Sarika on returning to screen with ‘Modern Love: Mumbai’: Was wasting my life waiting for good roles

PTI, May 9, 2022, 4:07 PM IST

Mumbai: Veteran actor Sarika, who is returning to the screen after a gap of five years, says she took a break from movies as she was tired of waiting for good roles to come her way.

While she has routinely taken time off from the screen, Sarika’s first break came in 1986, when she and her former husband, actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan became parents. The actor returned to the screen in the mid 2000s with films like ”Bheja Fry”, ”Manorama Six Feet Under”, and ”Parzania” for which she won the National Award for best actress.

In the next decade, Sarika starred in the TV show ”Yudh” and 2016’s film ”Baar Baar Dekho” marked her last cinematic outing.

”I have taken quite a few breaks, but the thought went only last time when I took a sabbatical, which was in 2016. I was just tired waking up everyday, going to sleep, without getting a good role or a good script. As actors, we just keep waiting. It just made me very angry at that point, not as an actor but as a person, wasting my life, just waiting for that,” Sarika, 61, told PTI in an interview.

Sarika, who started her career as a child actor in the mid 1960s with films such as ”Majhli Didi” and ”Hamraaz”, said after her first sabbatical, she moved to a different, all-new territory of costume designing for the acclaimed 2000 drama ”Hey Ram”, which bagged her a National Award, while in the period post ”Baar Baar Dekho”, the actor ventured into theatre.

”You have to make a conscious decision that you are not going to do this for sometime, only then can you do something else. Otherwise you will always be in two boats. I just thought I won’t do it for a year, so I went to the theatre, did backstage which was totally away from my zone. That turned out so good that now it’s five years!” she added.

But the actor said she could not stay away from the screen for too long and one phone call from filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava brought her back in front of the camera for the Mumbai chapter of the popular US original anthology series ”Modern Love”.

In the upcoming Prime Video anthology, the actor features in the short ”My Beautiful Wrinkles”, co-starring ”A Suitable Boy” actor Danesh Razvi and Ahsaas Channa.

The segment chronicles a few days in the life of Dilbar Sodhi, a woman in her 60s played by Sarika, who has to grapple with a young man’s declaration of sexual interest in her.

”She is rattled. But it sets her on a path of dealing with the baggage from her past, and re-discovering the joy of life. Wrinkles notwithstanding,” the official synopsis by the streamer read.

Sarika said she wanted to work Shrivastava since the director’s 2017 breakout film ”Lipstick Under My Burkha”.

”What also worked was the script, the character, the way it was written. I knew working with Alankrita would be a wonderful experience. As an actor I could see the way the character was evolving and I knew I would have a lot of fun doing it. It was not something which was boring, or something that I had done before. There is nothing simple about my character.” Even though the actor has more than four decades of acting experience, she said her attempt is to keep reaching out to newer audiences and not rest upon the glory of her past work.

”There is never a day when you feel, ‘I have done it all’. If you have to be relevant, you have to keep working. You can’t say, ‘I did that film, in that year, it was brilliant’ because it is finished.

”It could be beautiful, but it has gone. If I want the younger generation to see my work, I have to keep working. You are never done. One year down the line, I must look at another set of audience and see if I can reach out to them as well with my newer work,” she added.

Produced by Pritish Nandy Communications, ”Modern Love: Mumbai” will premiere on May 13.

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