INDIA ABROAD March 10, 2017 39 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
By Subhash K. Jha
ctor Rahul Bose, who
has returned to direc-
tion with “Poorna” 16
years after he helmed
“Everybody Says I’m
Fine”, finds it more ful-
filling to go behind the camera
than face one.
Excerpts from the interview:
What prompted you to return to
After I directed “Everybody
Says I Am Fine” (ESIF), I knew I
would return to direction one
day. I said then and I say now,
direction is more fulfilling than
acting for obvious reasons — primary being it’s your story as
opposed to someone else’s. For
the next 14 years after ESIF,
there was too much acting work
that was engrossing and enriching. In 2015, the quality of offers
declined and so I jumped at the
opportunity to start directing the
next film. And here I am with
How did you end up acting in and
I was offered the role of Dr.
R.S. Praveen Kumar, this quite
exceptional senior IPS officer
who is in charge of the social
welfare schools in Telangana. I
was so struck by the story that I
offered to produce it, raised the
money in four months, and then
decided to direct it too. It was an
incremental sort of growing into
the project so to speak.
Was it difficult getting the girl to
play Poorna. How much training
did she have to undergo and what
was your rapport with her like?
It was very difficult to get the
right Poorna. When people see
the film, they will realise she
carries the film. So there was no
‘shielding’ of Poorna possible. I
was very clear. Between casting
an actor and casting a climber, I
would always opt for the former.
You can teach an actor to climb,
you cannot teach a climber, or
for that matter anyone to act.
By that, I mean act really well.
So we looked at over 500 girls in
Telangana from the social welfare schools. Then we shortlisted
109 girls. Some of them were
decently talented but none with
the mix of sensitivity, intuition,
resilience under pressure and
high emotional intelligence that
I was looking for. By then my
casting director, Mayank, and his
assistant were totally burnt out.
We found that in the 110th girl
The girl who plays Poorna seems
Aditi Inamdar is a natural
born actress in the mode of
Shabana (Azmi), Tabu and Koko
(Konkona Sen Sharma). She is
extremely shy but her emotional
acuity, her ability to understand,
feel and reproduce complex
human emotions is extraordi-
nary. She has discipline, pride
and a delightful heart to boot.
Our relationship was as would be
expected: stern yet loving
‘father’ to his daughter.
Look, I have dedicated my
Foundation to children. Whether
its kids from the Andamans,
Kashmir and Manipur that we
have taken under our wing for
the last 11 years, or (quite apart
from the Andamans-Kashmir-Manipur intiiative), survivors of
child sexual abuse.
To say I love children isn’t
accurate enough. I love, understand and will shed my blood to
preserve their childhood, nurture their hope and help realise
their dreams. So, my relationship with Aditi can be imagined
by you. It was warm, full of love,
empathy and compassion. But I
was a hard taskmaster. Yet, ours
is the only film where there was
a child actor charter voluntarily
drafted by me and my company.
Every child I have had a deep
interaction with lives in my
heart forever. Aditi is no different.
There hasn’t been any significant
film on mountain climbing, let
alone climbing the Everest. Do you
feel this is area of activity that
needs more attention in cinema
and in the wider context?
No, not really. Locales should
serve the vision and conception
of the director. I just happen to
be a Himalayan boy.
We’ve had a house in Kasauli
since 1947, so I grew up in the
Himalayas. I’ve trekked till
17000 ft, done Uttarkashi,
Sikkim, the hills around Kasauli,
so for me this film was a win-win-win: mountains, sport, the
girl child and a cinematically
Nowadays we hardly see you on
on screen? Have you consciously
cut down on your acting assignments to focus on your other passion, rugby?
It’s pretty simple. My acting
career has slowed down over the
last four years. There are three
factors behind this — age, the
emergence of a new, gritty
rural/urban poor centric cinema
that I am perceived not being
suitable for (clearly none of
them have seen ‘The Japanese
Wife’) and roles that I am being
offered are in films that are half-written.
At this point in my career, I
want every single piece of work
to be a major leading character,
have incredible heft and nuance
and give me space. If not, I am
not interested. I did ‘Dil
Dhadakne Do’ because I wanted
to work with Zoya Akhtar.
As simple as that. She’s terrific and she directed me superbly.
If she asked me again, I might
break my rules again.
Direction More Fulfilling than Acting: Rahul Bose
“At this point in my career, I want every single piece of work to be a major leading character”
humourist Taarak Mehta
died here aged 88 on
Wednesday morning after a
prolonged illness, his family
A string of politicians,
including Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, condoled his
demise and expressed gratitude towards him for bringing
a smile to their face with his
“He died of old age,” Atul
Bhatt, a relative of the writer,
Mehta was born in
December 26, 1929. The Padma
Shri awardee’s popular works
include “Duniya Ne Undha
Chasma”, which inspired the
hit Hindi sitcom “Taarak
Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah”.
For the people of Gujarat,
his literary work always generated a good dose of laughter.
Modi recounted how Mehta
“never left the side of satire
Reminiscing about one of
his meetings with Mehta, Modi
said: “I have had the privilege
of meeting Mehta several
times. I also got a chance to
meet him when he was hon-
oured with Padma Shri. His
work reflects unity in diversity
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay
Rupani tweeted: “Saddened by
the death of Tarak Mehta --
humourist and columnist. He
always brought smile to our
faces. My condolences to fami-
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind
Kejriwal wished for his soul to
rest in peace.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
President Amit Shah said that
Mehta will always be remembered for his rich contribution
to the society and the laughter
he gave to millions.
Minister of State for Road,
Transport, Highway and
Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya
tweeted: “He who made us
laugh, is no more amongst us!
Saddened to know the demise
of Shri Tarak Mehta.
Characters penned by him will
Surat’s BJP MP Darshana
Jardosh got nostalgic and
wrote: “My 40+ years of ‘asso-
ciation’ with him ends. As a
child, I started reading
‘Oondha Chashma’ in
Priyanka Chaturvedi thanked
Taarak Mehta for all the
Munmun Dutta, one of the
actresses in “Taarak Mehta Ka
Ooltah Chashmah”, tweeted:
“Saddened by the news of
Taarak Mehta sir passing away.
Last time when I met him, I
could see his health failing
him. He was still spirited and
full of life. People will always
remember him as the man
who gave everyone the reason
to laugh through his writings.
My respect to him.”
Actor Paresh Rawal also was
extremely saddened by the
passing away of Mehta and
called him “a great humorist in
Actress Richa Chadha
thanked Mehta for the
Taarak Mehta Passes Away