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The extremely talented Ms. Kher

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Of substance Kirron Kher
Of substance Kirron Kher

Kirron Kher opens up on the new vistas in her career

She is the new resident mother in Hindi cinema replacing the contented self effacing Nirupa Roy version with a much more decisive one. “I believe the self effacing types were long gone,” says Kirron Kher giving way to that infectious laughter that always announces her arrival. “Film characters evolve with the changes in the society and the role of mothers has undergone a tremendous change in the world we live in,” explains Kirron, who has reflected that change from Devdas to Dostana – where the mother agrees to the marriage between her son and his boyfriend even though it is portrayed in a comical way.

However, she takes umbrage if you fit her only in the bracket of celluloid mother. “That way Shah Rukh has only been playing a son throughout his career.” Remind her that actors are put in mother or father bracket if they largely appear in scripts where the entire focus is on son or daughter, but it doesn’t cut much ice. “I would prefer if you call it a supporting role.” Granted, but wouldn’t she prefer the mother of Khamosh Paani over repeating herself in films like Om Shanti Om and Singh is Kinng? “Any day! But films likes Khamosh Paani seldom get made. I keep looking for such scripts. By the way my character in Khamosh Pani cannot be described just as a mother!” Indeed.

Kirron is now returning to television after a long time with India Has Got Talent as part of the jury. Still remembered for her pricking questions put with characteristic poise in Purushshetra, Kirron says, “I accepted the offer because I liked the concept and Colors is one channel that has some meaningful shows. In India… anybody who has got some talent will get his or her proverbial 15 seconds of fame, which I believe almost every Indian is looking for these days. Now even mothers want to have a share of their kids’ talent. It used to be the American way of life but we are fast reaching there.” Kirron says the concept is different in the sense that is will not focus only on singers. “We have got classical dancers, folk dancers, boys on roller skates, baazigars, trapeze artistes…In Kolkata auditions, I was impressed by the Chhau dancers…these are talented people who are out of national television for a long time.”

The challenge is to make your act interesting in the given two minutes. “And there is no age bar. In the U.K version of the show, Susan Boyle, an ordinary 47-year-old housewife who looked like 57, surprised everybody with her singing prowess. I believe we have also got many such people, who haven’t got a platform.”

However, such shows are proving to be shortcuts, which give a false idea of fame to young boys and girls, rendering them vulnerable to failure. “See, I know failure is the biggest teacher but my experience says not many can handle failure gracefully. There are only very few, who could take failure as a milestone and that is what makes them extraordinary. On our part, those who are not good enough are being told bluntly that they are wasting their time.”

ANUJ KUMAR

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