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Urmila on <i>Banaras</i>

Courtesy: IndiaFM
Friday, April 07, 2006

Mysticism is timeless
When I was very new in the film industry, I was asked a question, "With all the middle class values that you have, how will you make it big in the industry?" and my answer was "Values are never upper class, middle class or lower class. Either you have values or you don't." Similarly I don't think spiritualism or mysticism has any time boundaries. It's timeless. My character is a today's girl. She is a studious physics student. She is like any other girl you find in any Indian city. It is through her eyes that we are talking to the audience. It was one of the most enriching experiences for each of us.

Contemporary look
My character in the film is essential. The film gets contemporary, because we are not talking about the old time spiritual importance of Banaras. We are talking about today.

Playing Shwetambari was not an easy task
Playing this character was not easy for me because I play a girl who starts in an ordinary manner and goes on to completely different level altogether. She goes beyond normal human levels. But the beauty of the character still remains and she is still extremely human. She is extremely empathetic towards the sorrows and the problems of the human faces. She is equally vulnerable to the sadness of the human life. This is about how she rises above the blunder created by the people around her. Playing Shwetambari in the older age was very difficult for me. She is far more spiritual then I can ever be.

Spiritualism is a part of life
Spiritualism is one part of our life. It's like a clogged house. We are scared to open it because we don't know what we are going to find inside. We are scared because there may be something that might attract us beyond our want to be attracted. It might make us feel low in our life. My character does not go to any theatrical or hysterical levels that Hindi cinema is well known for. Unfortunately our industry believes that if you play loud characters then you became a good actor. Unfortunately I haven't done that in my career. But this is something that comes from the core, from within and I really hope that it touches people as much.

Banaras, a spiritual city
You will not understand Banaras in two or three days. This place has enormous beauty and you will find every kind of people there. Slowly, when things start to get settled, you will know about the city and its culture. People from all over the world come there to know about spiritualism. Then you will feel that there are very few things we understand or try to understand.

Holi in Banaras
Holi in Banaras is quite famous. We had blast playing holi as we shot the holi scene in Banaras. Not because I was doing a dancing song after a very long time. That is something which I love to do with a passion. But there were colors with us. All of us had fun shooting that song.

Holi blast
One funny episode happened during the shoot. It was a hysterical shoot. It was the finale. Film colors had been splashed on everyone and it was a completely crazy situation. Actor Raj Babbar, who plays my father in the movie, was busy putting dozens of colors on us. We really got flustered! Dimpleji and myself did the same with him. And we suddenly realized that his fake mustache has come off and it was hanging! When we finished that shot, we saw that he had lost his moustache! Everyone was looking for it! Chemistry that worked
I have a very nice working relationship with Dimpleji. This is our third film together. We are very fond of each other. She is playing my mother in this film. Raj Babbar is playing my father again, after Kalyug. So it was a great working chemistry between the three of us. And I have worked with Naseerji earlier. It was great working with all of them. Dying for a comedy...
How convincingly you play the character is far more important than your image. I don't think make-up or clothes make you a star. After my roles in Pinjar, people have already accepted me in such roles. I have done a lot of heavy films and now I'm dying to do a comedy.

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