Free Press Journal

What age taught Kalki Koechlin in Bollywood


Kalki Koechlin is something of an anomaly in B-town, simply because she’s so much more than the conventional heroine. She actually enjoys doing craft projects for home, is very serious about theatre and is not above taking long breaks to follow her heart. For instance, last year she had taken six months off to write and direct a play. No long lazy holidays for her though, anything more than two days of lounging by the beach and she’s mentally fried!

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Her platter is always full with interesting bites – there’s Konkona Sen Sharma’s debut directorial, A Death In The Gunj, a meaty role in Love Affair, an essay she’s writing on Shakespeare for the British Council, besides shooting a different version of Romeo And Juliet, and touring with Rajat Kapoor’s troupe in the US with an interesting version of Macbeth. For the 32-year-old, the thirties are a surprisingly good time and she is embracing them happily. With the passing years she reveals that she has learnt to grow comfortable with nudity whether it is walking around her kitchen in the buff or not holding back when it came to portraying her sexually curious character Laila in Margarita With A Straw.

Learning to live alone, which happened after her split from filmmaker husband Anurag Kashyap, was not easy either. She accepts that she found it extremely hard the first year, as she had never really ever lived alone, from the time she had grown up in boarding school and shared houses. She has indeed grown-up, even making the very tough decision of having her pet cat relocate to her mother’s house in Pondicherry. Terribly attached to him though she was, Kalki felt guilty about leaving the intriguingly named Dosa on his own often as she travelled on work. The move has been made but that doesn’t stop her from missing him especially at bedtime when he would curl up on her shoulder or when she’s feeling low.

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With all the wisdom of a thirty-something she has also wised up to the fact that being too open and forthcoming about herself to the media, has not exactly worked in her favour. She admits that when it comes to the media, she has to keep her personal life private and not allow it to become public property. That’s perhaps the reason why we never heard any fervent denials when she was recently linked with not one but three co-stars – Farhan Akhar, Jim Sarbh and Sayani Gupta!

While she enjoys dressing up and is quite a fave on the red carpet, Kalki still isn’t entirely comfortable with the whole focus on glamour and looking flawless that film demands. She finds it intrusive when she is on set, to have make-up and hair personnel butt in and do their bit every few minutes. It interferes with her desire to stay in character. She is no fan either of the industry’s way of praising you even when you are not up to the mark, simply because nobody wants to risk an ego meltdown. The propensity of directors to be almost apologetic when asking for a different take, is something that baffles her.

In her candid way, she shares that sex is far better in her thirties than it was in her twenties as she is less inhibited and more comfortable with her body. She is more open about her needs, more particular about her partners and takes less crap.
Best of all, she is actually getting on better with her mother, who has a very different personality from hers. Even though they love discussing films or ideas, problems arise when the conversation turns personal and then a fight becomes inevitable! As Kalki says it, her mother is an intellectual and smart woman but is also negative and paranoid. The best way Kalki has learnt to handle this is to let it in from one ear and out from the other. Now here’s a 32-year-old who still sounds like a teenaged brat!