With her outgoing and confident personality, you’d never be able to tell that Thanuja Ananthan was a victim of bullying at school. Ironically, it was because of the bullying that she’s able to stand tall and carry herself well without any fear as the intimidation she had experienced made her stand up for her sister.
“Anuja (my twin sister) and I were bullied in school because we were tall, had big poofy hair and were coloured. People called us names like Twin Towers, crane and bangau (Malay for crane). We felt a little sad at first but then I stood up as the elder sister and defended both of us,” laughs Thanuja.
Looking back, she says she’s proud that she grew up with a supportive family because that’s how she’s managed to remain confident. “To me, success means being fulfilled and happy. It has been an amazing year for me because of my spiritual, mental and physical growth. Also, because I got the chance to play the lead role of an artificial intelligence officer in a Singaporean TV series called Mixed Signals produced by Mediacorp which will be out this month,” explains Thanuja.
At the same time, she doesn’t deny the fact that it has been an equally challenging year because she has been working in Singapore since early this year. “Being away from your support system – family, friends and dogs – has been really tough. But on the bright side, I learnt how to breakdance and had to pick up Russian and German to play the role in the TV series,” she shares.
As Thanuja loves to constantly challenge herself, she hopes that with the existing platform she has built for herself, she’d be able to pay it forward by helping stray dogs in Malaysia. “My hope is for us to be a stray-free country like Holland one day. I hope we’ll be able to do away with pet stores because when the buying stops, the breeding will stop too. Remember, #adoptdontshop and together, we can make a difference,” she concludes.
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