From being sari-clad, teary-eyed melodramatic mothers to smart, strong and independent women - forty plus actresses are having a ball in Bollywood. Seasoned actress Shabana Azmi says this is the best time for women her age to be in Hindi films.
"Earlier, there was hardly any visibility in Bollywood films for women over 40 years except for those cranky, motherly and grandmotherly roles. But today, there are so many different roles on the platter. Basically, with the kind of choices that actresses my age are getting these days, this is a pretty time to be in Bollywood," Shabana told IANS in an interview.
Shabana has dabbled in a melange of powerful roles in Ankur, Mandi, Arth, and Masoom in the past to the more recent films like Godmother, Fire, Hari Bhari, Morning Raga and Dus Kahaniyaan in her career spanning over three decades.
The actress feels she is at the "right place at the right time". "I am getting delightful roles that can be wicked, naughty, comic as well as usual positive roles," she said.
Shabana added that she now gets to be a part of light-hearted films like Loins of Punjab Presents and Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd in contrast to the serious roles she is known for in parallel cinema.
"Today filmmakers are offering such a variety of roles - from strong, dramatic and powerful roles, I am also getting offers for comedy. The image of women has changed so much for the better in the industry," she said.
Before Loins of Punjab Presents and Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd happened, Shabana didn't have too many comic roles to boast of. Now she will feature in another comic caper titled Sorry Bhai - it has an ensemble cast including Boman Irani, Sanjay Suri, Sharman Joshi and Chitrangada Singh.
"In the film, I play a bossy mother and a wife, but it is a very likeable bossiness. Sorry Bhai is a very sweet and gentle film with a lot of spunk. It pushes the bar to where relationships can be stretched and has a very strong underline of comedy," explained Shabana.
The film is scheduled for a November release.
She is also kept busy with Kalpvriksh, a children's film by Manika Sharma for which she was shooting in Ladakh last week.
Shabana was given a National Integration Award by the Assam government Sunday and she will be conferred an honorary doctorate by the Jamia Milia Islamia University here later this week.
After having won five National Awards and many international honours, Shabana says she no longer craves for awards.
"Awards have to be the by-product of the work one does and not the cause," Shabana told IANS.