She maintains that she never really went away, but actor Ayesha Takia is treating her upcoming love story as a comeback film after a hiatus of two and a half years. "I never stopped being a heroine. I began acting when I was four and bagged my first film as a heroine at the age of 15," she says.
Ayesha, who hit a career high with her stirring performance in Dor, is reuniting with her favourite director Nagesh Kukunoor for her return. "I know him socially and bumped into him one day. That was when he told me about this project and I took it up because Nagesh will never offer me anything less than the best," says Ayesha, adding, "The critics noticed me as a performer only with Dor."
The actor had gone off the radar after her marriage to hotelier Farhan Azmi, which she says helped her change her outlook towards life. "I never planned anything in my life. When I got married, I decided to take a break. I wanted to travel, see life differently and discover things about myself," says Ayesha. During this self-imposed hiatus, the actor also found a new calling. Ayesha and Farhan are currently giving finishing touches to their new property - a 100-year-old bungalow that is being converted into a boutique hotel in Goa. "We had this concept in mind for a long time and we plan to bring to take this to other cities as well," she says.
With her attention thus divided, will she do fewer films? "I am enjoying this phase in my life and am very happy being a businesswoman. But acting has always been part of my life and it just can't go away," she says.
And while Ayesha is looking to work her way back into the mainstream, she isn't ready to shimmy and show skin for an item number. "Item numbers are not my scene at all," says the actor.
But much has changed in Bollywood since her hiatus - the industry has become more competitive with newer faces stepping in. But the bubbly actor is unfazed. "There has always been competition, then and even now. I never noticed it, though," she says.