Sarika who joined the acting club at the age of four talks about being part of Club 60, Sanjay Tripathy’s latest film

Sanjay Tripathy’s directorial debut in Bollywood Club 60 features veteran actors Sarika, Farooq Shaikh, Raghuveer Yadav, Tinu Anand and Satish Shah. The film is about a group of happy-go-lucky elders. Here Sarika speaks about the role she plays in the film, her philosophy of life and her daughters Shruti and Akshara.

Do you play a 60-year-old in Club 60…you are still several years away from that milestone!

No. The film has two tracks. Farooq Shaikh and I play a couple whose marriage threatens to fall apart because he finds it more difficult to deal with the death of their young son than I do. The other track is about Club 60 whose senior members have a riot and help Farooq come to terms with his emotional problems. It’s a happy film that says one must celebrate life despite all adversities.

Do you agree?

I absolutely share this philosophy.

In real life, would you join a club to handle an emotional crisis?

No. I would rather rely on my friends who are my unpaid therapists.

We are all familiar with loss. Which loss is more difficult to handle — one caused by death or one caused by voluntary separation, when someone moves out of your life?

Death makes you feel helpless because the person is not going to be physically present thereafter. It snatches away someone you loved and that really hurts. You can’t do anything about it. Whereas the loss of someone moving away from your life is more difficult to cope with because if one were to just pick up the phone and say, “Let it be,” it would make a big difference. Unfortunately, our ego stops us. The person you are today is because of your collective past experiences. When someone moves away, it leaves pain in its wake.

Has your personality been shaped by the fact that you began acting at the age of four?

Tremendously! It was traumatic; it still is for child actors. You are exposing the child to emotions that are irregular. In Humraaz, I was a toddler who witnesses a murder. The feelings associated with the experience have stayed with me. Ideally, one should counsel child actors and see if they have the emotional capability to deal with the roles they enact.

How do you look at the phase between 1975 and 1984 when you were a young actress?

Somebody collected all the posters of my films and it was a huge file. Geet Gaata Chal, Anpadh and Grihapravesh were my best films. Now the audience is more diversified. Then, you didn’t have the luxury of choosing your roles, unlike today. But even after the National Award win, you remain underutilised.

It’s wonderful to have the ability to choose. I would love to do three good films a year but there are several good actresses. It may be politically incorrect to say this, but we are still a male-dominated industry. There is a paucity of roles for women my age. There are more roles for men, so Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and Paresh Rawal get a lot of work.

So acting remains important to you?

It’s integral … like my books though I have had no formal education. Just the other day, I was sharing with my daughter Akshara: “People may come and go in your life but you always have your work.” For 18 years, I chose to work behind the camera. But when I came back to face the camera, my work smiled and said, “See, I am the one who gives you happiness.”

Both your daughters have now turned to acting.

For a long time, Akshara didn't want to act, though I knew she would make a very good actress. However, she has now decided to do Balki’s film. Shruti is a good actress and is doing well; and she is blessed when it comes to singing.

Don’t you feel like putting up your feet and enjoying the perks of being a star mother?

Why should I? Only when your own life stops, do you start latching on to people who have something going on in theirs. I am so happy and proud to be a mother of actresses. But I would rather go on my own sets than attend their shootings.

In Club 60, Farooq eventually comments that he finds the noise of the city bearable now. Have your inner noises been quelled?

If any actor says there are no voices in his head, he is lying. We do become a tad crazy. While shooting, there are two voices in your head — the onscreen character’s and your own. But when you return home, you have to learn to shush that voice.

A day in your life.

If Akshara wakes up late, she will see me cooking. And if she wakes up on time, she will see me doing jhaadu pocha before the maid arrives. But I too need my own time. In the morning when I wake up, I read, I write … but I don't like talking to anyone before I have had my six cups of tea.

Bollywood News Service

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