Actor Kishori Shahane Vij is a household name today. However, she clearly remembers when she stepped in front of the camera for the first time. “I was very shy of the camera, the stage was not at all a problem. I was active on stage since age 12. In three to four years, I was pro on stage and I was so confident in saying my lines. But then when it came to the camera, I did not know where to look and what to do. I was only 16 when I stepped in front of the camera for the first time. But my co-actors were very cooperative. Legendary actors such as Ashok Saraf, Lakshmikant Berde, Sachin Pilgaonkar really supported and encouraged me and that's how my career began,” she says.
As a child, Kishori and her sisters were very academically inclined. However, she learned to balance her acting career with her studies at an early age. “We are three sisters. All three of us were always academically inclined. And, in fact, I juggled my life between my studies and my career. My career began at the age of 12 by acting on stage and then later in the film industry. I did my first Marathi film when I was 16. So, it was like always juggling between studies and my career,” she says.
She was crowned Miss Mithibhai in Mithibhai College during her years there. The actor says that while she continued to balance her career with her studies, she made sure to have fun as well. “College was so much fun. My college professors supported me with my attendance. They used to allow me to go ahead with my acting assignments and not attend college. I was allowed to sit for the exams but it was my duty to clear all my exams with good marks every year and that's what I kept doing,” she says.
In 2003, Kishori was crowned Runners-up in Mrs. Gladrags Beauty Pageant. The actor says that while it was a big moment for her, initially she never even wanted to participate. “Mrs.Gladrags happened when I had not thought of entering into any competition as such because I was already a star. It was a bold step on my behalf to really again challenge myself into any competition. My husband Deepak Balraj Vij encouraged me and I joined a gym. My gym friends also encouraged me. And that's how actually that pageant happened. I got the Runners-up position because I got confused in the final question that they asked me. My husband and my son were sitting in the front row and the anchor asked me, ‘Who is that dream man that you would like to spend a day with?’ I couldn't take any other dream man's name since my dream man is my husband. But since I only got a minute, I got confused as I didn't know what to say immediately. Maybe that’s why I lost a mark there,” she says.