Thursday, July 25, 2024

I would have been somewhere else if I’d catered to Log Kya Kahenge in real life’

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National-award-winning actress Tanvi Azmi, who was recently seen in the Prime Video series Dil Dosti Dilemma, discusses with The Pioneer the central theme of the series and enunciates the thought process of her character with her real-life experiences.Tejal Sinha
Peer pressure—something that we’ve all been aware of and, on the other hand, something that is very well portrayed in the Prime Video series Dil Dosti Dilemma.
The series shows how a smart and young girl, Asmara, comes from a wealthy family in Bengaluru and is eager to spend her summer vacation in Canada. However, her plans take an unexpected turn when she arrives at Tibbri Road, her maternal grandparents’ middle-class neighbourhood. What she originally perceives as a punishment evolves into a journey of new experiences and realisations. Through mishaps, new friendships, a growing relationship, and many beautiful moments, Asmara realises that there is more to life than financial possessions and luxurious trips.  The Pioneer quickly connects with the national-award-winning actress Tanvi Azmi, who plays the character of Asmara’s Naani, discussing this important theme.
“See, it’s coming-of-age for this girl, and she has been exposed to these readily available roads and hi-fi places,” begins the much-celebrated actress. She feels that, unfortunately, these are the value systems that these youngsters are growing up with.
Going ahead, she shares, “I feel why this went right was the incredible choice of her mother to take that responsibility of cancelling her trip to Canada and sending her to the godforsaken lower middle-class locality, which is a completely unfamiliar territory for her. I think what is commendable about this is that the parents are stepping in and deciding that this is enough and that this is not how you are going to behave. I don’t know, as a mother, if I would have the guts to do this. She (Asmara) realises how flippant, frivolous, and false her life is and how she’s keeping up with it.”
The peer pressure is certainly something that many youngsters these days have put themselves under. And in fact, as we discuss much in detail about the same, the Bajirao Mastani actress shares, “If you ask me, parents are just throwing money on their children, so the value of money and relationships have just disappeared, which is very tragic.”
She also speaks of how important it is for conversations between elders and youngsters to happen like dialogue and not about imposing authority. Youngsters these days, she says, are no doubt anti-authoritative, and there’s a need to keep it as give-and-take in the conversations. “In Dil Dosti Dilemma, Asmara gives some valuable lessons to her grandmother, and her grandmother gives her value lessons, sharing each other’s point of view. Somehow, I don’t know how people have been blown away by this story. For me, it was a normal thing because I grew up in a joint family. So I felt this was an important show in that sense for older people to get perspective and also for the younger people.”
Be it in Akele Hum Akele Tum, Dushman, Mela, Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya, Delhi-6, Thappad, Tribhanga, and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, to name a few, screen space never defined her prowess. But with Bajirao Mastani, we got to see a whole different Tanvi Azmi altogether. In fact, she shares, “I am always approached for characters that require me to be warm, strong, loving, and everything at the same time, but never like that of a character in Bajirao Mastani. When I went to meet Sanjay for Bajirao Mastani, he said you’ve only played these strong, warm, and loving characters. How would you be able to play this? I was like, You need to have faith in yourself for choosing me as an actor, and you need to see if I’m capable or not. One needs to understand that, as actors, that’s what you are supposed to do, and that’s your job. Just because you are good at being warm, sensitive, and affectionate, you can just not keep playing the same. There has to be something else on your platter. Now I’m being approached for a lot of antagonistic roles also, which is great.”

Log kya kahenge (What will people say)! This phrase is something that many people, not just previous generations, but also younger generations, are concerned about. And as we see, that’s something that her character too thinks of in the Dil Dosti Dilemma. Certainly not someone who believes in this in real life, she says, “Interesting question, yaa. Actually, this is who I am. I am completely mad, vibrant, and sarcastic. I know I can be fun, so I am all of that, but I will still bring those bits to Naani as and when required. You know, sometimes it’s just the look, but the point is that you have to touch the core of the character, which is what I feel, and once you do that, everything flows and things come automatically. Log kya kahenge toh woh generation ka toh hai hi (What will people say? It is definitely of that generation); in fact, not just that generation but also a lot of us are holding on to ourselves. Even today, kids are like, they will judge me. It’s only as you grow older that you realise that nobody really has time for you and nobody’s judging you. They will say one sentence and move on in their lives. You have to see what you need to do. Frankly, I’ve never been one to cater to Log Kya Kahenge. Maine toh itna sab kuch kiya hai, agar maine socha hota toh kahin aur hi hoti. Hindu Maharashtrian Brahmin girl marrying a Muslim at the age of 21 abb uske aage aap kya karenge (What will Longe say? I have done a lot of things, and if I had given it a thought, I would have been somewhere else. Hindu Maharashtrian Brahmin girl marrying a Muslim at the age of 21 (what will you do next?) So after that sab kuch maaf (everything is forgiven), you need to stop worrying about the world. The world is not worrying about you.”

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