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Beyond the image

Seema Biswas talks of Water, Vivah and a lot else

PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

BACK IN BUSINESS Seema Biswas wants to be challenged as an actor

"I can't pose. Make me work for hours under the sun but please don't make me squirm in a chair," says Seema Biswas.

"After Bandit Queen, the media had almost forgotten me. The only question they keep asking is, why am I not doing a Phoolan-type role again. It amuses me for I am a theatre person, who doesn't believe in one image. I don't compare roles and want to play as many characters as possible. Unfortunately, our film industry doesn't work like this and fortunately I am not too ambitious," remarks the National School of Drama product.

In the same vein, she adds: "But luckily, I keep on being discovered by the right people who need me. Be it Deepa or Sooraj Barjatya. Now who would think that Seema would do a Rajshri film. But, Sooraj wrote such a realistic role for me in Vivah, which was neither black, nor white... like life."

Talking about Water, Seema says playing the role of Shakuntla was not difficult."Being a Bengali, I have seen the plight of widows from close quarters. Simple things like diet change. Even water is rationed. But Shakuntla is different. She epitomises the widow who tries to suppress her maternal and physical desires. "She is a quiet type, one who doesn't allow her feelings to come out. But when she sees the plight of a child widow she comes out of her shell to help her out."

Seema cut her hair and travelled to Vrindavan to have a feel of the daily life of widows in the ashram. "There are a lot of Bengali widows there. I talked to them for hours and then tried to capture the blankness on their faces... their white world."

Seema says it would have given her more pride if the film were shot in India. "Whatever happened, happened because of a faction. We are happy for the message of the film is global." Seema will soon be seen in N. Chandra's Breaking News and Arindam Mitra's Shoonya. She has already signed Deepa's next film on Sikh immigrants, where she might share screen space with Amitabh Bachchan. Meanwhile, the pose-hunters are back and Seema is back in her shell.

ANUJ KUMAR

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