Finding her own spot under the sun
This girl with really long hair reminds you of someone, though you can’t instantly recall who. As you put your grey cells to work, her words come as a relief when she reminds you that she was a part of Jaspal Bhatti-directed Mahaul Theek Hai (1999). “I have done more than 100 Punjabi music videos,” adds actress Aarti Puri for added measure.brunch Updated: Aug 08, 2013 09:28 IST
This girl with really long hair reminds you of someone, though you can’t instantly recall who. As you put your grey cells to work, her words come as a relief when she reminds you that she was a part of Jaspal Bhatti-directed Mahaul Theek Hai (1999). “I have done more than 100 Punjabi music videos,” adds actress Aarti Puri for added measure.
Now that Aarti’s connection with Punjab has been established, she proceeds to share her experiences and projects undertaken thus far. “I was born and raised in Amritsar, where I happened to meet Jaspal Bhatti ji once to get a picture clicked, being his fan. A few days later, his wife Sarita Bhatti called me to ask if I would play a role in the Punjabi film Mahaul Theek Hai. There has been no looking back since, after which I acted in almost 100 music videos of singers such as Surjit Bindrakhia, Nachattar Gill, Raj Brar, Kulwinder Dhillon and Debi Makhsoospuri,” she says.
Having shifted base to Mumbai in 2004, Aarti says life wasn’t easy when she landed in Mumbai. “In Punjab, I got fame at a very early age. I thought life in Mumbai would be rosy, but it turned out to be a culture shock. I realised that one didn’t grow as a person if things came his or her way easily. For two years continuously, I struggled and appeared for numerous auditions,” she says.
“That is also the time when I came across two industries — Bollywood and the ‘fake’ industry. The latter comprises of people who are not there to make films but to take advantage of naïve girls. But then, one comes across such people everywhere. Films just get more talked about,” adds she.
Aarti’s first project was an item song in Asthram, the Telegu remake of hit film Sarfarosh.
“After this, I did as many as 32 item songs in south Indian films. In 2010, I finally landed a parallel lead in the film Nakshatram.” Aarti says it is difficult to find a foothold as an actress after having been launched as an item girl. “I was quite happy working in the south Indian industry, though my relatives and parents weren’t. However, a junior actor in the south is paid as well as an established actor in Bollywood and Punjabi film industry,” adds she.
But, after much prodding by her mother to be a part of shows that are popular, Aarti accepted the offer to play a parallel lead in Hindi TV serial Madhubala — Ek Ishq Ek Junoon. Playing a junior artiste named Trishna, Aarti’s gaining appreciation for her work. This year, she also made a Bollywood debut with the film Ramaiya Vastavaiya, directed by Prabhu Deva. In fact, Aarti is soon going to be a part of Prabhu Deva’s upcoming film featuring actors Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha as well as a Hindi film called Once Upon a Time in Bihar, which would be released by October.
Interestingly, the actress has now donned the hat of a creative producer in Punjabi cinema.
“I would be producing three films. In the role of a creative producer, I have gathered investors from Mumbai and would look into the creative aspect of filmmaking. The shoot starts in September and the film is directed by Nitin Chandra, an FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) alumnus,” she says, adding with a sigh, “Nevertheless, I’m a little upset with the fact that filmmakers in Punjab have forgotten me and I’m not being offered any roles.”