Dosas! Illustration: Uttam Ghosh Ananya Chakravarti thinks
about food, food and more food
As the scent of Dosas wafts through the air,
I can hardly wait to
bite into the delicious
meal. Dosas, specifi-
cally Paper Dosas with
Milagai Podi (gunpowder) are
my all-time favorite food.
I absolutely LOVE Indian food
because of its different tastes and varieties.
Eating Indian food literally massages your taste
My ideal menu for the week would be a mixture of north
Indian food like Puris, Rajma, Chole and Chappati and
South Indian food like rice dishes, Dosas, and Idlis.
Besides Indian food, twice a week or so I like to eat other
types of food. Italian pasta, vegetarian pizza, salad and
soup are my favorites too. Mexican tacos, burritos, chips
and salsa taste really good. I don’t eat hot dogs and hamburgers because I’m a vegetarian.
The best lunches my mom has made for me are Idlis, Puri
with Aloo, Tacos with bean, Dosas, spaghetti, soup and
bread, Alu Poha, Pulau.
Certain types of food taste good only when you eat them
at a special time.
As you can see — whether it’s Indian, Italian,
Mediterranean, or Mexican — I absolutely LOVE food…
(especially Dosas)! ;
Ananya, 10, lives in New York
½ cup chopped wal-
1 tsp honey
6 large carrots
½ cup raisins
Grate carrots and put
them into a bowl. Take
the raisins and the
chopped walnuts and
mix it in. Take 1 tea-
spoon honey and mix it
in. Sprinkle the salad
with sea salt and chaat
Why did you pick Saif for the role?
Jha: He is very talented. He is
underrated and I have always liked
him. I was surprised with the keenness and the intensity
with which he worked on his character. He wanted to know
about the whole system and his character. He is playing a
Dalit and by the time we started shooting he was complete-
ly absorbed in his role. Apart from the moustache I didn’t
have to work on his character.
This is the first time the two of you have worked together.
How has the experience been?
Bachchan: I really went crazy after working with him. I
have had a wonderful experience. The kind of environment
and the discipline that he maintains on the sets is unbelievable. From a simple call sheet to the way a dialogue is said
everything is so perfect.
Jha: I had an amazing time. Amitabh is an inspiration. At
this age too he is so hungry for work. He is always ready and
on time and fully alert, trying to give his best every time.
Every day was a pleasure working with him. After the day’s
shoot would wrap up, he would give me a call in the night
and ask, ‘Do you think I did that scene properly? Are you
Mr Bachchan, tell us about your character in the film?
Bachchan: I am the principal of a private institute and
since it is a private institute the question of reservation does
not arise. My character is an idealist and wants to treat all
castes and creeds with equality. He imparts education for
free to those who cannot afford it. He tries to bring a balance. He believes that every capable person should get a
chance to move forward.
Were you inspired by anyone to play your character?
Bachchan: No. This is the first issue-based film that I am
working on. But yes, there are many things that I speak of in
this film that I feel hold true in real life, too. I believe equal
opportunity should be given to everyone. There is a part in
Aarakshan sees the return of Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan, considered a successful star pairing after their first outing, Love Aaj Kal
the film when my character is giving an interview to a jour-
nalist. He says, ‘In this country there are two Indias… if we
want equality in our society, then we need to remove the dif-
ference between them.’
Mr Bachchan, you have worked with Smita Patil ( Namak
Halal, Shakti). What is your take on her son Prateik, who is
also in the film?
Bachchan: He is very natural in front of the camera... To
be natural is one of the biggest tests for any actor.
Mr Jha, how do you strike a balance between making an
issue-based film and not treating it as a documentary?
Jha: This is the biggest challenge and I have been fighting
it for years. I have always tried to make my movies in such a
way that the narrative is communicated, in a way that
engages the audience with the story, in a way that they can
relate to the characters. Fortunately, my movies have
worked so far.