Newcomer Vishakha on “Hum Sey Hai Jahaan”
She was auditioned twice for working with Shah Rukh Khan. She failed. With better luck, she could have replaced Vidya in Chak De India! or Gayatri Joshi in Swades. But she didn’t feel disheartened. Shimit Amin, Chak De…’s director referred her to Mashhoor Amrohi, who was looking for a leading lady for his debut film Hum Sey Hai Jahaan. “As luck would have it, I got the role,” says 24-year-old Vishakha Singh.
Born and brought up in Abu Dhabi, Vishakha is a postgraduate in advertising and public relations “Writing press releases, running to newspaper offices wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to act,” says Vishakha who plays the daughter of a fading superstar in Hum Sey…. “As Mashhoor was involved in many things at a time, he couldn’t ‘direct’ me at many places so I had to rely on my instinct,” she says.
Vishakha wants to toe the line of Tabu and Nandita Das, rather than doing only commercial films. “I would want people to respect me rather than lust for me,” she says. She refused to work in many big banner films, because she had to show skin. “I was called by Yash Raj to play Nikki in Neil n Nikki. Yash clearly told me that he wanted the heroine to do three kissing scenes and wear a swimsuit so I refused.”
In search of meaty roles, Vishkha has done a few parallel films. In Sahara Motion Picture’s Coffee Shop with Girish Karnad and Lillette Dubey, releasing in July, she plays a struggling painter and in debut director Abhijeet Sengupta’s Do Aur Do Paanch releasing by the year-end, she plays “a typical tapori”.
In yet another off-beat film, Vishakha and a U.S-based newcomer Shri Malhotra play orphans who struggle to survive in a metropolitan city.