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Sauraseni Maitra on her film Ekannoborti

‘Your flaws make you beautiful; your flaws make you what you are, and it smashes the insecurities’

Arindam Chatterjee | Published 22.11.21, 12:44 AM
Sauraseni Maitra

Sauraseni Maitra

Picture: B. Halder Outfit: Rangoli

She was hailed as a promising young actor from the new generation when she started doing Bengali films. With each passing year Sauraseni Maitra proved her mettle and lived up to expectations by turning out a slew of credible performances. In Mainak Bhaumik’s new film Ekannoborti, Sauraseni plays the responsible elder sister trying to keep a family together during Durga Puja. A t2 chat....

You had this line in the film Generation Ami — “You need to live your dreams, Apu.” Are you doing that right now.... living your dreams, with the films that you are doing?

Absolutely! Generation Ami gave me a lot — attention , love and appreciation. In life, I have been blessed enough to have a job that I love. The journey has just begun and I am enjoying every moment of it.

What’s your take on the concept of the ekannoborti family?

When I was a kid, I used to be a part of an ekannoborti family and I am very close to them. My paternal grandmom’s house is very close to my place also. My Didar bari is bang opposite my house. I spent half of my childhood there. I heard from my mom that at one point of time when she was a kid, Didar bari was actually filled with 50 people. They used to eat together. We see nuclear families all around us but this eating together, without (being busy on) your phones, is a very important thing.

Now, we are all so busy in life, and after Covid, I feel we as human beings have become very lonely. Ekhon mone hoye let’s just be with someone. In an ekannoborti poribar there will be problems, it is not going to be a bed of roses. But the best part is the sharing. All for one, one for all. You share your happiness, sorrow, you fight with each other but you mend each other’s problems. You always have each other’s back. That is the most important thing about ekannoborti. Being together and standing up for each other.

Did you miss wearing the Generation Ami clothes (stuff that Mainak usually wears!) in Ekannoborti?!

I have outgrown the clothes but I really missed wearing his comfy clothes in Ekannoborti! Firstly I never had to even think of what am I going to wear or what do I have to carry to the set. It was all his department. My director was my costume stylist also (smiles)! For Ekannoborti, since I was playing the elder sister, Mainakda wanted to see me in a feminine light. For my character he chose saris.

How did it feel to wear the red-white saris?

Whenever we think of Durga Puja we automatically think of the quintessential combination of red and white. The way it celebrates festivity, it also celebrates womanhood and defines interesting aspects of it. Red signifies strength and power while white signifies purity and simplicity.

A moment from the shoot of the film Ekannoborti, running in theatres now

A moment from the shoot of the film Ekannoborti, running in theatres now

Did the shoot of Ekannoborti bring back memories of Generation Ami?

Yes, some times and that is because of my bonding with Mainakda and Apadi (Aparajita Adhya). But here everyone from different age groups was bringing a different kind of talent, a different kind of humour to the set and we enjoyed it thoroughly. I loved the entire shooting procedure. Anyway, Mainakda is mentally the youngest person on set. He is now mentally aging backwards (laughs out loud). It was a young team in Generation Ami but here there are everyone, from the young to the elderly. Ananya (Sen), who plays my younger sister, is basically older than me. And she had to call me Didi. I loved it!

How was it like being directed by Mainak for Ekannoborti?

When I shot for Generation Ami, I barely knew him. We started bonding during the promotions and then we became friends. On set, he is my director. He is very particular. He knows what he wants. He also gives his actors all the space that they need. Once the wavelength connects it becomes very easy and a chemistry develops instantly and automatically. He wanted me to get out of my tomboy zone for Ekannoborti. I called up my male friends and asked them, “Don’t you guys think I am feminine?” and they were like, “Bro, you are one of us!” And I was like, “Wow, there goes my motivation!”

Tell us about your character?

I play Sheela, the elder daughter of the house and the backbone of the family. Three generations of women are being represented in the film — my Dida, my mom and me and my sister. Initially we see that the mother, sister and Dida, all are going through a crisis. Sheela is the person who holds it all together.

When you try to sort out everything, other people’s problems and your own struggles, you somehow tend to become that emotional punching bag. You try to keep it all sorted but mentally you are the one who is not there. Sheela tries to be the pillar of strength of this family and wants to keep it all together but for how long? 

What’s the best part about the story of Ekannoborti?

The way Mainakda has written each and every character... they are not over-glamourised. They are characters who live amongst us; they are very relatable. I could relate to my character, my mom’s character, my Dida’s and sister’s characters. These are very real people with very real problems that we go through every day. Ekannoborti is women-centric because it shows us how we all have our own insecurities, we have our flaws. Ekannoborti shows this battle of accepting one’s flaws and then it celebrates life. Your flaws make you beautiful, your flaws make you what you are.

You recently shot for two projects in Bombay! Tell us about that!

I have been travelling to and fro! I was shooting for this one series called Ek Thi Begum 2, the character arc was amazing in it. I had a lot of fun shooting it. The entire crew, my

co-actors were very helpful and co-operative. I recently shot for another web film but I cannot talk about it. It is going to release next year. Right now I am in talks with another national platform for another web series and that shoot is going to start from February onwards.

How was 2021 for you?

We were locked up inside our houses for half of the year. The second wave was dreadful. My mom got affected by Covid, and I myself got other health issues. This year has been a learning process. We cannot take anything for granted. We cannot take our relationships — with parents and friends — for granted. We need to understand the value of time, of health. And now that films and shoots have started happening, the halls have opened, things are starting to go back to the old normal. There’s a ray of hope, I am doing interesting projects, good stuff is coming my way. I have gratitude and only gratitude.

Last updated on 22.11.21, 12:44 AM
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