'Double' role for Jaya Bachchan

Nov 18, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Nov 18 (IANS) Jaya Bachchan hasn't been seen on screen since a small role in Karan Johar's "Kal Ho Naa Ho" but the indomitable actress is now ready to do two back-to-back films. And that's more work than she has done in recent times.

What's interesting is that Jaya plays Konkona Sen Sharma's mother in both Rituparno Ghosh's bi-lingual "Sunglass" and Pradeep Sarkar's untitled film.

"I wasn't aware of Pradeep Sarkar's casting, though I did get a hint of it from the way Pradeep spoke to me. I genuinely feel Jayadi and Konkona, who are among my most favourite actresses, look like mother and daughter," said Ghosh.

"In fact, I want them to be cast in a third film together, so there'll be a Jaya-Konkona trilogy," he added.

Jaya, who spends a large part of her day in hospital looking after her critically ill mother-in-law, is looking forward to joining Ritu's crew in Kolkata.

Jaya's bonding with all her screen-kids - be it Esha Deol in "Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche", Karisma Kapoor in "Fiza" or Preity Zinta in "Kal Ho Naa Ho", has always been very special.

"It started with Govind Nihalani's 'Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa' where I played Joy Sengupta's mother. Then came Khalid Mohamed's 'Fiza' where Karisma and Hrithik Roshan were my children," Jaya told IANS.

Preity and I made a most natural daughter-mother pair in 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'. We didn't have to fake our feelings.

"I've seldom met anyone so frank, and yet she keeps distance. It was like sitting and talking to my own daughter. Like my Shweta, Preity is so young and yet like my friend. But Shweta is not as talkative as Preity. I must tell you, Preity used to get very upset when people expressed their disappointment that I wasn't playing Shah Rukh Khan's mom."

Said Jaya: "One of the roles that I enjoyed the most was playing Waheeda Rehmanji's daughter in Rajinder Singh Bedi's 'Phagun'. One of my unfulfilled wishes as an actress is to cast Kajol in the daughter's role and me in the mother's role in 'Phagun'."

She confesses to a "very special bonding" with Shah Rukh who played her son in "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham".

And when it comes to her own son, Jaya's face lights up.

"Abhishek played my son for a day in a Bengali film ... Raja Sen's 'Desh'. It was a good experience. I returned to Bengali cinema after 28 years.

"You know, even when people said they hoped he wouldn't be like his father, I felt they were secretly hoping to see Amitabh Bachchan in Abhishek, and quite understandably so. Thankfully Abhishek has taken all the confusions and contradictions in his stride," said Jaya.

Jaya vehemently rubbished the long-held myth that she was forced to abdicate her career.

"At that point of time, my career had ceased to matter. Nothing gave me greater joy than looking after my home. Even after marriage, my husband encouraged me to work with good directors like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Gulzar.

"In fact, I did 'Mili' and 'Chupke Chupke' after marriage. Today I wish my son had directors like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Gulzar to work with. But I must say the people who are working with him are excellent."

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