Only nervous about living up to Gulzar’s writing: Saiyami Kher

For Saiyami Kher the fact that Mirzya has been penned by Gulzar is what she is most nervous about.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:September 18, 2016 7:07 pm
For Saiyami Kher the fact that Mirzya has been penned by Gulzar is what she is most nervous about. For Saiyami Kher the fact that Mirzya has been penned by Gulzar is what she is most nervous about.

It’s her Bollywood debut, based on the folk legend of Mirza-Sahiban and set in two different eras, but for actress Saiyami Kher the fact that Mirzya has been penned by Gulzar is what she is most nervous about. Mizya marks the return of writer-lyricist Gulzar to screenplay writing after a gap of 17 years.

The actress says she will not even mind if Mirzya becomes the last film of her career because for her to star in a movie, written by Gulzar, is more than enough.

“Mirzya can be my last film but the fact that I can die saying I worked in a film written by Gulzar saab is in itself everything for me. We are extremely blessed to be part of the film, which marks his return to scriptwriting,” Saiyami told PTI.

“That’s the only thing I am nervous about. I am really hoping that I have lived up to Gulzar saab’s writing because that’s a huge responsibility on our shoulders.”

Saiyami, 24, is the granddaughter of yesteryear actress Usha Kiran and niece of acclaimed actresses like Shabana Azmi and Tanvi Azmi.

But unlike other star kids, acting was not always Saiyami’s ambition. The actress initially wanted to become a national level badminton player.

“My parents shifted to Nasik because they wanted to raise us in a smaller town. They wanted to keep away from film world because they wanted us to have an upbringing where our life is not only about films but other things.

“My childhood was about sports. I played badminton, cricket for Maharashtra. It was only after I entered college that the acting bug bit me.”

Saiyami got drawn towards theatre, but during the preparation for Mirzya, she realised acting is what she wants to do for the rest of her life.

“I quit badminton because I felt if I was not playing for India then what’s the point? Then I started doing a lot of theatre.

“I was sent to Delhi to train for ‘Mirzya’. I learnt under Adil Hussain and Dilip Shankar, who is his acting guru. It was during these three months that I realised acting was my calling. I became sure that I want to act all my life. So, the journey of ‘Mirzya’ has been a very special and personal one for me.”
Mirzya is set in two different periods- the contemporary and the era of Mirza-Sahiban. For Saiyami, playing the modern girl, Suchi, was easier than Sahiban.

“I relate to Suchi much more than Sahiban. Suchi is adventurous like me. Sahiban is more mystical, she is a fantasy character, which we had to create. There is this inherent sensuality to her character. Rakeysh sir told me we are making two different films but the story of Mirza-Sahiban echos even in 2016.

“I was explained Suchi through a song which Gulzar saab wrote, ‘Ek nadi thi dono kinaare, Tham ke bethi thi, Ek nadi thi, koi kinara chhod na sakti thi.’ It meant that this girl was like a river with two banks and she could not leave either of them. Suchi was caught in a turmoil.”

‘Mirza-Sahiban’ is one of the most poignant folk legends of Punjab, primarily because the heroine ends up sacrificing her lover to save her family.

Rakeysh has earlier said it was Sahiban’s decision to sacrifice Mirza which intrigued him to make the film. Asked if understanding Sahiban’s turmoil was difficult,

Saiyami says, “When you have such a renowned director, half the battle is already won. So, it was easy understanding both the characters.

“Sahiban was somebody who scarified something she loved the most because she knew if she wouldn’t do it, there would be a bigger bloodshed. This concept was very touching.”

Also starring debutant Harshvardhan Kapoor, Mirzya will arrive in theatres on October 7.