Interviewing Sharmila Tagore i
So how does it feel to turn 73?
Just like any other day. I don’t allow myself to think about my age. Fortunately there is plenty to be done. My days are fuller than I can cope with. And I like it that way.
How would you be spending your birthday?
Well, there is a wedding in a very close family friend’s home. I’m going to be participating on 7th and 8th.So my birthday will be merged in the nikaah ceremony of the wedding couple.
So the cake cutting and birthday song during the nikaah?
(laughs) No no none of that. I don’t believe in all of that. Cakes and parties are for Taimurand Inaaya(the grandchildren) I am just happy to be healthy alive and active.
But your family and friends would want a party?
We had an elaborate party for my 70th birthday. We will have another party for my 75th, if I live to be 75.
You are ageless and my absolute favourite . My first crush.
Thank you. There were many like you . But nowadays you have to be careful about expressing your feelings(laughs).
Sadly we don’t see much of you
This is not something peculiar
He has worked hard to be where he is?
I mean , Mr Bachchan is definitely an icon. But the rules are different for the actresses. I believe Ribhu Dasgupta’s film Te3n was a remake of aKorean film. The original female protagonist has been turned into a male to accommodate Mr Bachchan. Who does these th
But older actors too are sidelined, besides Mr Bachchan?
That’s because of age and health. Rajesh Khanna and now Shashi Kapoor passed away. Dharmendra continues to
Yes indeed he shares his birth date with you?
(laughs) Indeed, he does. Dharamji has worked enough, done enough. He has earned this phase of re
Do you miss being on screen?
I don’t think so. I’ve never believed in being singleminded
How did you manage to hold your own in such a fiercely patriarchal film industry, doing female oriented film s like Anupama, Aradhana, Amar P
Those times were different. The directors had more of a say.And the actors were very respectful of directorial impulses. Not that today a Sanjay LeelaBhansali has any less of a say. I really don’t know how or why some of my best Hindi films came after marriage. But even Vidya Balan has been able to hold her own in spite of marriage.
But not like you?
I think what went in my favour is that I didn’t withdraw from other activities after I married Tiger. I engaged with life. The quality of my work matters. And I do whatever I like.And I’ve never isolated myself from the real world. Even when I was working as a leading lady I didn’t restrict my interaction to the people I worked with.If today some public figures like to isolate themselves being surrounded by bouncers etc I say, that’s their choice. One can mingle with people without the danger of losing one’s privacy . I mean,I still can’t go to Lodhi Gardens for a picnic .But I can meet the people I want.
And yet there is unapproachable aura about you?
I have always wanted a normal life.I wanted to meet people from all walks of life even wh
You were regarded as quite elitist among the heroines?
I missed talking and reading in Hindi. I was the only one who’d speak in English on the sets. But now everyone speaks in English.Even the Hin
And now you eldest grandchild is getting ready for stardom?
Yes, Sara is all set to be an actor.How beautifully she has grown!She went to Columbia University. Now she wants to an actor. She is a clever girl .
How did you manage to balance a Satyajit Ray with a Manmohan Desai in your career?
I never wanted to be stereotyped. I wanted to play every woman.And I wanted to enjoy every aspect of being a woman. I wanted to be have a family because I had grown up in a large family.I didn’t want to be only a career woman. Though I come from a middleclass family where all of us had toshare everything, I never felt any insecurity about my career.I am not a high-maintenance person. I don’t need to have three airconditioners and five imported cars.
Did you have to work hard to be the person you aspi
I only aspired to do my best in whatever I did. Even if I go for a book launch I want to do my homework about the author. As a public figure I feel I owe it to those who place their trust in me.Nowadays I see people so unprepared for public events.
Any unfulfilled desires?
I wish I could travel more. As long as there’s life there are wishes and desires.I just take one day at a time.As for movies if something good came my way I’d do it . Otherwise I am fine with what I am doing. I’ve no time for regrets?
So no regrets about losing Khilona and Tere Mere S
(laughs) None at all.