Kalki Koechlin has time and again talked about various social causes — from education to women’s empowerment and gender equality. But these days, she is busy urging people to raise funds for the documentary, Azmaish- Trials of Life, which features her. The documentary is made by Pakistani film-maker Sabiha Sumar of Khamosh Pani (2003) fame. It talks about the people of India and Pakistan, and how religion plays a huge part in their lives. Kalki and Sabiha travelled to both countries and explored the lifestyle and religious dynamics.
“I met Sabiha two years ago at a film festival, and she was looking for someone based in India for a project. She is married to a Sri Lankan and has lived in India for over 10 years. She has seen both the countries from close quarters and loves them equally. It was a personal story for her to tell, I think. For me, doing this documentary was a curiosity because like most Indians, I also grew up with the idea of India and Pakistan in competition or conflict,” says the Margarita with a Straw (2015) actor.
Kalki admits she didn’t know much about the making of a documentary. They decided to look at the two countries independently, away from the negative history that connects them. She adds, “It doesn’t mean we don’t criticise our countries. We do, but from the people’s point of view and not as enemies. We asked people of both the countries about the weaknesses and strengths of their countries.”
Life is all about awkward timing and what you do with it...— Kalki Koechlin (@kalkikanmani) December 27, 2016
While working on the documentary, Kalki found out that we (Indians) have “huge pride in our nation” and realised that Pakistan isn’t “as developed as India”. She says, “Indians have confidence, and they value their diversity the most. People aren’t threatened by the idea of religion [in India] whereas in Pakistan religion is the ultimate thing.”
The actor hopes that the documentary will be “much more relevant” today with the current tension between the countries, and Pakistani actors not being allowed to work in India.