Wednesday, November 28, 2012

கமல் பற்றி ஏதும் கேட்க வேணாம் - சரிகா கமல் கட் அண்ட் ரைட் பேட்டி

My biggest expense is books, not diamonds: Sarika
Sarika-My biggest expense is books, not diamonds: Sarika

The Times of India


Starting off as a child actor, graduating to a seasoned actress, then moving behind the scenes as a technician and returning to face the arc-lights... actress Sarika's journey in the film world has come full circle.

 Dressed in a simple cotton salwar kurta, the light-eyed actress with the "never looking back" attitude talks career, daughters and, as usual, clamps down when it comes to her ex-husband — Kamal Haasan.

You seem to be leading a simple life...

I am a very simple person, very basic. I don't like jewellery or diamonds. My biggest expense in life is books and music. Whenever I get a signing amount I immediately run to a bookstore where I spend the whole day and my girls say, 'Oh my God, now she will splurge 10000 to 15000'

It's been quite some time since you separated from Kamal Haasan. Have you moved on in life?

Yes, of course, or else I wouldn't have been where I am today. I am very happy as I have done it on my own. An ideal or a perfect life is to have people there for you at different stages of life, but it didn't happen with me which I am okay with. This is my life and I have made the best of what I can as even today I take care of myself.

I make sure that there is food on the plate. One thing nobody can take away from me is my pride. You get up in the morning, put on your makeup and you go. You thought you will never have to do all this again, but you have to do it so make the most of it. Do a Parzania, win a National award and feel proud of yourself. At the end of the day, I have to pat my back. You can't sit and brood over yeh hota toh achha hota.

 It has been a tough life, but in that toughness I have found myself. Nobody is there to tell me anything, I have to run my house, I am doing so for 10 years. I lead a simple yet queen-size life. Till the time I have strength and courage, I will do it and when I lose that, I will go and do kheti badi.

How come you decided to do the item number Dum Mast Kalandar in your upcoming film David?

Director Bejoy Nambiar was a bit hesitant to ask me to do the item number wondering how I would react to it. But I was thrilled because many years ago when I was young and had just started my career, me and three to four other actresses wanted to meet Runa Laila who had come at a Filmfare function.

Her song Dum Mast Kalandar was a craze then. We were running from pillar to post trying to go inside and meet her personally, but we never got to meet her. We were feeling miserable about it. I never thought that I would ever be associated with the track after so many years.

But are you okay with the song being called an item number?

Mera kya jaata hai, meri toh chandi hai. Life mein jo aaye le lene ka.
Earlier we didn't use the term item number, but this is not those days, I don't live in the past. Not even for a day. What is gone is gone; you look back only to learn from where you went wrong. You cannot walk backwards towards the future, you will trip and fall.

Do you discuss cinema with your daughters especially Shruti who is already into movies?

I discuss cinema with anybody who likes cinema. But coming to my daughters - Shruti is into music and my younger daughter Akshara is learning western dance. They can both be actors but I am glad that they have their own space which is not influenced by either of their parents. It is not fair to the children to be compared to their parents all the time as making their own identity will be difficult for them.

 They already have an identity and luckily I have my own career to talk about. By virtue of being here for a long time the natural reaction for everybody is to come and get us onto the bandwagon. But we have made a conscious decision to keep away for some time till they get established.

They are my children, where are they going? Where am I going? I can always get up and hold their hands again. As a parent we should not be interfering in their space, we have to keep out. I want them to have a free run of me. All celebrity parents, whose children are trying to do something, should never interfere in their space. Hence, I don't focus my interviews on them and one must move back or else it goes on back and forth and they never get their space. And it is not that I am not doing anything. Within a span of 10 years both Shruti and I are actresses.

So do you meet and bond with your ex Kamal Haasan for the sake of children?

Why talk about something that is not part of my life anymore? I don't need to talk about anyone else. My life is good enough, more than enough to talk about. Between me and my daughters we have lot many interesting things to say. We have lot of fun together. There are two ways of living life - one is to just sit where you have been pushed and not get out from there, and the other is to be happy and enjoy life each day, I chose the latter.

Has Akshara expressed interest in acting?

As of now she is not at all interested in acting. She will if she wants to, but at present she is very keen on her dancing and I don't want to disturb that. That is her call.

There were some reports of Akshara doing a Mani Ratnam film

That is not true. Mani is a very dear friend and I don't know who spread that.

With the experiences you have had, what advice do you give to your daughters?

Never give negativity to people, if they have problems let them solve it in their way. If something happens, you address, why do it in anticipation? One must take life as it comes.

Are you friends with them?

Of course, otherwise what is the fun in having children? The best part of having children is that you have your very own best friend. I can say yeh dost toh mera apna hai.

Do they discuss their love life with you?

No, that is their personal life.

Any regrets?

No, I don't have any. Yes, we all make mistakes but something we do at a particular point of time was perhaps correct then. My life has always been tough, it has not been an easy life right from the beginning and everybody knows that, I don't want to go into details of that. Probably that is my destiny.

Do you go out seeking work or it comes to you?

Nowadays directors see if the actor is good for a script and they come to you. I don't have to go seeking work. And that is the most wonderful thing that has happened in the industry. Gone are the days of secretaries and managers, you have them managing your dates now, they can't get work for you.

 All that nonsense is over. And now cinema is so good that they will even cast me when I am 70 and grey in a rocking role of a grandmother. And hopefully some good guys will be there that time to play my grandsons. Then too money will come aur tab bhi biryani ban jayegi ghar mein.

Just that there are not as many good scripts as they should be. We may like to believe that we have come of age and we are giving women lot of importance, it is nothing like that. Where are women given chance that the male actors get? Are they giving me chance the way they are giving Naseeruddin Shah? Scripts are still written with male characters in mind. Have a sense of security let the women come in.

How was your experience behind the camera?

I have been in front, I have been behind and I am in front of the camera again. I have been behind the camera for 18 years, I loved being a technician. The kind of sharing and teamwork that you have actors can never ever imagine. Taking care of each other, making sure that if one department is down, all the departments is a kind of union situation, we are the workers so we stick to each other. That kind of a thing never happens between actors as we are competing and doing the same thing. We can be the best of friends but when the camera is switched on I have no friend except my camera otherwise I am not doing justice as an actor. Being an actor is a luxury.

Which are your personal favourites?

Basuda's Grihapravesh and then straight Parzania, in 2005. It is a good legacy I am leaving behind for my children. I should have at least two more such films then I will feel good. Because after working for so many years just two good films is a bad record. I am trying to do as many different roles as possible. I could have said 'yes' to six other films but either they don't get made or they don't get released.

Do you mingle with people, do you attend film parties?

Where have you seen me? Only if my very close friends from the industry are part of it then I go. For friends I will go anywhere, we are all there for each other. I can't name anyone and randomly say things just for an interview, these are very personal things, and they are of great value to me.