hagyashree Patwardhan did all that she could to open herself to unsettling questions; from a smashing debut that couldn’t be replicated to the Houdini act that lasted for decades. What she’s been up to, why did she quit to how does the tag of one-film wonder feel?
Remember that girl from Maine Pyaar Kiya? The ‘one-film wonder’? Just the starting point of how her glass has always been half full. “I don’t take offence to that at all. Maine Pyaar Kiya released in the December of 1989, exactly 30 years ago and if till date I get asked questions about that film, I must have done something really right to stay in your mind.”
Well, that’s much more recall value than past several films falling in the hundred-crore bracket. Speaking of which, Bollywood that is, trolls, paparazzi, stylists, 100 crore club nothing existed in back then. “Fitness back then meant only the face. It’s good that now we have redefined idea of fitness, health and beauty.”
It was a different era and the one she was too young to handle. “I was all of 19 when my debut happened and it all got too overwhelming for me and I feel it’s about prioritising. I chose one over the other though today I admire young girls who can balance it all.”
In Chandigarh, for a musical evening organised by Vibrations, of late, she has been living out of a suitcase. “I was in Mysore, then Bangalore from where I am coming straight to the city.” Someone wanted to know her opinion on what recently happened in Hyderabad, or what brings her to Chandigarh a day prior to the musical programme, whether that’s an excuse to sign any Punjabi flick and also what keeps her rocking at fifty. “It’s important to be stress free, to stay positive, not hold any grudges. That’s what has kept me the way I am.”
Just ask her about the kids, “Oh, they are all grown up,” while son Abhimanyu Dasani recently seen in the critically acclaimed film this year Mard Ko Dard Nhai Hota or the daughter, who has completed management studies. “In my house, the emphasis has always been on academics.”
While she may have successfully remained out of public sight, she equally effortlessly remained entrenched in the back of their minds. Which is why the work never really dried up, as she says, “Very soon you’ll see me in a lot of projects for which the announcements will be made next year.”
Well, the heroes can do it!
It’s not an all exclusive industry, while the actresses come with a shelf life, all susceptible to ageism, the heroes remain the heroes. Still in business two decades down the line, romancing girls half their age. She feels it’s to do with the audience or us as a society that explains that only seems to strike off the actresses and not the heroes still romancing girls two decades younger than them. “Maybe, we always put mothers and women in our society on a pedestal. A mother is a mother, a married woman will be given respect and acknowledgement while the fathers and men can do anything.” But having said that, “Things are changing. Badhai Ho completely belonged to Neena Gupta and that’s not the only example.”
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