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Saira Banu laments present Bollywood

In a heart to heart chat, yesteryear actress Saira Banu talks about why she decided to produce a Bhojpuri film, her future plans and why she does not want to stage a comeback as an actress in Bollywood.

Did Dilip Kumar ask you to quit acting after marriage?
Dilipsaab has been my source of strength. I have been crazy about him ever since I was just a twelve-year-old little girl. Right from the day we got married, Yusufsaab has been my greatest support system. I still remember the day I had organized a trial of my film Shagird for him after our marriage. At that point of time, I was planning to quit acting since I wanted to be one hundred per cent a housewife and though I had signed Padosan and Purab Aur Paschim, I did not want to start work on those films.

Saab saw the trial of Shagird with pin drop silence. I was keen on knowing how he would react to my performance especially since he had told me that he had not seen a single film in which I had acted till then. After the trial was over, he told me that it would be criminal on his part to hold me back from acting in films after he realized that I was talented.

After having been married for almost 40 years, do both of you have fights even now?
I loved Saab in Ganga Jamuna, Devdas, Moghul E Azam, Sagina and Madhumati. He gave award winning performance in those days when awards were given sheerly on merit and actors did not spend money to get awards like it happens today. Though as any other normal husband and wife, we too have our share of fights even now almost forty one years after our marriage, as and when I sit though and watch the DVD of any of the film in which he has acted, I do not fight with him for at least the next eight days. In fact, Saab often jokes that I should keep myself busy with watching any film of his every week, so that I will never fight with him.

Is producing films your hobby or passion?
Saab and I are very happy with our first film in Bhojpuri titled Ab To Banja Sajanva Hamar with Arshad Khan, the son of the late actor Yunus Parvez as the director. Ravi Kishen, Nagma and Mona Thiba starred in our film, which did good business all over the country. I do not understand why the media asks me why I decided to produce a film in Bhojpuri instead of Hindi, in a very demeaning fashion. Why shouldn't I make a film in Bhojpuri? Bhojpuri films project our cultural heritage, family ties and emotions even today. What is wrong with making a film in Bhojpuri? In fact, I consider myself a devoted housewife and filmmaking is my hobby. I want to make films in not only Hindi but also Marathi, Gujarati and other regional languages. I am keen on producing a comedy film now after Ab To Banja Sajanva Hamar.


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