Vidya Balan has given Nu-Gen Bollywood a heroine who looks sexy in a saree. Our correspondent catches up with the actress at the launch of the book-The Maruti Story
Why do we find actor Vidya Balan launching a book on cars?
It’s not easy for an actor to make choices constantly. I am constantly grabbling for roles that aren’t easy…not run-of-the-mill. I found inspiration in The Maruti Story. What I learnt from the book is that one has to stick to his belief, however unachievable it might seem at a certain point of time. The fact that it is truly Indian and the makers had the courage to work within the system and still build what was their vision fascinated me.
“Critics help me pull up my socks.”
Have you ever possessed a Maruti?
The first memory of a cool car that I have is the Maruti. We had Maruti in a succession thrice. There was a blue Maruti 800, followed by a white and then, a brown one. So, we have pretty much covered the whole gamut of colours. My sister is four years older to me. When I was in 10th standard, she learnt driving; and then she used to take me for long drives. That was an exciting bit. Because, suddenly we didn’t have to depend on dad to take us for drives any more.
How has life changed for Vidya Balan?
Somewhere I have become more complacent. My biggest dream of becoming an actor has come true…I am working with people I always wanted to work with.
You have struggled a lot to make it big in Bollywood…
I faced a long period of rejection. I am thankful to my friends and family, whom I could turn to for strength and support. I am someone who has prayed a lot…that’s the way I have been brought up. My initial days were the true test of my prayers…which is why; in very early in my life, I realized the true meaning of surrender. At one time I was even scared to look at the mirror because that reminded me of all the ugly words people used to say to me.
Let me share an incident with you. I was going to Delhi for a special show of my first film PARINEETA when I met the same producer who had made me feel like a ‘nothing’. He said he is producing a film and wants me to be a part of it. I said: “Get in touch with my secretary’.
I guess, he got his share of slap…
Now you have silenced the producers. But there are critics who always have something or the other to say on your looks and dresses…
I am thankful to my critics…they help me pull up my socks.
Indian look has become a Vidya Balan signature style. What went into it?
You know, earlier when people used to tell me that I look ‘extremely Indian’, I didn’t take it as a compliment. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I used to think ‘Oh my God! may be’…and went on to try out all sort of things. But then, I realized it’s not working for me. I decided to be myself, irrespective of what others think. That’s when compliments started coming. You can lose or gain weight, but it’s most important to have attitude in place. I feel self-assured.