But Ayesha did something unheard of to master the lines. “I memorized the entire script, all my speaking lines in Sikandar. I realized there wasn"t enough time to learn Hindi, so I just memorized my entire part, all the lines. It was like a guy who speaks in Marathi learning French. I agree it was audacious. I don"t know how I did it."
The Black girl and the Saawariya guy Ranbir Kapoor have more in common than their surnames and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
“Ranbir Kapoor was assisting Sanjay during Black. And he really helped me. He worked with me, got me tapes and research material to understand how a blind and deaf girl behaves. Ranbir was really helpful. Thanks to him I was well prepared to face the camera. I wasn"t afraid. I went for it and I did it. I met such great artistes."
She pauses to remember the Black days. “Sadly we didn"t really keep in touch. That"s understandable," she says with a solemnity belying her 14 years. “Working with people like Amitabh Bachchan and Shernaz Patel in my very first film really matured me. I got to see so much at 9, which my friends hadn"t experienced. Thankfully, my friends treated me normally. I live in Auroville and most people there don"t recognize me. Which is fine. It has kept me normal. I don"t make a big deal about going to Mumbai for my acting assignment."
And now when Ayesha will make her debut as a leading lady in the near future she"d like nothing better than to debut with Ranbir. Her second film Sikandar comes 4 years after Black. “When I read the script I wanted to be in it. When I do a film it has to be something I"m comfortable with. But the biggest incentive was shooting in Kashmir. What a beautiful place. The people there were so welcoming. I had a great time. I play this simple Kashmiri schoolgirl. Not dramatic at all like Black."
She would love to do a comedy. But is not sure if acting is in the only thing she will do later in life. “I"m only 14. I love acting. But I"ve a lot of different passions. I"ve been riding horses since 2. Then there"s school and I love to travel twice a year with my parents. I also love to write. I don"t want to give up on that. Wouldn"t it be wonderful if I get a role where I can ride horses and play a writer?"
Ayesha will choose very carefully. “I want to wait and see. I"m not hurrying anything. Even Black just happened to me. I"m thankful to Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Then Piyush Jha came all the way to my home and signs me for Sikandar. He didn"t ask me to speak the lines in Hindi. He knew I couldn"t. But he still believed in me. He believed I could get by just memorizing the lines. He only covered my head with a scarf and took pictures of me as I expressed various emotions." Ayesha wants to be a leading lady after a few years. “I"d love t