Yuktaa in a new role

Standing tall Yuktaa Mookhey

Standing tall Yuktaa Mookhey   | Photo Credit: Photo: V. Sudershan

Yuktaa Mookhey talks on ‘Memsahab — Lost in Mirage’

Yuktaa Mookhey may have picked the wrong films to kick-start her career in Bollywood but that doesn’t make her unintelligent. She impresses you with her simplicity, energy, style of conversation, intelligence and an attitude of taking criticism positively. Her debut film Pyassa didn’t help her career, so she directed her energies towards hosting stage shows in India and abroad, travelling across villages in India for social work and endorsing products.

Now, she has tried her luck with the film Memsahab –Lost in Mirage, written and directed by Arshad Siddiqui.

The film, being released in a phased manner, is the story of a girl whose life traverses from prostitution to acting to an avenger who meets the culprit who had killed her family in the 1984 riots. Says Yuktaa, a former Miss World, “My earlier film may not have done well but still there are people in the industry who believe in my acting skills and Arshad is one of them. He was looking for a girl who is a youth icon and can look Punjabi as well. I accepted the role because it is powerful and deals with a woman’s emotion effectively. I got to play a number of shades. The film would definitely get the audience to think about the lives of the unfortunate girls and the corrupt system.”

Yuktaa doesn’t regret not being a part of the film industry for some time. “I travelled to remote Indian villages, studied their lives and understood their psyche. It not only enriched me but also humbled me a lot. I have always been highly spiritual in nature, so I never felt disappointed with the adverse phase of my career. I have taken it as the ‘leela of lord Krishna’. I believe he has chosen a good time for me, which will come whenever it is destined,” she says smiling.

Yuktaa has trained in Hindustani vocal music under a guru of the Gwalior gharana since the age of five. Why she didn’t pursue music as a career? “After getting the Miss World title, I became busy with shows and endorsements. I got some offers to sing remixes that I turned down, as I don’t want to waste my talent there,” she explains, adding that in the days to come she may come out with an album of classical compositions.

Despite being almost out of work, she didn’t find it very difficult to sustain herself in Mumbai. “It is true that filmdom often judges you on the basis of how many award functions you are invited to, how many parties you have attended, your dresses and ‘companions’. But ultimately what matters is how you present yourself. Mumbaikars, however, are very simple. They take you as you are. So it is not difficult to live there,” she shares.

For now Yuktaa hasn’t actually got any “workable offer”. For a while it has been rumoured that she is working in Bhojpuri and other regional films.

“That’s wrong. I am not doing any such films,” she clarifies.


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