Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Feb 26, 2005

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Pondicherry
Published on Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Delhi    Hyderabad    Madurai    Mangalore    Pondicherry    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Black with a bang

Ayesha makes her screen debut with "Black," but she's already getting reviews like a pro. MEERA MOHANTY chats with the ten-year-old



Ayesha: Doing Pondy proud. Pic by ace cinematographer Ravi. K. Chandran

TEN-YEAR-old Ayesha is a star. Praise is pouring in from her co-star Amitabh Bachchan who describes her as "mind-blowing" to her 13-year-old brother Milan. At seven in the evening it's her third interview for the day. "The same questions," she complains.

A chance

For someone who has not seen Hindi movies, not even "Devdas and all", the opportunity to star in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's latest film "Black" was a chance that the family took.

Her father Dilip Kapur was worried whether the Bollywood experience would affect her studies. "My dad protested because he wanted me to have a good education," says Ayesha. "But my mom helped me."

Kapur's initial reservations were argued away by his wife Jacqueline, who believes her daughter has got her priorities right.

"If I had not allowed her to act, especially in a movie of this kind, maybe when she turns 16 — when every little girl wants to be famous — she would be upset with my decision."

So putting aside her favourite Jacqueline Wilson novel "Dustbin Baby", Ayesha read Helen Keller's life instead, on which the film "Black" is based. "You know what I really missed was the part with the horse," she says talking about an incident in the book not featured in the movie. So that is how a little girl from Auroville, who loves riding her horse Talapati, landed a role (as junior Rani Mukherjee) in "Black".

She had heard of Amitabh Bachchan, the `Parker-man' (he features in the Parker pen ad) as her brother calls him, but was unaware of the phenomenon that is the Big B.

"All these people waiting and screaming during the shoots: Oh! Amitabh Bachchan!" she admits, made her "a bit nervous, actually pretty nervous." In the days ahead, Ayesha became his friend and even took lessons in pranayama from him."

At the glitzy premiere of the film, everybody told her she was a `rock star'. Standing between her famous co-stars, Ayesha says she had "no idea" who they were, the only person she recognised was Simi Garewal. "I kept smiling boldly at every one," she says. "I realised eventually that Amitabh and Rani were the real stars of the show, as they kept bowing and smiling."

Still the same Ayesha

Back in Auroville, there is hardly any flutter about Bollywood's newest star. To her friends, many of whom are yet to watch the film, she is the same Ayesha.

"We hardly talk about the film," she says. And so she prattles on about her horse riding skills (she qualified for the Nationals in dressage), her love for writing (she does a lot of it), her studies, the earrings (her mom's) that she loves but can't wear yet, and her favourite movie: "Dances with the Wolves" and "Pretty Woman". Ayesha would like to do more films in the future, "maybe a few in Hollywood".

But for the moment, she has other things on her mind or perhaps she is somewhat tired of all the attention. While her parents continue to discuss the movie, the ten-year-old star has laid her pretty little head in her mom's arms and gone off to sleep.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Delhi    Hyderabad    Madurai    Mangalore    Pondicherry    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2005, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu