Athiya Shetty

A day before her 25th birthday, actress  Athiya Shetty, who was last seen in “Mubarakan,” visited an animal shelter. She says animals give her peace and happiness more than anything else. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—Athiya Shetty, who turned a year older Nov. 5, spent her special day with her gang of girlfriends. But a day before, the actress visited an animal shelter as she is fond of animals.

Shetty, who was last seen in "Mubarakan," said, “I absolutely love animals. They teach us how to love unconditionally. I visit an NGO every year, on my birthday. But this year, I decided to spend time with animals, and see what I can do to help their lives in whatever way I can. Since I’m traveling, I will visit the animal shelter a day prior to my birthday. More than anything, animals just make me happy and peaceful.”

Shetty just kept her big day free of rituals and enjoyed herself. Sharing her fondest birthday memories, Shetty said, “Spending time with my grandfather has to be my fondest memory. It’s the first year I’m celebrating without him, so it feels empty. I’m turning 25 this year, but I love growing older. I feel like you’re close to discovering who you really are as a person.”

About the most memorable gift that she has ever received, she said, “It’s not a particular gift, or anything materialistic. It’s what I do that day; I think my most memorable birthday would have to be my seventh birthday – it was a sangeet- themed birthday party. People thought I was nuts, but I was obsessed with song and dance.”

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