Padmini Kolhapuri started off as a child actor in the film industry and then made her way into the list of successful heroines in Bollywood. Now, this 40-plus actress is keen to start afresh. Here's what she has to say about her upcoming Hindi film, Doctor.
What made you sign the film?
I liked the story. My character is not out of the world, but is interesting. I play a working woman who does not want to have children for her career's sake. Then, her father-in-law adopts a baby girl. The woman gradually develops a motherly feeling towards the girl. She then wants to start her own family.
Can you relate to your character?
I was a working woman till the time I got married. I left work because I wanted to have a family of my own. So I think somewhere deep down I do understand this character well.
Would the film inspire people to adopt a girl child?
In India , a male child is still the first preference. Especially, amongst the business class, where most think that the boy would grow up and run his father's business. But times have changed and so has the mentality of the people. Today, boys and girls are hardly differentiated between.
Would you adopt a girl child if possible?
Yes, why not. I have a son, and if given a choice I would adopt a daughter. However, I do not think that it is practically possible now, since my son has grown up.
Tell us about Doctor?
The story highlights the necessity of adopting a girl child. Being a woman I know how much happiness a girl can bring into the family, and surely, all women know this. A girl does so much for a family, so do boys. Yet a girl is a girl, after all.
Do you think this film will represent Indian women and the girl child?
I feel that people will like this film because even today an Indian girl upholds her values even while accepting Western culture.
Any particular reason behind naming the film Doctor?
I do not think I'm the best person to answer this question. You will either have to ask the producer or the director.
Any particular reason for returning to Bollywood?
No, there is nothing in particular. I have always been associated with acting from a very young age. I had to take a break because I had wanted a family of my own. Now that my son has grown up, what else could I return to.
What changes do you find in the film industry when you compare it with your time?
It is true that the film industry has changed. Earlier there was a relaxed attitude while making a film. We never did more than a film or two a year and while shooting, too, we used to do only a few scenes. Today, actors are extremely professional and time is more precious than money. Earlier a director had a lot of time to give tips to a newcomer. But not any more.
So, has Bollywood changed for the better or worse?
All that I will say is that it is too fast.
Which films are you doing in the Marathi language?
I have done a film titled Mumbai Amchi, which will be releasing soon. I have not signed any other film in any language.