Her father wanted Patralekhaa to become a chartered accountant like him but the newcomer, who is making her Bollywood debut with Hansal Mehta’s ‘City Lights’, had set her eyes firmly on acting.
However, getting the dream debut was not easy for Patralekhaa, who hails from a middle-class Bengali family.
“The journey was really very difficult for me. Coming from a middle-class Bengali family, you are expected to study and do well in academics. My father is a CA and he wanted me to be like him, but my dreams were somewhat different,” Patralekhaa told PTI.
She was born and brought up in Shillong and shifted to Assam for her high school before finally coming to the city of dreams.
“I shifted to Mumbai to complete my graduation. It was this city which made me realise what I was made for. I started going for workshops, joined acting classes and also started giving auditions,” she said.
Patralekhaa is playing the role of a woman from a Rajasthani village opposite Rajkumar Rao in ‘City Lights’, which is the official adaptation of British film ‘Metro Manila’.
When asked about her experience, she said, “I don’t feel the role was difficult for me. The film is about a common man, and I am no different. However, there were challenges. Rajasthan was completely new for me, so had to do a lot to groom myself.
“We actually stayed in Rajasthan for three weeks, and interacted with people there, learnt how they live, how they talk and how they eat. I fell in love with ‘dal bati churma’.”
‘City Lights’, slated to release on May 30, depicts the problem of rural-urban migration that is happening in India and the exploitation of such migrants in the big cities, said the actress.
“Thousands of people are coming to big cities in search of a better life. The film talks about what these people go through in the big cities when they leave their homeland in search of a better life. I think everyone can relate to the story.”
When asked about the most memorable moment from the film, she said, “Actually, everything about it is special to me. But there is a scene where my character goes to a dance bar for a job, that scene brings tears to my eyes even now.”
Patralekhaa has also worked for a Bengali film called ‘Daker Shaaj’ with National-Award-winning ‘Shabdo’ star Ritwick Chakroborty, which is scheduled to be realeased in September.
While talking about her love for Bengali films, she could not hide her admirations for Aparna Sen and Kankona.
“Aparna Sen is my inspiration for everything. I don’t know what to say but seriously her ‘Gaynar Bakso’ added more to the respect I had for her. Bengal film industry is producing some of the finest work in India cinema. I would love to do films there, but for now ‘City Lights’ is what I am looking forward to,” she said.