Up close and personal with Sohaila Kapur

Writer, playwright, actress, director, television producer she dons several roles simultaneously while continually adding to her experience as jury member for national and international film awards.

MULTIfaceted Sohaila KapurShe is Sohaila Kapur. Metrolife caught up with the renowned personality in an exclusive tête-a-tête who recently re-staged August Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie.

Born in a progressive family, Sohaila pursued Masters in Political Science and went on to become a journalist. Was it her family’s choice? “My mother got me trained in classical dance from Kathak danseuse Uma Sharma and wanted me to become an artiste but over the years, academics gained precedence over performing arts due to our exam-oriented society.”  Though she is proud to have retained her love for classical music and direction in theatre Sohaila actually wanted to be in front of the camera. “I wanted to be an actress! But the refrain was, ‘nice girls don’t join films’. And, for an upper class Punjabi girl it was an absolute ‘No’ because the question that followed was ‘who will marry you?’ Is she open to acting now? “Why not?” she retorts.

Today a producer Lok Sabha TV, Sohaila is envious of this generation. “I wish I was born around this time as there are a lot of opportunities for girls today. I could have joined television as a news anchor which I missed out on because when the electronic media flooded the market, I was a mature woman and they wanted fresh faces.”

However, she has no regrets. “I am happy to have been born then as I am a lot more calmer than this generation. Also, when I joined media, I could make a mark as there was little competition.
Being related to Dev Anand, it must have been tough to come to terms with his demise? “I was shocked at and grieved so much. Dev saab epitomised my childhood and was my inspiration and when he died, my childhood died a second death. I borrowed 22 films of Dev saab and watched them for a complete month to relive my childhood and revive memories.”

Born and brought up in Delhi, the multi-tasking lady feels that, “Delhi has grown so much. It used to be a hub of large-hearted Punjabi families. That polite and welcoming culture is disappearing.”
Have the molestation cases gone up now as compared to earlier times? “It has always been there.
When in college I used to worry the day I had to go out on my own without a driver.” In a candid moment she shares, “I once slapped a man who was misbehaving with me in a bus and he slapped me back. Nobody else helped me and I was so humiliated that I went to a friend’s house and cried.” 
But she is hopeful that the coming generation will bring the much needed change.

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