passion and chase what I truly believe in and that’s what has gotten me to where I’m today.”
I have never been able to get past the kind of mentality people carry when it comes to the second generation being expected to walk the same prints and take the legacy ahead. Why is a doctor’s child expected to become a doctor and a lawyer’s child a lawyer? Who gives the so-called ‘society’ the right to decide someone’s field of work or passion for them? Krishna has faced immense pressure about entering Bollywood and initially, she even gave it a thought. “I was born into this family. I didn’t choose to! Not complaining here but I think it is what it is and I’ve always been grateful for it. From a very young age, I’ve been questioned by many people in the industry and family friends about my debut. ‘Oh, so when is she going to enter Bollywood?’ was the question my family was bombarded with. As a teenager, it was pretty obvious that I was slightly influenced by the outside voices but I knew that I’m not destined for Bollywood. I have always been the one to break the norms, do what I believe in and stay true to myself. Now I’m so secure within myself and I have found that security through fitness. None of those outside opinions matter to me anymore as I’m exactly where I have wanted to be,” said Krishna with pride while unfolding her story.
Throughout our chatty conversation, she repeatedly mentioned how her parents had been extremely supportive of her and had been there for her at every step of her life. I could not help but ask which parent she was fonder of. Krishna says she is blessed to have such an amazing relationship with her parents. She wishes that she comes back to the same family for all her lifetimes. While describing her bond with her parents, she said, “My mom is my best friend. She is more than a mother to me. I share every single detail of my life with her and there are no judgments. She is just always there for me and that feeling is beyond beautiful. My dad, on the other hand, is protective about me but also lets me experience life in my own way and learn from it. Good or bad. Being able to have open conversations and knowing that they trust me and are always going to have my back and that gives me strength.”
A star kid from a filmy background where her father and her elder brother have earned themselves the fandom through their work, the media assumes that the future generations will be seen in the same field. When asked the media’s response to Krishna excelling in the fitness industry, she said that they had been very supportive. “Initially it was a bit annoying because I was constantly questioned about my debut in the film industry. It was shocking for them, but they finally started to recognize me for who I was and what I wanted to be. I have always been clear about my intentions but it took a little while for other people to believe in me. I think when your intentions are pure and your conscience is clear, people around you have no option but to believe in you and start admiring the art you have to offer to the world,” said Krishna.
Fitness is the most booming industry today and Krishna says that she would be glad if she could inspire the youth of the country to live a healthy lifestyle. Being the fitness enthusiast that she is, I asked what advice she had for beginners. I mean, I had to ask her about the role diet plays in leading a healthy lifestyle. “Fitness is an individual thing. You have to experiment; you have to understand your body and what works out for you. You’re not the same person as I’m so what works for my body might not work for yours. It is a game of trial and error. You need to have patience when the results do not show. You’re going to evolve every day and keep getting better if you don’t give up and are committed. I focus more on my abs because having a good core is always appreciated and I like challenging myself every day. People think I spend hours at the gym doing 1000 reps but what they don’t understand is that it is not all about breaking a sweat. A good diet is equally important. Your food needs to compliment the energy exerted during your training. People assume training is the hard part but if you’re not disciplined with your nutrition, you are never going to see change. I don’t believe in fad diets and I never recommend them to anyone. When you have cravings, your body is demanding certain nutrition and that is what you need to give it instead of falling in for the craving. Learn to listen to your body,” said Krishna while explaining the importance of maintaining the balance between workout and diet.
Behind the spotlight the Shroff family has been bestowed with, Krishna had a hard time dealing with the comments and opinions the media had for her. She has been through various emotional hurdles to get to where she is today but the most difficult time she had was when she was a teenager. Krishna was overweight during her teen life and it crushed her confidence when she was called out for being overweight by the paparazzi whenever she was spotted with her father. “People felt like they have the right to criticise and judge my body. As a teenager, of course, the comments, trolls and criticism affected me. But now that I’ve come so far, these opinions are just some blabbers to me. Being ‘daddy’s little girl’ wouldn’t have gotten me here. It is pure hard work and the sense of realisation that it’s me who has to look out for myself and thrive every day to be a better version of myself. And that keeps me going,” says Krishna.
I felt like having had an adventure while concluding my intriguing converse with Krishna. She is so full of zeal, energy and gratitude. Her journey has been a roller coaster ride but it has all been worth it because of where life has brought her. Now that we were about to finish the interview, I asked her a question that I’ve always had about the Shroff family. What’s it with the names? Jackie, Tiger, Krishna...? Well, Krishna said she was pissed off about her name back when she was younger. “I was told that Krishna is a guy’s name and I was annoyed with it but as I kept growing older, I understood how powerful my name is and I love it. My father’s name is Jaykishan and he got the name Jackie after a film. So, when we were born, our parents decided to name a kid Jay and the other Krishna.”