Says Shahana Goswami, "I play the female lead in Jashn. Adhyayan Suman's sister. The story is about the brother and sister." Counters Anjana Sukhani, "But she's playing Adhyayan's sister's role!"
Going by the age-old descriptions of the conventional heroine Anjana has a point. The girl who gets to romance and sing with the hero is the leading lady.
However, definitions of the leading lady have changed over the years. And the girl paired with the leading man needn't be the main female protagonist.
Explains Shahana, "My character and Adhyayan's run parallel in the plot. She disapproves of his casual attitude to life. But they care deeply for one another and look out for one another. My character is like a mother looking out for Adhyayan's character financially and other practical matters. While he sustains her emotionally."
Sounds like the brother-sister musical Dance Dance (directed by B Subhash) where sister Smita Patil kept tabs on bro Mithun Chakraborty's dreams of being a musician.
Mahesh Batt disagrees. "I see no connection between the brother-sister story in Dance Dance and our film. In Jashn, the sister (Shahana) is of a woman who's mistress to a rich man. The kid-hero (Adhyayan) liberates her from the sordid life as a mistress."
Little wonder the romantic lead was refused by Sonal Chauhan and Prachi Desai. But Anjana Sukhani seems determined to make the best of the situation. "Jashn should do the trick for me. I don't know why the other heroines (Sonal Chauhan, Prachi Desai) refused to do it. It's untrue to say that the male lead has the pivotal role while the girl has nothing to do in Jashn. I've a very important role. And though Adhyayan Suman plays a musician, I've my own songs and my own track in the plot."