Hema Malini returns to TV with a soap Maati Ki Banoo, that will air on Colors from December 27 at 6.30 pm. "The title has the fragrance of the earth and Banoo is a sweet name. There was a shaadi song in Razia Sultan that went Banoo. But in this serial, Via Roy Choudhury is Banoo, I’m only the producer," laughs the Dream Girl. The show has been directed by Shyam Maheshwari.
Being an artiste, she feels she needs to be creatively involved all the time. Of late, she’s been busy with her film, Tell Me Oh Khuda that she has acted in and was earlier producing. But following differences with the director Mayur Puri, she took over and completed the film that opens in early 2011.
Then she was approached with a Cinderella story of a girl who finds her Prince Charming. But in her effort to rebuild family bonds, she loses him. "It was an interesting idea and Colors thought so too. In about three months we had started shooting," she marvels.
They have already shot for about a fortnight in Mauritius. The actor-producer is now looking forward to a schedule in Chapra that she visited when campaigning for the BJP during the elections. She recalls a crowd of four lakh people turning up to hear her speak. "This time hopefully there will be double the number of gaonwallahs (villagers)," she smiles.
Malini has, in the past, shot her show Noopur in New York, "Back in the ’90s, shooting a show abroad was unthinkable. Since I was on a dance tour in US and Canada, I took the opportunity."
Last Sunday, she was on Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa as a celebrity guest and introduced participant Mahhi Vij. Daughter Esha lent her support to singer Anushka Manchanda, while Dharmendra shook a leg for Olympian boxer Akhil Kumar. "We all reached the studio separately, did our bit and left," she says. Will we see the trio shake a leg together in Tell Me Oh Khuda? "Why say anything now, let that be a surprise," she chuckles.
Meanwhile, last Sunday the actor was in Ranthambore with daughter Aahna urging people to save the tiger. Lauding the NDTV initiative in building awareness amongst villagers who live on the outskirts of forests and sanctuaries, she also warns everyone against deforestation. "The forest officials are also involved and unless this stops there will be no tigers left," sighs the BJP member, admitting that corruption is rampant everywhere and changes are needed. "I haven’t even been able to get land from the government for the dance school I want to build. But next year, I plan to come up with a new dance ballet Ganga or Ganges."
Meanwhile, she feels the promos of Yamla Pagla Deewana have “mass appeal”. But admits that every time she hears the title song she wonders where she is, adding with a laughs, “It was a song meant for me”.