‘Krishnaben’ wants to play Ranbir Kapoor’s mom in films

By Radhika Bhirani, IANS
Friday, January 14, 2011

MUMBAI - She is being loved by viewers for her portrayal of a strong, selfless and compassionate mother in Sony TV’s series “Krishnaben Khakhrawala”. And now, south Indian actress Indira Krishnan hopes to play Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor’s screen mom.

“I see a lot of talent in young actors these days and I am very impressed with Ranbir Kapoor’s work. He was very good in ‘Raajneeti’ and he just keeps getting better with every film. I am really waiting to play ma to Ranbir someday,” said Indira during a casual chat on the sets of the show here.

“I started doing ma roles at a very young age, and I enjoy doing them. I never liked playing a negative mother, but I think it is very interesting to play a mom with grey shades,” said the actress, a fan of Reema Lagoo’s body of work as on screen mother.

Indira is being lauded for her positive role in “Krishnaben Khakhrawala” and so she hopes she plays “a good ma on the big screen”.

She has become a household name ever since she started playing Krishnaben, a 45-year-old woman who runs a home business of khakhras, a Gujarati speciality. The character has become famous for its bubbliness, simplistic ways of handling day-to-day issues with ‘Krishnagiri’ and street smartness.

Dressed in a three quarter-sleeved blouse with a simple sari, her hair tied in a ponytail, neatly set on one side of the shoulder and a big red bindi, Indira was just out of a shoot in her trademark on screen look.

The moment you ask her about the red bindi, she retorts: “I know I am playing a widow in the show, and my character Krishnaben wears it for her children’s sake. But even generally, what’s the harm? God forbid, it happens with your mother; would you like to see her in a white sari all the time? It can make people psychic!”

“Besides, there is a sea change in the portrayal of mothers on screen nowadays. Gone are the days when a widowed mother used to sit in a corner wearing a white sari and just crying all the time. Mothers are strong and ambitious these days and know how to prove themselves even if they have no man in their life,” said Indira, a mother to a three-year-old boy in real life.

Though she is only in her 30s, playing a 45-year-old mother on TV is not quite the challenge for Indira, who earlier played mother in shows like “Ek Ladki Anjaani Si”, “Ayushman” and “Rehna Hai Teri Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein”.

“I started doing ma roles at a very young age, and I enjoy doing them. So, the biggest challenge in this role was not the character’s emotions, strength and the fact that I had to play a mother. The challenge was that I am a south Indian, and I had to play a typical, middle-class Gujarati woman. Getting the Gujarati accent right was the biggest chunauti for me in this show,” she said.

Indira is extremely happy with the response she has got with the show.

“I am amazed how this character has become an icon for many people. I get a lot of fan mail from people of all ages and I am surprised with the kind of problems they hope I can solve the way I solve them in my show. The basic underlying message of the show is how even the biggest of problems in life can be overcome with a smile on your face and determination in your heart, and I hope people imbibe from it.”

(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at radhika.b@ians.in)

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