Sanchitha Poonacha is a person who is not afraid to express herself. She has her fingers in many metaphorical pies, but does them justice too. As a creative soul, she had realized it was futile to be anything other one’s best self. Her entry into the Film Industry may not be premeditated, still it wound up being her destination. A trained Yoga teacher, Sanchitha has had many creative talents since the time she was a child. Those talents, including Theatre, are now coming into the limelight with every step towards stardom. An artistic person, she will continue her journey with plenty of dedication. Without further ado let us learn more about this budding actress and what shapes her into who she is today.
A multi-talented family
Sanchitha Poonacha was born to C.K. Poonacha and Sunitha Poonacha in Bangalore on July 26th 1995. The biggest influence on her individuality, her mother, is a homemaker. Growing up, she had watched her take tuitions, practice tailoring, paint, cook and bake amazingly well. In Sanchita’s words, she is kind, playful and strong. “I believe I have multiple and similar interests because of her and also imbibed many of her qualities,” she reveals, giving us a glimpse into her multifaceted personality.
Her father is currently a planter and practices golf. He was a sportsman who participated in many state and national level events. Sanchitha says he is emotional, sensitive, generous and achieving. She shares that she loves watching sports but unfortunately only played hockey in school. However, she now practices and teaches yoga, practice movement and is trying her hand at parkour. In an insightful revelation the actress notes, “I don’t know if I was brought up to be independent and self reliant but it surely was the by-product of the life I’ve lived so far.”
Her family also includes her older sister Nishmitha. The sisters are very close and Sanchitha agrees with a smile that she is one of her best friends and very influential in her being.
Sweet memories from childhood
Sanchitha had many memorable moments growing up. They are sweet and never fail to bring a warm feeling. She and her sister would always love to come back from school, dress up, choreograph dance numbers and perform at home. They also enjoy good food and movies. The sisters would always catch the latest movies at the theatres the first weekend followed by exploring new restaurants. This is something that continues to be to this day.
Not only her sister, Sanchitha is close to her cousins as well. Their childhood included many fun filled adventures and fights. They remain very close to this day. With her mother, she had many trysts in the kitchen. “I love cooking and more so love watching her cook. In my younger days I would cut out recipes from magazines and stick them in her recipe book. We still cook from that particular book,” she shares. In an amusing admission, she divulges that her dad was keen on keeping both her sister and her fit, though both of them were chubby and heavily protested back then. He made them take early morning swimming classes, hockey practice, running and jogging (all the while crying). To keep the peace, he would bribe them with a good meal, so all was well eventually.
A creative mind shaped by creative education
Sanchitha did her schooling from Frank Anthony Public school, Bangalore. She further did her 11th and 12th in Jyoti Nivas college, following which she joined architecture.
But, she quit it as she felt she wasn’t making a conscious decision being there. Later she joined Christ university and did a triple major in Media, Literature and theatre studies. “I was always interested in literature, history, geography and physics. I always enjoyed studying different approaches to life (scientific or artistic).” Due to this Sanchitha developed a more exploring, participating and learning approach to life than a ‘learn and apply‘ method. Her education in theatre has greatly impacted the way she leads her life. “It shakes away inhibitions, helps you express your individuality and keeps you grounded,” she states.
Those incidents that impacted her
Sanchitha Poonacha had her fair share of personal and financial trouble growing up but did enjoy her childhood. She was a rather well behaved student until one day she took a box of cockroaches to scare her friend. They, unfortunately, got caught by the teacher because the box fell during their geography class and her friend’s table was running with roaches. Luckily she had a spotless record, so got away with it. In another unforgettable incident, during an exam, their teacher ‘got locked out’ of class ‘by mistake.’ “You can imagine we all did well in that exam,” she says. Sanchitha shares with a laugh that she was Vice President of the student union during 12th, never in class and was actively involved in all other activities but studying. Her close friends were part of the union too, so they really felt they were on top of the world back then.
