New Delhi, Sep 11 (UNI) With her blue eyes and fair complexion, she seems a typical Kashmiri woman basking in the halcyon charm of the scenic beauty of the valley.
No wonder then, Bollywood actress Sarika's portrayal in Santosh Sivan's 'Tahaan' as a Kashmiri woman Haba has a ''true-to-life'' feel about it with critics raving about her performance in the film.
For Sarika, who has in the last few years been seen in several sensitive portrayals in films like Rahul Dholakia's 'Parzania' and 'Kal Yesterday and Tomorrow', doing 'Tahaan' has been one of the most memorable experiences of her life, which is due to the fact that film was shot in the backdrop of the Kashmir Valley.
''I think the USP of 'Tahaan' is undoubtedly Kashmir because we (cast and crew of the film) were the ones to shoot the film in Kashmir after a long time. Infact, for a long time nobody has shot there. So shooting there was an emotional experience,'' Sarika told UNI in an interview.
It seemed that someone had at last opened a door that had remained closed for last so many years. People may not realise it but shooting for a film can prove to be a emotionally healing experience, said Sarika.
Having the first hand experience of the breathtaking beauty of the valley and warm interactions with its people, Sarika has fond memories of their stay there.
''Shooting in the Kashmir Valley makes one realise that unnecessarily we keep on rushing to Switzerland and other foreign locales when the scenic beauty is all there right here in Kashmir. Also, Santosh Siva's work as a cinematographer is so good that 'Tahaan' is like rediscovering how beautiful Kashmir is,''Sarika added.
About the experience of working amidst the people in the Valley, the actress said ,''People there are extremely nice just as one has heard about them. At the same time, one feels sad at the problem and the conflict faced by the people there.'' She also said,''I feel that it is high time and the problem should be resolved once and for all. Whatever is the conflict in the Valley is not benefitting anyone, least of all people in the Valley who are extremely nice.'' What was further exciting for her during the shoot of the film was that for the first time in her career, Sarika was playing a Kashmiri girl.
''What was different about my role in 'Tahaan' was that I have never played a Kashmiri girl before. Infact, it was very interesting. Also interesting was the fact that my character of Haba, a woman who is looking for her lost husband, represents the problem of half-widows in Kashmir, as a section of the women there are still waiting for their husbands,'' quipped Sarika.
Considering that 'Tahaan' comes close on heels of 'Parzania', another issue-based film, was Sarika looking to do only sensitive films and roles, one wonders.
''I would never look to do non sensitive films as I feel some level of sensitivity is necessary in a film. Though it is not necessary that the sensitivity in the film be issue based. For example, even 'Bheja Fry', which was an out and out comedy, was sensitive in some way,'' said the actress.
Infact I like doing films and taking up scripts that are sensitive to human relationships, human nature or surroundings. And sometimes that quality can be seen in a commercial film as well. For instance, fims like 'Omkara' and 'Rang De Basanti' were commercial films, but at the same time they were sensitive as well, added she.
Asked why she was seen in only few films, Sarika said,''Unfortunately for us it is not easy to come across good scripts. We often have to wait for and look for scripts that we want to take up.'' Similarly, after 'Parzania', I was offered several scripts which dealt with story of a woman. Infact, after every film I get offers for similar roles, however, taking up these roles would not be a sound decision professionally. So one has to wait till the right scripts or role comes along, said Sarika.
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