Only now she can see and talk.. and that, Ayesha Kapur admits, is what made her new movie, Sikander, so much more difficult.
“I spent three-and-a-half months on my dialogue.. memorising lines, getting the accent and emotions right. Hindi is not a language I’m familiar with,” she informs, but adds that still the shoot in Kashmir was a lot of fun with young co-star Parzan Dastoor. “We went pony riding, water rafting and sang around bonfires.”
The 14-year-old admits that she had entered the strife-torn valley expecting violence and bloodshed. And there were plenty of army men around. She saw children playing next to guns. But there was also the majestic mountains, fresh air and she received an overwhelming welcome when she visited a local school, incognito, to prepare for her role as Sikander’s conscience keeper, Nasreen.
“I don’t think we’ve accepted a new classmate with so much warmth,” Ayesha says candidly. She didn’t stay back for the film’s premiere. Her German mother whisked her back to Pondicherry and her own school. No complaints.
One day, the beautiful teenager aspires to be a movie star like her idol Julia Roberts — may be do an Erin Brockovich—but for now, school is top priority.
“Black got me plenty of awards but then, for four years, I went back to a normal life. Only when a meaningful film like Sikander came my way did my parents consent to another acting stint,” she explains.
Not in touch
She was also offered the role of the younger Priety Zinta in Har Pal, a National Award winning Jahanu Barua film, but she thumbed it down? “I don’t know anything about this, nobody called me,” Ayesha protests.
Didn’t Bhansali approach her for Saawariya? “No, we’ve not been in touch after those award shows. I met Amitabh (Bachchan) when we went to inaugurate a blind school in Aurangabad, but not Sanjay,” she says.
She adds, “I watched Saawariya. Sonam (Kapoor) and Ranbir (Kapoor) were beautiful together and brilliant. They were the ADs during Black and in charge of me. We became good friends. It would be nice to do a film with them.”