Just a day to go for the release of Sorry Bhai and Chitrangda Singh is caught in a nervous yet jovial mood. She admits about all eyes being set on her comeback, especially since there were loud cries when she announced her premature 'alvida' to Bollywood after Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi and Kal - Yesterday and Tomorrow. However, she understands that Sorry Bhai would be a different project since now audience is aware about her existence.
Chitrangda, barely 24 hours to go. Feeling Terrific? Terrible?
[Laughs] I can't tell you because I myself don't know. I can't sleep as I am thinking about the film very moment. I think more than the audience, I myself have great expectations because of the comeback factor. When Hazaaron...' happened, I just walked in for the release as I didn't know what to expect. Even though it was my debut film, I didn't feel anything at all. In fact I remember that at that time, I was more worried about what I would be wearing for the release event than the audience reaction.
And then you waited for years before making a comeback with Sorry Bhai. Weren't you shocked by the subject though, that of a woman falling for her finance's brother?
For centuries, there is a saying that 'Saali aadhi gharwali hoti hai'. So today, why do we shy away from saying that 'Devar matlab aadha gharwala'? Why not talk in equal terms. I know that the moment a female says something like this even in a joking way at home, she would be reprimanded. And then we talk about woman empowerment! In any case, we have showcased the entire dilemma in a lighthearted manner. Even the film's punchline says that 'Come Fall In Love With Your Brother's Bride'!
From your earlier heavy-duty films, Sorry Bhai would have come across as a welcome relief?
Definitely, this was some kind of relief. In fact even when I did my first two films, a lot of people were asking me if I would continue to keep doing stuff like that. Why just me, no actor would want to do the same thing time and again. It all becomes mundane and I also wanted to do something lighter where I didn't have to stress myself; something which isn't too high on emotions. I wanted to be a part of something which is fun and nice.
And was that the reason you didn't sign anything for such long time? Were you getting all intense roles to portray?
No, that was not the case. In fact I had cut myself completely. It was last year when I finally decided that I wanted to get back to films and started thinking of calling up people. Coincidentally, Onir called up around the same time and narrated the script. I was itching to get back in front of camera and since I knew about the two films he had done (My Brother Nikhil and Bas Ek Pal), I was game.
But why Onir?
Onir told me that Sorry Bhai was a light fun family film but again dealing with a delicate subject. I guess it was the perfect combination that I was looking for. So you know, it was not really planned that I was saying no to all heavyweights and suddenly said yes to him. It all just fitted in well at the right time.
Onir hasn't quite tasted commercial success. Weren't you worried?
I am a bit impulsive when it comes to making decisions and I wasn't worried about Onir's record. I want to do certain characters and whether I select them right or wrong, I stand by my decisions. I go by my gut feelings. Moreover, regardless of the way his films may have done at the box office, they had some sensibilities of their own. I like the fact that he does something different every time. Moreover, the moment I got to know about the film's cast with people like Shabana Azmi involved, I knew for sure that this was going to be my comeback film.
So after all the hype and hoopla, the real test comes in the form of the final product. Sorry Bhai has gone through some private screenings for celebrities and friends. How have the reactions been?
It may sound cliched but the fact is that people have liked the film immensely. My performance has been appreciated and what gladdened me most was to get a message from Raju Hirani. He felt that I was being quite natural in the film and even went on to suggest that I now start keeping a date diary handy. That was such a nice thing to hear because here I was so insecure and nervous while someone of his stature was impressed by my work. Really, my day was made!
There must have been some brickbats too?
Of course yes. There are some odd people who have morality issues with the way things should work in real life. But that's ok; people should have a difference of opinion. This is the very reason the film has been made so that we can tell our point of view.