I am beginning 2021 with writing. I always wrote poems when I was in school, never shared them though. But now I am attempting to give a shape to this calling,” says Bollywood actress Aahana Kumra. She is unapologetic and experimental, and owns it too! In her upcoming film Bawri Chhori, which is releasing on Eros, she will be playing a quirky character who goes to London to kill her husband.
“She was abandoned by him four years ago and is so mad at him that she just wants to find him — not to coax him to come back but to kill him! So I thought it was a very funny, interesting story… The kind of people she meets, the kind of encounters she has, for me this has been my first solo outing in a film and, hopefully, it will garner some great reviews.”
Whether it’s a film for OTT or the big screen, Aahana’s effort is the same. She says that a director has to choose the medium and her job is to give a wholehearted performance. She is also waiting for her first podcast to be made public. A new experience for her, Aahana says, “Matra Mugdh, RJ and actor, is directing it and has cowritten it. It is an audio drama series where I am playing a clairvoyant, who can hear the spirits of the dead. It is literally like acting out your scenes and delivering your dialogues in a way that the listener can imagine your expressions. One has to learn how to use the voice because no one can really see you.” This spooky venture, she says, gave her sleepless nights.
Having dabbled in theatre, TV, films and making a place for herself in the industry, this actress from Lucknow says she is a success story, “A lot of girls from Lucknow reach out to me through direct messages and say they want to act like me. For me, that’s a sign of being successful. I’ve worked on my own terms, chosen the projects that I have been a part of. In an industry where you do not really have too much choice, I’ve had the pleasure to choose my scripts.”
While defining her journey, she continues, “Whether it is the big screen, the small screen, the stage… There is nobody who can turn around and tell me you don’t know how it feels! I do know how it feels… I’ve been there and done that. That is a very important part of my journey — you get to wear different hats, you step into different shoes, you know exactly how an anchor feels or an actor feels on stage or behind the camera.”
Aahana has been quite straightforward about what she thinks and has no qualms in sharing it too, “I get into a lot of trouble because of that.” Now that doesn’t mean she will stop being herself. “I don’t have to live under the fear of what people will say. I am an actress today and tomorrow I could be a director, a writer or anyone else for that matter, so what’s most important for me is to remain honest to myself.”
On the Tandav controversy
“India gets offended by everything! I don’t really understand why? Should we stop making cinema? Should we stop talking? I thought this was a democracy, so if this is a democracy everyone is allowed to voice their opinions. This is cinema and it has its expression and if you are going to try to muffle voices then more will be raised! But look at the brighter side, they helped publicise the show. I think it’s great for the show.”