You have ultimately come back, so weren’t those seven years a waste looking back?

Why waste? Multi starrers became the trend in those years. These are films where the heroines have little or nothing to do. Or shall we say these films need heroines but don’t use actresses?

They leave actresses feeling frustrated. You get that relegated to the last bench feeling. I don’t think those years were wasted because very few films worthwhile for actresses were made.

What changed my mind was the arrival of main tulsi tere aangan ki and its success. The fact that people were willing to accept it meant a change once again. To me, it was like a re-opening of doors.

When you quit, was it in bitterness?

There definitely was a feeling of bitterness. Naya nashi was one of my best performances. When it didn’t do well. I got to feel that there’s no recognition for good work.

And worst of all it seemed no one had any reason to give. They just didn’t want it that was all. And I on my part couldn’t accept it just leave it at that.

I had begun to feel uncomfortable with the people around me. It seemed to me they were people not really interested in their work.

You had less and less to strive for. I didn’t want to play those silly roles going round. I had made a place for myself people respected me for my work. I was in a position to stop and did so.

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Did the break prove bad for you?

It should have been bad but wasn’t bad in a way. I had worked long enough. You know I started when I was 7.

Then I had continued for 20 years. With me, the head rules the heart, not the other way round I took stock. What have I left behind?

A silly rat race I wanted no part of film making is creative should be creative but it had all become so commercial.

Then with people, it had become aera gera natyu khaira. It seemed the only fools were those who were sincere.

You rushed from shift to shift you went on the sets and waited for someone who took his own time coming if at all he came. You were kneed about your work, so you were punished.

The criterion was. Have you signed 30 films? Then you became a great star. The result of all these you see now.

Okay, two or three people may manage to rise above the situation but it doesn’t mean things are all right.

How did you spend your time?

I saw films I traveled two or three trips abroad, the states. London I have friends there. I went and stayed with them.

The seven years gave me maturity. You need time, you could use time like this, to look around take stock to judge yourself and others to an actress this is especially valuable.

You gain the perspective I got a sense of detachment. What I wanted out of my work was satisfactory. As long as I was getting it was all right. After that, it had no meaning.

I didn’t really feel the seven years go by. People reacted beautifully to me. They have always been nice to me those I know friends journalists.

They really liked me as a person as an actress. I always had the feeling I was in touch. The phone would ring and it would be someone whose voice I was glad to hear.

I had the feeling I was in contact and I could see they all wanted me back. This kept me alive and when I came back everything looked just like yesterday.

After a certain age, you don’t want to make new friends you want to keep the old ones. Waheeda Rehman and I you know have always been close. Then there are aruna nad vikas desai.

I went to the same school as Vikas. When he married Aruna, I found I could get along well with Aruna too. I never really made a large circle of friends.

My sisters and brothers are my friends. And I learned to cook and to enjoy it. I didn’t get to keep house. My mother did it, she has always been doing it.

Giving up your career, did you begin to regret never having married?

I am a believer in destiny that everything is pre-determined for you and you are just a performer. Maybe many women would think life without marriage empty but it is also true there’s emptiness.

I can’t spoil my today thinking of what might have been yesterday, what could be tomorrow. So many film homes seem to be breaking up these days.

People no longer have time for anything for themselves their families. They are running all the time but they don’t know where they are going.

There’s no communication between individuals. No wonder people go haywire.

Out of all those films you kept seeing, were you impressed by anything?

Some of the younger actresses impressed me a good deal, say, Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Zarina, Rekha, I think is an excellent a good actress, she dances well too and she’s so photogenic.

Rakhee is very good. Among directors, I want to mention though I am only giving a quick off-hand list, Shyam Benegal, Ramesh sippy.

When I see Sholay in the first week, the position was shaky people said it was going to flop. I knew it would run junoon was a film I admired immensely.

Among other things, Shashi Kapoor could have gone and made the usual box office kind of film he had the guts to produce something different. Another super film I happened to see was godhuli.

You are doing a mother’s role in prem rog, aren’t you scared it will hurt your image your future chances?

See now I played the young sister when I was 15 after that I played girlfriend and wife many times. So what’s new now the mother!

They cast Audrey Hepburn as a mother in a film what was wrong with that? In yeh kaisa insaaf? Shabana Azmi appears as arika’s mother.

This is the kind of thing an actress should do. The trouble in our country is that just when an actor or actress matures is really at the peak of his creativity and should be used most that’s precisely the time they start saying so and so is good only for father’s roles or mothers roles.

Nanda declines to comment on Jainendra Jain’s exit as director of prem rog. I have just done a day’s work on the sets so far she says.

Even if she had done all the work you feel she would have said nothing that would hurt anyone. The recent deaths of Mohammed Rafi and Uttam Kumar really shook her.

Though Rafi was quite a shy person he had such a lovely smile she said. In adoration, she always put him next to her father. – Filmfare 1980

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