MF Husain’s sudden death has left actor Sonal Chauhan bereft. She regrets never having followed her instincts and flown to Qatar or Dubai to meet with the world-renowned artist. “Now I’m never going to be able to meet Husain saab,” she sighs.
However, she remains connected to MF through his son Owais. His directorial debut, Pehla Sitara, an unconventional love story will return Sonal to the big screen as a strong-headed Delhi girl. The actor, who was busy with her studies for these last two years, has turned down countless offers after her super hit first film Jannat (2008). But she couldn’t say no to Owais, who like his father is also a painter and his film reflects his artistic sensibilities and aesthetic sense.
“The film is beautiful, each frame is like a canvas. Santosh Sivan, the director of photography is an artiste himself. All those who’ve seen it are raving about it. Hussain saab was totally clued into what was happening. I wish he was around to watch Owais’s film in theatres,” she says wistfully, adding, “I don’t know if they have set a release date yet. I think they want to take it through the festival circuit first.”
But on July 1, Sonal will be back on screen in Amitabh Bachchan’s Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap. She remembers watching the superstar in Hum (1991) as a child.
“It was a film on family bonding and I hummed the song, Ek doosre se karte hain pyaar hum… all the way home from the theatre,” she reminisces. “It was such a thrill to be in the same frame as Mr Bachchan, who has always been a Shahenshah, both on and off the screen.” Admitting that she’s still called Zoya, which is what she was called in Jannat, the actor hopes for a sequel.
“But there is nothing concrete,” she says. “I still remember shooting the climax in Cape Town. It was emotionally draining to watch the man I love dying before my eyes and even though I subconsciously knew that it wasn’t for real, I still broke down after returning to my room. Emraan’s (co-star Emraan Hashmi) wife walked out during the screening.”