She made her debut with the film ‘Vicky Donor’, directed by Shoojit Sircar and released in 2012, in which she played a Bengali girl – Ashima Roy. The film was a super success, and with it, Bollywood actress Yami Gautam Dhar, seen most recently in ‘Bhoot Police’, started her love affair with Bengali culture, food and Kolkata.
As the actress finished shooting for another film titled ‘Lost’, directed by another National Award-winning director Aniruddha Roy Chaudhary, she opened up in a conversation with IANS on her constant fascination with the people and culture of Bengal.
Yami said in her interview to IANS: “The film ‘Lost’ is quite special for me for several reasons. One of the reasons is that it has one of the finest scripts that I have read in the recent past. I got a chance to shoot the film in Kolkata and worked with a fantastic director, Tonyda (Roy Chaudhary). These last two factors are so very important because these have driven me to thrive.”
Continuing to share her experiences, Yami said: “We shot the film on location in Kolkata. The weather was quite humid and it wasn’t an easy shoot really. But when I look and feel the city of Kolkata, it is so full of life. You know, Kolkata is not like Mumbai, people are not always running after things. There’s a laidback charm to the city, yet it is so vibrant, so full of life.
“Kolkata has an old-world charm, yet it is so modern, busy, urban … its narrow lanes tell you old stories, and its flyovers show how modern the city is. And … and…and, I must mention the people of Kolkata, especially our director Tonyda and his wife Indrani ma’am.”
Recalling her best food memories during the ‘Lost’ shoot, Yami said: “All throughout the schedule, I ate ‘ghar ka khana’ from Tonyda’s home. So Indranidi would get me ‘aloo posto’, ‘dal’, ‘begun bhaja’ and ‘paturi’ — all the things that you eat in a Bengali home. No, you cannot get that food, cooked with love, in any commercial eatery. Such generosity of feeding people with a smile that I see in the Bengali community is so fascinating.
“And also, I ate so much ‘mishti’ over there in Kolkata. After our marriage, Tonyda and Indranidi sent us a box full of ‘mishti’ for Aditya and me, just like our mothers and sisters. They are like my family.”
The actress, incidentally, got married to Aditya Dhar, National Award-winning director of ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, on June 4 this year.
The film ‘Lost’ also features Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpiee and Tushar Pandey, and is slated to release in 2022.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)