Many Shades of Raveena

Raveena Tandon on her chess player son,her award-winning role in Shobana’s 7 Nights,and exploring shades of grey

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: July 24, 2013 12:22:36 am

On Tuesday,one of the country’s youngest chess players watched amused as his celebrity mother dressed up and took centre-stage for an interaction with the media. For six-year-old Ranbirvardhan Thadani,watching his mother,actor Raveena Tandon,speak publicly about the benefits of dental hygiene at Hotel Mountview,was a novel experience.

“It’s his day off,so he decided to come with me,” says Tandon,adding that Thadani is one of the youngest chess players in the country. Last year,he also participated in the National Chess Championship in the Capital. The actor is friends with Vishwanathan Anand,a chess Grandmaster and reigning World Chess Champion,and says that nobody else in her family plays chess.

Tandon herself has much to boast of. Her film,Shobana’s 7 Nights,has been winning accolades in the international film circuit. Directed by Sudipto Chattopadhyay,Shobana’s 7 Nights fetched Tandon the best actor trophy at the Houston Bollywood Film festival last year. No,it’s not a comeback film,insists the actor. “I’ve always been around,doing television. I chose to stay away from films to bring up my children and enjoy their childhood as these days will come only once. Films will always be there,” she says.

The reason she chose Shobana’s 7 Nights,a festival film that may never see a commercial release,was because of the role. “I play a novelist,a dark,negative character,for who one feels pity at the end,” says Tandon,adding that she would like to explore more characters in shades of grey in future. Yes,she is reading scripts and has signed a few films but her family remains her priority,including the girls she had adopted several years ago. “They are grown up and married now. I’ve become a mother-in-law,watching and living with three generations at the same time,” she says with a smile.

The Bollywood oeuvre has,of late,been packed with sequels and remakes but Tandon would not want her films to follow the route. “A classic is a classic; once made,it should not be tampered with,” says the actor,who made her debut in 1991 with Patthar Ke Phool but confesses to still feeling like a newcomer. “Actors are always struggling and if one feels like a newcomer,life is far more exciting. One tends to enjoy one’s work more,” she says.

With the monsoon rain lashing Mumbai,Tandon says that RJs frequently play her hot number in a yellow saree,Tip Tip Barsa Paani from the film Mohra. “Some things never go out of fashion,” she says.

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