The moment you think of Farida Jalal, the image that comes to mind almost instantly is that of the lovable mother from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and several other Bollywood films.
The 67-year-old actor has done a short film recently, in which she is paired opposite Kulbhushan Kharbanda. She plays a grandmother in it.
“I belong to an era in which films used to go on for two and a half hours. Short films are too short for me (laughs). I want a definite beginning and an end,” says Jalal, who finds today’s films noisy, and feels mothers are no longer given their due importance on the big screen.
“There is a huge difference in today’s roles, and the ones that existed earlier. Where are the roles written for actors like me? Do you see us in any films now? That’s because there are no roles,” says the actor, who is clearly not happy with the offers coming her way.
She adds, “Once in a while you will see a mother in a film. For example, Ratna Pathak Shah had a prominent role in Kapoor & Sons. Otherwise, it’s more about friends and romance.”
But that does not mean that Jalal is done with acting. Ask her if she would consider other mediums to showcase her skills, and she says, “I feel every actor ought to reinvent himself or herself. Whether it is television or films or something in the digital space, I’m facing the camera, and that’s all that matters to me. Acting and being in front of the camera is what I live for. So I will do it, one way or another.”