Mega maiden

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By Birthday girl Indrani Halder on being Sujata and missing home KUSHALI NAG
  • Published 6.01.09

Her Sujata stint was short but sweet, and Indrani Halder doesn’t regret it. She’s happy to be home, celebrating her birthday with “close friends and family” today. Waiting to retrace her Tolly steps with an author-backed role in the film Angshumaner Chhobi, Indrani tells t2 what she has lost and gained with Sujata...

What made you take up telefilm-maker Atanu Ghosh’s Angshumaner Chhobi?

Atanu and I go back a long way. I knew about Angshumaner Chhobi when he was writing the script. I am happy to be a part of the project. It’s a very sensitive role of an actress, Madhura, who bags a national award for her debut film but never gets another good role. She accepts her fate and does meaningless roles in commercial potboilers until a director called Angshuman (played by Indraneil Sengupta) casts her as a nurse. At first, Madhura is reluctant because she is surprised by the offer but she takes it up later. There’s Soumitra Chatterjee and Tota (Roy Chowdhury). Angshumaner Chhobi also has an element of suspense.

Is there any similarity between the two actresses, Madhura and Indrani Halder?

I think there are two similarities. Both are actresses and both win the national award. That’s where the similarities end. Madhura has never got any good role after her debut, while I have worked with many good directors and I have been part of many good films where I have portrayed properly fleshed-out characters. Madhura has done bad roles throughout her life and she is not a very confident woman either. I am very confident as a person.

Sony’s mega serial Sujata has gone off air but your one-year contract isn’t over yet…

Yes, when I signed the contract it wasn’t mentioned that we would wrap up before time. But we had to because of the strike, which happened all of a sudden. A lot of mega serials went off air. Besides, Sujata was in a stage where we could easily end it. Otherwise it would have needed another 50-60 episodes. I am happy because it ended in a decent manner, rather than creating another track and ending it midway.

But Sujata didn’t get good TRPs…

No, it did. I mean Sujata had a steady TRP when it started airing. It dropped after sometime and picked up again. So, the TRPs went up and down. But that’s really not an issue.

You were offered a Deepa Sahi film. What happened to that?

One of Deepa Sahi’s team members is a Bengali. She had noticed me in Sujata and got in touch with me. But at that time my dates were blocked for Sujata. In Mumbai we shoot for 25 days at a stretch a month, so it’s difficult to accommodate anything else. I felt terrible to let go of the offer.

I was also offered Shukno Lanka, which I couldn’t do for the same reason. That was the time when I realised that though I am getting noticed and I am getting work due to Sujata, it is also because of Sujata that I am not being able to do other things. That really upset me.

Why did you move to Mumbai at all?

Honestly, I was bored here. I was doing just the Aakash Bangla mega serial Shanai. There was no film either. That’s when I got a call from Ravi Chopra, offering the role. I grabbed it because it meant national exposure, and I am very satisfied with Sujata. People in Mumbai know me now and respect me. Recently, I was offered a mega serial for NDTV. It was a lead role but I have turned it down because I have decided not to do any more mega serials. They take up a lot of time. I don’t mind doing a 40-50 episode serial but not megas. I want to live more in Calcutta. It’s my hometown. I want to do more films here.... I’m not too keen on TV, maybe just non-fiction shows or telefilms.

What’s up with your production house Indigo?

Yes, that is something that was totally neglected over the past year. Though I made sure I took at least three classes at my institute KFTI, I just couldn’t look after Indigo because it’s a production house and it needs a lot of time to stay active.

But you had Riingo as your partner in Indigo...

Yes, he was but not anymore. Riingo is no longer associated with Indigo. He has moved out on his own. He is a freelancer and is making films for others. But we will work together in future. Maybe Indigo will produce his future projects.

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