Thursday, April 26, 2007 13:56 IST
Sarika is happy with the feedback that she has received for her performance in Bheja Fry. When I met her at her apartment in Bandra to interview her, she warned me not to
ask her any personal questions and proceeded to make a cup of steaming hot coffee in the kitchen before plonking on the sofa for the interview.
Sarika concedes that working in a film like Parzania has been a great learning process for her. "The work process is the same whether you are acting in a mainstream film
like Babul or a film like Parzania. It is only at the end of the shoot that you realize whether the film is brilliant or horrible.
Parzania was based on an issue, which
has always been very close to my heart, right from the time I was in Chennai. I have been doing my bit to promote peace and help communal victims.
I feel that
work is my platform and the biggest thing that you can do is to use your platform to communicate your message to the society. Besides this, child labor is yet another
issue, which is close to my heart".
What made her accept the film considering that Rahul Dholakia had earlier made a potboiler like Kehta Hai Dil Baar baar? I ask her. Pat comes the reply, "Rahul is a brilliant
director. He gave me freedom to explore as an actress.
He is not a stubborn director who insists that the actor should approach a scene the way he has conceived
it. I try to see how the director sees my character in the beginning and accordingly decide on my approach to my role."
Sarika continues with gusto. "It was such a great pleasure working with a talented new director like Sagar in Bheja Fry. Sometimes the script can be good but the director
may not be able to do justice to it. It has always been the script which is of paramount importance and the production house is nowhere in the list.
If you are
honest in whatever you set out to do in life, you need not be scared at all. No matter how uphill your task is, you will be able to do it if you decide to do it".
Sarika has been over the years in touch with communal victims. "I know what it is to be affected by communal riots. Whether it was Ravi Chopra or Rahul Dholakia, I like to
sit with my director and eat his brain at least three times before I face the camera.
I did not work on the character of Shehnaaz because she was not an
author-backed hero. She is juts an ordinary human being whose biggest crisis is that her kids have not come back from school or her gas cylinder has to be replaced".
How did she prepare to get into the skin of her character in Parzania? Quips Sarika, "I wanted to let me grow with my character.How Shehnaz gets the strength to cope up
with the situation when she is thrown in a traumatic situation formed the crux of the film.
Though in Sacred Evil I represented the real life character of Ipsita, in
Parzania, I represented an event. I had met Ipsita only once and I told her that I wanted to steal her aura. In Parzania, I did not want to give Shehnaaz any mannerism,
because she could be easily missed in a crowd".
Sarika is frank enough to state that as a co-actress, she was not at all in awe of Naseer. "I had earlier acted with in two films- in Nirvaan as well as in Shart. Parzania is my
third film with him. I am also working in Hari Puttar with him.
While shooting in London with him, I was amazed when the white men knew who he is. Naseer and I
are beyond learning from each other. He is one of the few actors I admire like Om Puri. Naseer is more of a friend. He is one person who is what he is on his face".
Sarika confesses. "By throwing me down repeatedly, life has taught me a lot. However, I am glad that I have been able to strike the right balance You cannot take things
lying down by telling yourself zindagi aisi hai kya kare.
Life, as far as I am concerned, has taken a complete black and white turn. Yet the core has remained.
Though we have lost certain things in life, I do not think we should have this old is gold attitude. I am glad things have changed for the better because now directors are in a
position to make films they believe in and the distributor no longer calls the shot.
This in turn gives the actors a great opening to go ahead. Though earlier actors
were treated as caricatures, now we are presented as people".
Are her daughters inclined towards taking up acting like Kamal and her? I ask her. "My daughters Shruti and Akshara should not step in because their parents are into
acting "At the end of the day, though it is true that you cannot escape the magic of cinema, it is the training that will take them ahead and make a mark in life like say how
Hrithik Roshan has done.
Shruti sings for Ilayaraja on and off. She has opted for Hindusthani music after dropping Mathematics in college. It will be good if she
takes up singing because then she will not be compared to her parents." - Jyothi Venkatesh