Confessing about a time that really scared and impacted her, she talks about one incident that stands out. During a theatre production, she and her friends went to collect some things arriving from Mumbai to the cargo terminal at around 3am. There, only one of them was allowed. “We were scared to send one girl inside an all male facility in the middle of the night. We waited for hours for her to come back while the rest of us spent our time playing ‘crocodile crocodile can we cross the golden river ‘ to calm our nerves.” She still remembers that day because it’s the day she realised how difficult and scary it can be sometimes to be a woman in our country.
In addition to these incidents, the actress has many memories of just going out, eating, trips and exploring with her closest friends, which continue to this day.
The most important people
As a people’s person Sanchitha Poonacha has been blessed with the best of friends growing up, be it school, college or after. Her sister Nishmitha and her best friends Anju and Rakshitha have always stuck by her through thick and thin. She notes that they know her more than she knows herself. “Decisions like leaving architecture, pursuing theatre were outwardly to my family, but were made easy with their presence. I was mentally in a bad place in 2019-2020 for many reasons. It was them who made me even get out of bed,” she reveals. She has more friends that she would like to thank and feels it’s important to mention them – Tanvi, Malini, Shreya, Becky, Kamz, Spoo, Shravz, Anu, Fre and Kay. “I owe a lot to them,” she says with love.
They are also her role models, rather than any celebrity. From childhood until now, she has been inspired by many women in her life such as her mother, sister and her female friends.
All the skills learned so far
As a theatre artist Sanchitha Poonacha had participated in multiple productions across Bangalore. She also teaches yoga and has done her teacher training programme from Mysore. She is a certified yoga instructor. She has also completed her grade 1 in kathak and wishes to continue when she finds the time. She asserts that her theatre background would help her immensely in the Film Industry.
Speaking about a life changing decision, She feels that the decision of her leaving architecture to pursue arts was a tipping point for a chain of events that happened later to lead her to this point in life. “The decision was tough and I had a lot of explaining to do. But that one incident has helped me deal with many situations and decisions more securely,” she notes.
Additionally, she has multiple other interests. Yoga is integral to her life. Other than that, her skills and hobbies include sketching, painting, movement practice like Animal flow and parkour. These are something she has taken to recently. “I secretly practice singing too,” she says with a chuckle.
The first foray into the Film Industry
While agreeing that the Industry is competitive, Sanchitha says that it is still an industry that tells stories and that we never run out of stories. “I think as long as you are aware of the person you are and the type of work you want to do and the stories you want to tell, you’ll be fine.”
Opening up about her first chance in the Telugu Film Industry, she says It happened very casually without any hype. It was when she had just finished college and was planning to move to Mumbai. During this time, a friend of hers told her about some auditions. Taking the friend’s advice, she just went to meet the director at a cafe. “It was a casual meeting and apparently the director was sure it was me playing the character as soon as I walked in, which he told me later and after which we had a brief audition and everything fell into place.”
Since then, she has acted in 2 movies and is currently shooting for one. Her movie ‘Love Life and Pakodi’ directed by Jayanth Gali, was released in March 2021. Following that she has worked on Nani’s Wallposter cinema’s upcoming anthology project.
The project is called Meet Cute, directed by Nani’s sister Deepthi Ganta. It’s an anthology of many stories.
She feels she hasn’t done her best yet, giving us an idea about her long term plans. “I’m still making a path for myself. Right now all I can think of is to do work with honesty, dedication and have fun in the process. Rest all is a blur,” she shares.
The biggest push
For Sanchitha Poonacha, the story is the hero of any film. It was the story she wanted to be a part of. “And of course, any chance to perform is something I would jump at,” she exclaims with excitement. She further tells us that she doesn’t plan too much, which is the best and worst part about her.
Since she is just starting off, the inevitable ups and downs are yet to come. She hopes to handle them with dignity and grace. In addition to films, she would like to continue doing theatre and teaching yoga. “Would also work on a few causes I feel passionate about,” she signs off.
Current and upcoming projects
Sanchitha Poonacha is currently working on a Kannada film and is also reading a few scripts.