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‘I can’t stay away from my children’

Sridevi is going places, even now — she’s still basking in the success of her comeback venture, English Vinglish. The actress recently posed for a shoot with her two daughters and admits that it was quite a special occasion.

“I am extremely happy that I got to do this beautiful photoshoot with my daughters. It was a different experience for them, as it was their first time,” she says.

The actress quit films when she became a mother, because she wanted to spend more time with her children — but her triumphant return to the silver screen with English Vinglish is proof that actresses can balance their families as well as successful professional lives.

“I’ve been working since the age of four. I wanted to experience family life,” explains the star, about her decision to step away from the limelight. When she agreed to return with English Vinglish, the journey felt new to her, thanks to the presence of her daughters by her side.

The actress’s younger daughter, Khushi says, “When we were at the supermarket one day, a lady started thanking mum, saying how the film has changed her life as she couldn’t speak good English.” Off-screen, the actress reveals that she is like any other mother, enjoying shopping and watching movies with her children. “I can’t stay away from them for long,” she says.

No qualms about marriage

There used to be a time in Bollywood, when actresses would disclose that they were married only after their heydays in the industry had come to an end — it was always perceived that a married actress had much less value in the film industry.

Then, there were those like Sridevi who took a long sabbatical from the film industry after tying the knot — again for the same reason.The present scenario, however, tells a different story. Actresses these days — especially those at the top — seem to have no qualms about settling down and talking about it too. They appear more at ease with the “married” tag.

Kareena Kapoor was arguably at the peak of her career when she tied the knot with boyfriend Saif Ali Khan, and Genelia D’Souza too didn’t think twice about her very public wedding with beau Riteish Deshmukh. Vidya Balan too tied the knot recently with Siddharth Roy Kapoor.Maharaja Features

‘I wasn’t desperate for opportunities abroad’

Some Bollywood actors have managed to strike gold across the seas as well, making a mark in Hollywood.

In fact, Om Puri admits that he received more acclaim overseas than he did back home.

The veteran actor says, “Initially, recognition abroad was just like in India — where, after Aakrosh, I became popular with Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen and Satyajit
Ray.

Gradually, people started responding to me very warmly on flights and at international airports. And my stock back home also rose steadily. However, my
mainstay remained Indian films. I was never desperate for opportunities abroad
and accepted only the best, not all. I’ve always believed in a certain rhythm of life
and never did two shifts.

To me, Merchant Ivory’s ‘Mystic Masseur’ was as exciting as the documentary against corruption I did in Bangalore for Hindustan. But when my country ignored me, I got recognition in the West.”

The actor also admits that he’s been very lucky in the kind of roles he’s been offered in both industries.

 “I’ve been lucky enough to land some outstanding films like Udayan Prasad’s British film, ‘My Son the Fanatic’ (1997), where I had an author-backed role. I would go to the sets with the cameraman and leave after he had switched off.

I was there in every single frame. There are very few film offers like that here,” he adds.

No time for Subhash Ghai

When Subhash Ghai and A R Rahman collaborated on Taal in 1999, they managed to create magic. But soon after that film hit theatres, rumours began to float around that suggested that the two had fallen out.

Proving these wrong, Rahman returned to work for Ghai’s Mukta Arts and composed one song for Kisna, which released in 2005. Later, he scored the entire music of Yuvraaj, which came out in 2008.

Now, however, he has decided to give Rahman a miss for his latest film Kaanchi — and obviously, this has set tongues wagging once more.
Subhash Ghai explains, “Rahman gave me 60 days in Taal and 30 days in Yuvraaj — he might now give me 15 days.”

However, he quickly adds, “Of course, he remains a legend and one of the best we have today — but please try and understand I needed someone with a hunger to work with me.

Darbar gave me 10 days for one song and we have finished four songs till now. I have as many as nine songs in Kaanchi, which besides being a revenge drama, has music as its soul.”




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