City boy's tryst with silver screen

First-timer

Tenzin Dalha, a student of Ramjas College, is these days glad to see himself on the small  screen in the promos of Margarita, with a Straw. Playing the character of a rockstar with whom Kalki Koechlin falls in love with, Dalha is excited as the release date of the film
inches closer.

The film happened when the crew began its search for a northeast guy, who could speak Hindi well. One of assistant directors of the film saw Dalha at Marine Drive, Mumbai and approached him for audition. The first audition happened in Mumbai.

For the finals, he met director Shonali Bose and lead actress Koechlin in South Extension, Delhi. “I started acting weird looking at Kalki. Since they had given the dialogues beforehand, I was prepared for the audition. And I was selected,” he exclaims. “But they told me that my role is of a rockstar and I don’t seem like that. They told me to watch videos.” No surprise, Dalha watched videos and attended rock concerts to get into the skin of the character.

The promotional video clearly shows how much hard work he has put into it. “I have a small role in the film. The promo shows one side of the story but as the film moves forward, you will realise it is about homosexuality. That it is not restricted to normal people but people who are differently abled seek love. I played a part where I break Kalki’s heart and then she moves to New York,” says Dalha.
As Koechlin plays the character of a girl suffering from cerebral palsy, it was crucial for Dalha to understand her role too. “I have a childhood friend, who doesn’t suffer from cerebral palsy but he gets something called ‘fits’. I know how emotionally difficult it is to deal with such people and understand them. So, I could feel what Kalki’s role demanded.”

Even Koechlin supported him. “There was a scene where I had to take 20 retakes. But she was calm and composed, understanding that I have never done a film before. She did not make me uncomfortable,” says Dalha. “Instead the first thing she told me on the set was not to look into the camera.”

Dalha has been a backstage person, who loves to direct plays. His recent play Algaav was staged at Atelier Campus Theatre. He has been active in theatre since his school days. “Acting is an art. Either you are born with it or you train yourself in it. I am neither of the two. But theatre is something that I have been trained in. My first stint with plays was in nursery. And it was in VIII standard that I started taking my passion seriously.
When I came to college, I became part of the theatre society, which totally changed my understanding of a play. I started directing street plays and the recent was Algaav,” says he.Algaav is the story of a Tibetian boy who is searching for his identity. Staying as a refugee in India, the protagonist wants to go back to his roots.

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