Despite a V Shantaram award for her debut in Sur-The Melody of Life (2002) opposite Lucky Ali, actor Gauri Karnik chose a life away from the limelight. “I played an innocent girl in Sur. There wasn’t anything glamourous about my role. After the film, I got inundated with bold roles. But since I was fresh out of college, I wasn’t ready for that. So I stepped back and did films that made sense to me,” says Gauri.
The actor makes a comeback in Subhan Aziz’s Bas Ek Tamanna, directed by Rahul Kapoor, where she plays a shy Muslim girl from Lucknow. “My character Sana is not a vibrant metropolitan girl. I had to learn the body language and polish my urdu lehja (accent) for this role,” she tells.
Ask her if she is still in touch with her co-star Lucky Ali from her debut film and she replies, “Yes. We have kept in touch. Our bonding remains and has grown with time. Any opportunity to work with him will be superb. He and Pooja Bhatt remain among my few friends in the industry. Also, I loved his new album. He has inspired me in many ways,” says Gauri, who got married to writer-lyricist Sarim Momin last year. Currently, Momin is also planning his directorial debut.
With two Bengali films, a Kannada and an international film — where she played an Indian princess — behind her, is she ready for bolder roles now? “I am open to work, experimenting with a lot of roles now and whatever comes my way, I will take it. The industry doesn’t shock me anymore. It has been more of a liberating experience,” says the actor who also acted in a Hindi play called Kya Family Hai.
Besides gearing up for her return, Gauri is also practicing Hindustani classical music these days. Says she, “During Sur, I learnt to play violin for three months. Even back then, I was interested in music. In fact, I have done playback for one of Rabindranath Tagore’s song in my Bengali film called Grohan.”