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Home / Lucknow / Chhapaak inspiration Laxmi Agarwal: ‘Many asked if it was me after watching Deepika Padukone’

Chhapaak inspiration Laxmi Agarwal: ‘Many asked if it was me after watching Deepika Padukone’

Laxmi Agarwal, the acid attack survivor Deepika Padukone is portraying in Meghna Gulzar’s upcoming film, is overwhelmed by the public response

lucknow Updated: Dec 13, 2019 12:30 IST
Sunita Aron
Sunita Aron
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Laxmi Agarwal, the acid attack survivor.
Laxmi Agarwal, the acid attack survivor.(Deepak Gupta/ht)

Laxmi Agarwal, the acid attack survivor Deepika Padukone is portraying in Meghna Gulzar’s ready-to-release film ‘Chhapaak’, is overwhelmed by the public response to the trailer of the film and ‘her’ looks in it.

“There was a time when people did not want to see my face, some got scared. Now they are eagerly waiting for the release of the movie. I am very excited,” Laxmi said on Thursday.

“Deepika’s make-up is amazing. Some of my friends find our looks very similar and often ask me, ‘Is that you?’ They think I am playing the role myself,” said Laxmi, who is busy promoting the film. She added that she feels very positive about the movie.

Laxmi said people now realise that ‘looks’ and ‘face’ are not so important. “This fact is reflected in the manner in which many people posted and shared Deepika’s picture on social media,” she said.

“The film is bound to create more awareness and remove ‘acid’ from the minds of people who used it as a weapon to take revenge. Otherwise also, as and when some celebrity raises an issue, it becomes an issue of the society as people realise that someone from amongst them made the (acid) attack,” Laxmi said while speaking on the impact of the film on society.

“They (people) will understand the life of an acid attack survivor instead of rejecting her or him,” Laxmi added.

“There has been a perceptible change in the attitude of people over the years since when I, after facing rejection, decided to fight for the acid attack survivors’ cause. There was a time when people did not want to see our ugly faces. Now they want selfies with us. They are willing to become our friends and also marry us. What else do we want from society other than their willingness to listen to us and our story,” laxmi said.

Asked if ‘Chhapaak’ was her true story, she replied, ‘Yes.’

When asked how she felt ahead of the film’s release, she quipped, ‘Positive, Positive and positive.’

Even the acid attack survivors, after seeing the film, will accept that it as a ‘positive’ challenge.

Beyond this much, Laxmi is not allowed to speak more about the film, which will be released in January 2020.

Interestingly Laxmi, who is good singer, has recorded her first song and will release it shortly. She had sung some songs with Kailash Khair at the HT Women Awards event in Lucknow in 2013, in which many other acid attack survivors had shown their talent of dancing and catwalk. Laxmi had met Meghna Gulzar in 2016 and shared her life story with her.

Laxmi had always aspired to be a singer. Born in a Delhi middle class family, she was barely 15 when 32-year-old Naeem Khan, desperate to marry her, refused to take her ‘NO’. He attacked her with acid in the posh Khan Market in 2005. Multiple surgeries failed to stop her from filing a PIL in court, demanding total ban on sale of acid in 2006. She won the case.

She, thereafter, became a crusader, counselling and helping acid attack survivors to rehabilitate.

Asked who all would accompany her on the first day of the movie show, she quipped: “I can’t say just now.”