On Women’s Day, Sumita Chakraborty raises a toast to the unconventional Kalki Koechelin who has dared to be different in terms of – voicing her opinions, doing ‘different’ films or walking a path less taken.
Bold, beautiful and opinionated, she’s the epitome of today’s woman. Yes, we are talking about Bollywood’s rebel with a cause, the very wonderful Kalki Koechlin.
She burst into the Bollywood scene some time ago with a bold and daring film called ‘Dev D’ and though she does play her game of hide and seek by disappearing off to helm some adventurous show or stage play; her films have always been unusual, has a message and have depicted women as strong and bold.
Today, we doff our hats to Kalki Koechlin, the woman because she has always stood for the truth, spoken boldly about issues close to her heart, tapped her inner woman and acted in films that have shown women in the right light. More so, she’s held her own in a male dominated industry where heroes call the shots.
Kalki’s parents met at the Aurobindo ashram in Pondicherry. Her dad Joel, Kalki says, lived a life “less ordinary”. He walked out of his home at 17, hitchhiked his way around the world and spent time in the holy city of Benaras and then came to Pondicherry and met her mum there. Kalki says, “Someday, I’ll make a film on him. His life experiences are so amazing.” Anyway from Aurobindo ashram – “Though I was born there, I’m not much of believer” – Kalki reached London to study theatre. But after some time there – “England was dull and grey and I missed India especially the spicy food.” – Kalki returned to India. But this time, “first to Bangalore to meet my half-brother” and then Mumbai was her final destination.
She auditioned for ‘Dev D’ – “they were nice enough to allow me to audition in English. I knew Tamil as fluently as a native but not too much Hindi. So English, it was!” And guess what! She bagged the role. “Yes, a lot has been said about the film being too sexplicit but ‘Dev D’ was radical! It was a twisted tale.”
Anyway after Dev D’s success, there was no looking back…. Kalki did a play called ‘Skeleton Woman’ for which she bagged an award. And then co-wrote with Anurag Kashyap, a film called ‘The Girl In Yellow Boots’. In the meantime, her personal life became her focus – she got married to Anurag Kashyap. However, many moons later, after several dramatic twists and dramatic turns, Anurag and Kalki called it quits and got divorced.
A flawed past perhaps spurred Kali on, she went on to star in the award winning film ‘Margarita with a straw ‘which won her the National Film Award – Special Jury Award and then made her directorial debut on stage with ‘Living Room’. Of course, not that Kalki turned her back on commercial cinema ‘It is the jam with my bread and butter.” She starred in ‘Shaitan’, ‘Shanghai’ “Ek Tha Daiyan’, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ where she held her own despite commercial stalwarts like Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor and others.
Ask her about her film journey, Kalki muses, “It’s strange but I had to fight conventional stereotypes of ‘fair skin’. I think like an Indian. Accept me as one. And luckily, I did roles that showed my potential and didn’t project me as the phirangi type.”
Check out her fearless poem here ->
Causes & More
source : India Today
Kalki also runs her own Youtube channel where she airs her views, advocates social causes and gives her tips on any and everything. Kalki says, “I really don’t like being put in a mould. I feel suffocated. I do things which appeals to me not what is expected of me.”
No wonder, her video in collaboration with VJ Juhi titled ‘It’s Your Fault’ went viral. It was a satirical take on people who believed that women were responsible for their own abuse and made insensitive comments. It made people think and that’s exactly what Kalki wanted.
See video here :
Now on Women’s Day, Kalki is coming out with a ‘short’ film called ‘Naked’. Another film with a message…
And when Kalki is not rushing around making a social message, she’s having fun seeing the world through her travelogue ‘Kalki’s Great Escape. Here, Kalki got her wish – she’s biked with her dad through the North East on a motorcycle odyssey.
As an actor, traveler or a woman, Kalki Koechlin is fearless and stands up for what she believes is right. “I believe that India needs feminism,” she says as she advocates women’s equality strongly. Says no to fairness endorsements and talks without fear whenever she has to say something.
…What do we say except, lets put our hands together to celebrate a bold and fearless woman called Kalki Koechlin. Go girl go… fly high!
Journalist, writer, dreamer... Sumita Chakraborty has interviewed over 70 Bollywood actors including Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Malaika Arora Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Katrina Kaif, Parineeti Chopra and many more. She's interviewed top personalities - politics, sports, business etc - and written extensively on food, lifestyle, travel and social issues. She's passionate about animal welfare and loves dogs. Books are her best friends especially sensational suspense thriller and blood-curdling murder mysteries. If she wasn't a writer, Sumita would definitely be a detective and solve murder mysteries by the dozen..