As a reporter I have covered elections in India twice. Once for DDnews wth choppers featuring trails of Chief Minister of Bengal 2004 in Gujrat, promoting CPIM, Budhdhadev Dasgupta’s campaigning in 2004-5.

CPIM won all over India that year 2005.

And next as a personal photographer to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Damodar Modi in 2012. Coincidently he won too. Both the Ministers work really really really hard to make a difference.

Have a massive 15 years of qualifed training and experience in hard print and tv news producing, reporting and presenting as a REPORTER at a national level. Now I freelance for them for some good articles reads, stories and respect for journalism.

This is a space for my select stories and interviews with Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities and the business of cinema.

First up--  my fav - Kalki Koechlin, as on Oct 2015

I get pangs of emotion for Ruth's numbness, or Laila's loneliness or Aditi's unrequited love

- Kalki Koechlin


A feminist in her own right Kalki Koechlin believes that rather than screaming from the rooftop about issues of the day, one has to make a difference through one’s field of work. As an actor who has always pushed boundaries with her work she believes it is an actor’s responsibility to break streotypes and bring about a change from within. In a candid conversation she reveals her preparations as an actor, her choice of films and what it takes to give shape to one’s dreams as actor. Excerpts:


You are young and successful in the Hindi film industry. Did you always picture yourself here?


I never pictured myself as being famous (at least not realistically, sometimes I'd watch the shoots outside my school Hebron school in botanical gardens and wish I was dancing in those awesome costumes!), but I did picture myself as an actor yes. I have wanted to act since my first school play when I must have been around 7 and we did the nativity play for Christmas and I was a sheep! The next play I did I played a tree! and finally I got to play the fairy queen Titania in Shakespeare's mid summer nights dream when I was about 16. That got me hooked.


What or who has been your inspiration to become an actor?


Growing up watching films in Tamil, Hindi and French made me love acting, I loved the way actors could make you cry one minute and laugh the next, like Charlie Chaplin for example. I was deeply impacted by shekar kapoor film bandit queen when I was a teenager, I also loved Tabu's films like Chandni bar, Maqbool, and was a big fan of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Later I studied theatre and became inspired by people like Arianne Mouchkine, Simon Mcburny, Piña Bausch and Robert Lepage. 


Are you partial to the stage or the camera? What are the reasons for the same?


I am in love with both. Theatre is for me a training ground as an actor, a place to experiment, try new ways of expressing,pushing the body and the forms in which we can convey emotions. Film is deeply internal and pushed me to search within myself for the characters that initially seem different from me, to make them relatable in some way.


Would you call yourself a flag bearer of parallel cinema?


Not really because I think that the barriers between parallel and commercial can be quite blurred with films like Dev D or Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Margarita With a Straw. I believe every type of cinema ultimately has to reach out to as big an audience as possible. 


What kind of preparation does a role like the one you played in Margarita with a Straw or your role in the Girl in Yellow Boots take?


I always start with research, watching movies on similar subjects or with similar characters, meeting and observing people similar and reading up on the subject. The second stage is riyaaz, daily practice of the mannerisms and habits of the character, and the final stage is really the hardest which is being in the moment during the shoot, suspending all my surroundings and being the character and believing that world. 


Do you feel emotionally attached to the characters you play?


Usually when I finish a film, I'm exhausted by the character and want to get away from her as soon as possible but later when I re-watch my films after some time, I do get pangs of emotion for Ruth's numbness, or Laila's loneliness or Aditi's unrequited love. 


How difficult or easy is it for you to come out of character?


As I said in the previous answer usually I jump right out of it. But with characters like Laila where I spend six months of my life getting into the physicality I did catch myself sometimes making a similar movement unconsciously. 


Does it bother you that good actors who want to do meaningful work tend to get slotted in the industry?


I think stereotyping is something we all do in regular life, we see an someone in a salwar suit we assume she doesn't watch Game of Thrones or we see a girl in goth make up we are quick to conclude that she is an addict. We have to consciously break that stereotype as actors. Since we are in the limelight, blaming the industry is like blaming the Government we elected, the change can and should come from us. 


From the time you have been acting what is the major change that you have noticed in the art of filmmaking? 


In the last few years, writing has become more important, and realism is challenging the earlier escapism in films. It's an exciting time for women too with female orientated films like Kahaani and Queen doing so well.



Finally, to end with a cliché, Mumbai remains a city of dreams where hundreds of people come even today to become actors. What would you say to them?


I would say acting is the art of telling stories. Start telling stories everyday, to your peers, your neighbours, your family, tell stories in bars and theatres and public and private spaces. Make the stories believable and entertaining, make people laugh and cry, they don't have to be true stories, but others must believe they are true. Tell stories at auditions and dinner parties, and stand up comedy venues, before you know it a lifetime will have passed by! 

Unrequited love

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