PTV dominates in mini screen, says Juhi Babbar
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: TV actor Farooq Zameer reminds me of late Indian film icon Balraj Sani, said Juhi Babbar, a theatre and film actress from India and the daughter of renowned actor Raaj Babbar, calling his acting ‘simply wonderful’.
Talking to Daily Times on Thursday at Alhamra Cultural Complex, Ms Babbar said that she felt was very passionate about art films, and often dreamt of working alongside legendary actor Dilip Kumar in a film written by Indian poet and intellectual Gulzar. “Were Balraj Sani alive, I would have also wanted him to work in the film.
Ms Babbar said that she held Pakistan Television in high esteem because of its quality programming and dominance in the mini screen. She said that Indian television had also begun to produce extremely good programmes.
However, she said that she herself wasn’t much interested in performing on the mini screen because she felt that TV had limited scope. “In comparison,” she said, “cinema has a greater appeal to me because of its exposure and the rich experience it offers.”
She said that Indian and Pakistani cinema should work together and produce join ventures, however, it was regrettable that the Pakistani government barred Indian actors from working in Pakistani films to be screened locally.
“When Reema, Shan and other artistes came to India, we welcomed them warmly and gave every respect. We look forward to flexibility in the Pakistani government’s stance.”
“I myself would love to perform in Pakistani flicks and Pakistani film director Shehzad Raqiue has sent me a few scripts that I have lightly discussed but nothing has been finalised yet.”
She said it came as a happy surprise when she found out that nearly half of the postproduction of film Sallakhian, which she saw in Lahore, had been done in India. “It is pleasant to note that Pakistani is working with India on the enhancement of film technology.”
To a question, Ms Babbar said, “Yes, I had a crush on Indian film star Jackie Sharoff, and still like him. However, there is no one that I have fallen in love with, but the quest is on.”
Talking about her film career, she said, “My reason for performing in only one film is that some 14 films that offered roles to me required some form of nudity. I want perform in a good role, not exhibit my body.”
“There is a trend in Bollywood termed ‘glamour’ but I call it shamelessness. Actresses in Bollywood, despite claims of not wanting to expose themselves, have often exposed themselves. I have never done it and will never do so.”
She said that she was working in four films; one called ‘Antra’, a silent art movie with fine poetry in the background including some by Ameerkushro. Antra is a National Film Development Corporation Film (NFDC) and is directed by Rishi Jane.
Ms Babbar said that she had more inclination towards theatre, and had worked more in plays than films. “I am here to perform in a play called ‘Ekjute’ in the Rafi Peer Theatre festival with my mother Nadira, who founded her own theatre company in 1981.”
Ms Babbar was full of praises about Lahore and Pakistan. “Pakistani people are warm and loving. I feel as comfortable as back home – in fact Pakistan to me is like a second home.”