Interview: Vidya Balan Opens KIFF, Starts Shooting for New Hindi Movie "TE3N" in "Lucky City" Kolkata

By J P Mandal (reporter) and Asmita Mukherjee (editor)
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Vidya Balan in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.
Photo: Biswajit Saha (C) WBRi Inc.

Kolkata, Nov 20 (Washington Bangla Radio): Powerhouse actress Vidya Balan began her career from Kolkata when she arrived in the city to shoot for her debut movie "Parineeta" which was a big hit. Few years down the line , she delivered one of the biggest  successes of  her career and of Bollywood   till date ,  in the form of the film‘Kahaani’ which was entirely shot in Kolkata. She, in many of her interviews has admitted that Kolkata is one of  her  luckiest places  and she is  in love with the city.

Vidya ’s love affair with Kolkata is getting more intense this year as she is being seen in a lot of events  happening in the city including a top music award and the KIFF (Kolkata International Film Festival). Recently the national award winning actress was seen attending the launch of  "Antaryartra" , a coffee table book that explores the journey of another empowered woman Jayasri Burman , an eminent  painter, through her eloquent canvases and sculptures in the timespan of  1996 to 2015 with a foreword by none other than Amitabh Bachchan.

On the occasion Vidya said, “It’s a pleasure to be attending the launch of the book which explores two decades of an artist of such brilliance. I congratulate her from the core of my heart on this memorable day.”

About her first tryst with Jaysri Burman and her work Vidya said, “It was few years ago I saw one of her works at a friend’s place. I wondered who the creator of the work was. I had wondered how the person must be who had created something as beautiful and as arresting like this. Then I read about her and I have also worked with her son R. Burman who is also a very good friend of mine. But I never had the opportunity to meet Jayasri until few months back when I was on a flight and saw a beautiful woman sitting next to me. I was just marvelling at who might this beautiful woman be. Someone mentioned that she is none other than Jayasri Burman.”

Harshvardhan Neotia, Jayasri Burman, Vidya Balan and Ambica Beri
Harshvardhan Neotia, Jayasri Burman, Vidya Balan and Ambica Beri

“I did not rush to her but I kept observing her very carefully and what struck me about her that what I saw on canvas is nothing but an extension of herself only. I really felt that her works emerge from her soul. I find her eyes most detaining. I am not an artist and don’t understand the technicalities of art. But what moves me every time I see her creation every time I look at her eyes. Those eyes that invites me, that arrests me and renders me incapable of moving and stirs something in my soul. So its absolutely apt that her book be called Antaryatra.” added Vidya.

Harshvardhan Neotia, Jayasri Burman, Vidya Balan and Ambica Beri
Harshvardhan Neotia, Jayasri Burman, Vidya Balan and Ambica Beri

The Kahaani actress also said that she found amazing how Jayasri used mythology as her theme. “I think for us Mythology are about stories we tell each other and on which our kids grow up on. But what Jayashri’s paintings really do is humanisation of mythology.  I personally think that without those personalisation of Mythology, the purpose of it gets lost.” Vidya said.

About the exhibition the actress said, “I had an opportunity to go through Gallery Sanskriti , a quick recce though. I would surely come back at a more quiet time when no one is around.  I am very much empowered to see the female forms in Jayashri’s work. When I asked her who is her inspiration for those female artworks ,she said that her mother is her greatest inspiration. I request the whole of Kolkata to come and watch the work of Jayashri. They will surely be richer after doing so.”

About her upcoming movie "Te3n" which also stars Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddique she said that she would start shooting in Kolkata from the last week of November. “I would be back here at the end of this month. Shooting for Te3n will start on 23rd November. I am looking forward to explore more of Kolkata. It is always a delight to come back to this city. Though I don’t have a very big role in the film but it will surely be an awesome experience to work with brilliant actors like Big B and Nawazuddin. Also I liked director Ribhu Dasgupta’s TV series “ Yudh “ and I am sure he will do a brilliant job with “ Te3n.” She said before rushing to the airport to catch a flight.

The book launch event which took place at Sanskriti Gallery was also graced by noted industrialist Harshavardhan Neotia, eminent artist Wasim Kapoor and many other noted personalities from the city.