Actor Swara Bhaskar comes from Delhi but she has a strong connect with the state capital.
“The first time I had chowmein as a child it was in Lucknow. I am probably one of those few idiots who got lost in Bhool Bhuliya. And yes, I am also dating Himanshu Sharma who is from Lucknow and is a screen writer (Tanu Weds Manu),” she says in conversation with Hindustan Times senior resident editor Sunita Aron during CII Young Indians, Lucknow Chapter’s annual session recently.
She has shot for Tanu Weds Manu and its sequel, Ranjaanha, Nil Batey Sannata and her forthcoming film Anarkali of Arrah in the state.
“I have a deep connection with UP. My nani’s family is from Faizabad and now settled in Banaras. I always say UP and Bihar have played an integral part in my career as my most memorable roles and hit films are either shot or based here. My next film Anarkali…is based in Arrah, Bihar but we could not shoot it there so we shot in Amroha as the state has become very shoot-friendly,” she said.
Swara will be seen as a street singer in her next film. “It is going to be one of the most special films for me. I have worked very hard on it as an actor. Emotionally, I have been most attached to the script and role as it's too close to me,” says the savvy lady.
And what’s her take on the racy and double-meaning songs in her upcoming flick, to which the actor replies, “She (Anarkali) sings songs which can at best be called lewd in a civil society. Avinashji (Das, director) discovered them on YouTube and I went to Arrah to meet these singers. When I read translations of these songs even I was shocked as to how could women sing them. In the movie, the twist comes when Anarkali is molested by a powerful kadradan and a series of events take place, which ultimately highlight the fault lines in the society covering harassment, power struggle, double standards and so on.”
“I agree that there are often many sub-standard content and songs, which on the flip side have been most liked and downloaded. As an artiste, I don’t believe in censorship and banning but you can regulate sub-standard sexual content. I think more than lyrics and sexuality, violence should be rationed,” she says.
Swara gives example of Yo Yo Honey Singh’s objectionable song that came during Nirbhaya gang-rape which should have been banned.