For the first time in her career the very beautiful Manisha Koirala plays a Parsi woman in a new Netflix film called Maska. The title comes from the beloved pao-maska (buttered bread) that is a patent snack at Irani cafes.
Says Manisha excitedly, “When director Neeraj Udhwani told me about Maska, I immediately knew this is what I want to be in .My career policy now is to do only good work, or otherwise not take up any acting offers. It’s not as if my life and livelihood deepend on acting. There are so many other activities I enjoy, gardening,reading, meditation, travelling.”
Travelling of course is at the moment a no-no.
“We are all grounded, thanks to the virus. It is a reminder of how much we need to take care of our environment and personal health. Right now I am at home in Mumbai with my parents.The only thing that my illness(Manisha went through cancer treatment) taught me was to love myself, to take care of my health.So yes, no travelling right now. I wanted to go to my home Nepal to learn golf. I feel golf is so close to Nature, those long stetches of greenery , they put you in direct touch with Nature,” sighs Manisha.
At the moment the fabulous actress who regaled us with her performances in Sanjay Bhansali’s Khamoshi: The Musical, Mani Ratnam’s Bombay and Dil Se and Mansoor Khan’s Akele Hum Akel Tum, is looking forward to the release of Maska.
“It’s the first time I am playing a Parsee woman. I loved my role of a woman who would not lose hold of her cultural history even if she has to fight her own soul.So much of our culture is being sacrificed to globalization,” laments Manisha who says she is fully committed to a better more humane and healthy world.
She feels the OTT platform is important but no replacement for the movie-theatre experience. “It may feel like the OTT is a substitute specially at this time when the world is confined indoors. Of course the OTT platform is important. I did a segment of Lust Stories with Dibakar Banerjee and I’ve another film with Dibakar coming up later during the year. At the moment I am looking forward to audiences’ response to Maska.A platform like Netflix has such a worldwide reach.”
As far the OTT platform replacing the movie-theatre experience is concerned Manisha feels that experience is irreplaceable. “The joy and thrill of slipping into a movie theatre alone with your popcorn to watch a good film is unique.”
Why alone? “Because I remain blissfully single,” says Manisha who is now writing another book after her motivational book on good health.