After a lean period with duds like ‘VIP-2’ and ‘Dilwale’, the effervescent Kajol is preparing to create a whirl with Pradeep Sarkar’s ‘Helicopter Eela’. When we catch up with her at a suburban five-star hotel, she makes a sight for sore eyes in a smashing red outfit with pale makeup, her amber eyes as striking as ever. She starts off making a rather surprising revelation: “All my hopes are on this film and I hope it does good business just for Ajay (Devgn, husband)’s sake, who is one of the producers.” Now, that’s a real loyal stance from the actress.
Talking about her upcoming film, she shares, “It is based on a Gujarati play, Beta Kaagdo written by Anand Gandhi some 15 years ago and deals with a single parent relationship. The relationship between my character and my son played by Riddhi Sen is highlighted in a light mannered way with me playing an aspiring singer who returns to school with the son and the situations they undergo and the generation gap between them. Neha Dhupia plays the music teacher.”
Why this film for a comeback, we ask? She admits, “I only accept those films where I like the script and have a bound script and Pradeepda gave me the entire script before the shoot and that’s why I accepted this film.”
She is all praise for Riddhi Sen, gushing, “Riddhi is such a wonderful actor and a National Award winning one at that. We gelled superbly on the sets and were chatting in Bengali all the time. Once I had to do a difficult scene while slapping him, but he bore it silently and that is the hallmark of a good actor. I predict a great future for him,” she proclaims, like a real-life mother.
Pausing to sip on some water, she moves on to discussing the Bengali unit. “Most of the unit was Bengali and director, Pradeep Sarkar conversed with his unit in Bengali and even the non-Bengalis spoke in Bengali! We had a gala time shooting for the film and it has been one of my best film shoots ever. Pradeepda is a chilled out director and the shoot was hassle-free.”
We ask what kind of a mother she is, and Kajol unabashedly responds, “I am a hands-on mother and have given my children all the independence. When they ask me difficult questions and behave like my grandmother, I try to answer their questions to the best of my ability as their questions are sometimes beyond me but I never rebuke them and always support them to have a curious mind and grow up in a mature way. I have seen my mother Tanujaji at close quarters and I can never be bold like her and liberated but now even she has stopped using cuss words.”
We change topics and bring up the Helicopter Eela remix of the ’90s song Ruk Ruk from Vijaypath. She smiles, “It is one of Ajay’s biggest hit songs and at that time such peculiar lyrics were happening. When we decided to have a catchy chartbuster, we chose this song and it has come out really well.”
Much has changed in Bollywood since she first stepped in, right? She laughs aloud and says, “Everything has changed! I made a debut when I was 17 in Bekhudi and I was not prepared about the make-up, the costumes and the camera angles but today’s girls are so fast with their make-up and costumes and acting that I am really surprised.” We agree!
She takes a breather and moves on to reminiscing, “My characters like Simran and Anjali from ‘Dilwale Dulhaniiya Le Jaayenge’ and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, respectively are my most beloved ones and I hope that there is a sequel of the iconic and long running ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge’.” With Helicopter Eela prepping for release, we can’t help declare, Jaa jee le apni zindagi Simran!… Under our breath, of course!