Kirti recalls asking her dad about his memories from the time of Emergency. Then, of course, she had no clue she would play such an important role in a film that is made on the same topic, Indu Sarkar. She tells us that her father told her that during the Emergency her father had to go into hiding because the government had ordered to find men to sterilise them. Between anecdotes from life, choices of films like Pink, and events that changed her life, Kirti talks to indianexpress.com about her upcoming film Indu Sarkar.
You are not two films old, but you got recognition only after Pink. Tell us about your journey in Bollywood.
Journey has been long, it’s been relatively slow. What I got after Pink, I would have loved if it came to me earlier. However cliched it sounds, it has been a great learning experience for me. I learned to have patience when things weren’t happening my way. I kept working on my craft, and that’s what finally came to my rescue, and yes, my family has always been around. And I got married last year, and it’s been great. I have learned to have a life outside of films. No matter what happens, success or failures in my professional life, I have learned to keep that outside my personal life.
Your character in Pink was impactful, Indu Sarkar looks like a big one too. Have you finally arrived?
I think that’s always been my space, I think it is just the lack of the right film, the right roles. Attitude wise my thought process has always been this. The main reason why I was craving to succeed was because I knew that the more success you get, the ‘more’ you are able to do and the ‘more’ comes your way! Pink has opened that up for me. The number of good films I can be a part of, I want to be a part of, has increased. I am not saying that every film of mine will have a strong message to give, or something important to say, although that comes very naturally to me because I take acting very seriously. I take cinema very seriously. I think it (cinema) is a great medium to reach out to the masses, and more often it should be used for that, and I would like to take up crazy fun scripts as well, to be a part of that story which doesn’t necessarily give a message but is a great story to watch on screen! I have done Raita with Irrfan Khan, it doesn’t have a message to give but it is such a great dark comedy that I had to do it, I am glad I did it!
Why does Indu Sarkar stammer, tell us about that bit of your character since you’ve maintained that her stammering is important to tell the story.
I stammer because that is a big part of Indu Sarkar, the character. But there is another subtext to why Indu stammers. With the emergency, the whole vibe was that the nation’s, and in turn, the people’s voice was suppressed. That is symbolic of Indu’s voice being suppressed from the time she was small, and by the time the Emergency was lifted the nation’s voice was lifted, and that’s exactly what happens to Indu’s character. She doesn’t stop stammering, but she finds herself, she finds her true voice. That is the metaphor that we’ve played with in the movie. My character is the biggest fictional part in the film, and she is this girl who is an orphan, loves poetry, she grows up wanting a home, wanting to be a good wife, and how emergency triggers an ideological conflict between her and her husband, and how that is the beginning of Indu Sarkar’s journey of self discovery.
How was it working with some of the finest actor in the industry – Anupam Kher, and filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar?
Both are highly successful in their field, so collaborating with Madhur was very important for me. I think he is one of the very few filmmakers who dares to make films with female protagonists, and he has consistently done that. I couldn’t have asked for a better film than Indu Sarkar with him. He is a very chilled out and simple person, a very easy director to work with. He knows what he wants and at the same time he let’s you do what you want to do. Considering he makes such serious films, he as a person is completely different. He is funny, so when you are in your character, he is a mood spoiler! So is Anupam Kher. I hate being around him when I need to be in my character, he will go to any lengths to make you laugh. He will do anything possible to crack you up in middle of the shot. I have three scenes with Anupam sir, and I have never had so much difficulties working with another actor, he is too funny, I just can’t stop laughing around him!
What are your expectations from the film?
My expectations are not too many, in a sense that I think it is a good film. I haven’t seen the whole film, but I think people will like it, it is a film for everybody to watch. It doesn’t have a message but it shows a very strong part of the history in the background, and it is being retold. So the film opens up that window for people since not many of us know what happened during the Emergency. We should know what happened in our country. Indu Sarkar is a very affable character, very easy to connect to.