International Women's Day 2021: Celebrating 3 Natural Scene-stealing Actresses - Aruna Irani, Farida Jalal, Ashwini Kalsekar

Each time Aruna Irani, Farida Jalal and Ashwini Kalsekar stride imperiously across the screen they create a lasting blasting impact.

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International Women's Day 2021: Celebrating 3 Natural Scene-stealing Actresses - Aruna Irani, Farida Jalal, Ashwini  Kalsekar
Each time  they stride  imperiously  across the screen they create  a  lasting blasting impact. Make no mistake about the power  of  these natural-born scenestealers. They  make  the  leading ladies and even the ostensibly invincible  heroes quake in   their shoes. They are the  fringe  players who  fortify every script they  take, with  every  move they  make.

1.     Aruna Irani: My favourite scenestealer  of all times, Aruna is  a prime example  of how  Bollywood slots and condemns  the  NBSS (natural-born scene-stealer) to the sidelines. Aruna started as a child actor did a short stint as a leading  lady with, ahem, Amitabh Bachchan in Bombay To Goa. But  her destiny was to  steal frame and fame  from the fringes. As  a supporting actress I have lost count  of   the number of times she has stolen the show  from the official leading lady: Asha Parekh in Caravan, Hema  Malini in  Charas, Madhuri Dixit  in  Beta . After Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Mili I had asked  director Hrishikesh Mukherjee why he hadn’t cast Aruna in in the title.  “Because this industry works on the basis  of the star system. Aruna is  a fantastic actress. But she is not  a star.”  Speaking  about her career  choices, Arunaji  once said to me, “I never thought  of  the length   of a role or whether it was a side role or a supporting role, a sister’s role or a dancer…jo mila maine  imaandari se kiya.”  More power to you,Lady.

2.     Farida  Jalal:  Too  wholesome, too homely, too cuddlesome to be the touch-me-not  heroine, Farida Jalal has stolen the show  from her  co-stars for decades.In an  interview some time ago with me this  NBSS  said  , “I virtually grew up and grew old in this fraternity. It's a lovely place to be in. I want to spend all my life in the Indian entertainment industry. I've done it all. I've been acting since I was out of school. I've received plenty of recognition. By God's grace I've won awards. About not getting the heroine’s role  Faridaji said, “I enjoyed playing every role. Sometimes the sister was the film's heroine. The official heroine would just sing her songs whereas I had all the dramatic scenes. I got my recognition and the awards. In a film called Paras I was Sanjeev Kumar's sister. But I had a lot more to do than Raakhee-di who played the heroine. I got my first award for it. Then I got my second award for Majboor, a film written by Salimbhai and Javedbhai where Bachchan Saab played my brother. It was so heartening. Why would I want to be heroine when I was getting the stronger parts as the sister?”

3.     Ashwini  Kalsekar:  You probably don’t know  her by name. But the minute you see Ashwini Kalsekar on screen--and never  mind  if she is just a blur in  the background—you sense a magic  happening.That’s  the magic  of  being a  NBSS. No matter how minuscule  your role, you will stand  out in every frame.Ms Kalsekar, a well-known name  in Marathi cinema, has found  fame  as a comedienne  in  the  Golmaal series.But that’s only the tip of  the iceberg. There is very little  that  this super-versatile actress can’t do. 

Image source: SpotboyE archive Instagram/arunairanikohli/faridajalalofficial
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