It's been over six years since she acted in a film. And versatile actress Aruna Irani, who will soon be seen on new TV series Jhansi Ki Rani, says if she ever plans a comeback on the big screen, it would be preferably with a movie made by Karan Johar or Imtiaz Ali.
"I would love to work with Karan Johar or Imtiaz Ali - I like their films. They make such contemporary films but what I like most is that they don't leave out emotions. That's why I would love to work with them," Aruna told IANS.
An actress and dancer, Aruna rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s with films like Caravan, Bobby, Upkar, Patthar Ke Sanam, Farz, Angoor and Shalimaar. She later played supporting roles in the 1990s in films like Beta and Dil To Paagal Hain. She then took a sabbatical from movies after doing Madhuri Dixit-starrer Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam in 2002.
Early in the decade she ventured into television and produced shows like Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand, Zameen Se Aaman Tak, Mehndi Tere Naam Ki and Tum Bin Jaooun Kahan.
She also acted in some of her own production ventures and now she will be seen in Zee TV's historical magnum opus Jhansi Ki Rani, which was launched Wednesday in Chomu Palace, a heritage site near Jaipur.
Asked if she misses the glitz and glamour of the film industry, she said: "Not much. Good roles are not restricted to movies only...and there are no specific roles that I want to do."
Even on the TV production front, the actress has decided to take a backseat for two months. But she says she is happy to witness rapid changes in the content on entertainment channels.
"After the 'saas-bahu' shows, Balika Vadhu came up. Now a historical like Jhansi Ki Rani is coming up that shows the power of women. I feel the story should be good. I don't like preachy shows. It's nice to blend women's empowerment with social drama because it makes for a good show," said Aruna.
"Shows that depict women's empowerment are necessary. A lot of us work and feel that women have progressed. But even today there are many who have to learn to come up in life. Our show is for all of them," she added.
In Jhansi Ki Rani, Aruna will be seen as Vahini Saheb, the caretaker of Rani Lakshmibai who fought in the first battle of independence against the British.
Talking about her role, she said: "This role is a very dicey one. One moment you feel she is a vamp, then you feel she is an emotional person and next she looks as if she is hurt - the character has different shades. It is a tough role."
The actress will be 58 Tuesday and says it will be a quiet affair like previous years.
"My birthday is the same day that the show will go on air. I have never celebrated my birthday ever in my life. I like to be with my family - brothers, sisters and mother. Because if I hold a party, I would have to look after the guests and I won't get time for myself or my family.
"All I wish for the future is to have a peaceful life and I pray to god that till my last breath I should keep working," she said.