Saturday, October 19, 2019
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Posted at: Apr 20, 2019, 8:08 AM; last updated: Apr 20, 2019, 8:08 AM (IST)

Free as a bird

She is witty, she is charming. Yet, there is an underlying strength that sets Kalki Koechlin apart from others of her ilk
Free as a bird


She writes about her struggle in her poems, scuba dives to find calm and loves to take in the beauty of Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh high up from the sky each time she lands in the city. Kalki Koechlin is fun, flirty and fierce, all at the same time. One single proud woman happy carving her niche in the glamour world.

Born and having lived most her life in India to French parents, she’s made peace with the fact that it would forever be mispronounced. Not that she’s left trying, her Twitter bio reads Kalki kekla — the last name in Devnagri script, there is a YouTube link on how to pronounce Koechlin too, “I manage to get by,” she says, in Chandigarh on Friday.  

Changing times

Having played the roles that of a confident, emancipated woman in many her projects, she is happy the issues are being talked about. “The change sure is visible, post MeToo I did get a two-page contract that mentioned how I must speak if anything makes me uncomfortable on the sets, something unheard of before,” she confesses. But there is still time, she insists, “The way we raise our boys would eventually have a perceptible change, but equal opportunities or wages are still a far-fetched dream.”

Writing, theatre and films, she is enjoying exploring the web space currently. “I find the biggest challenge in keeping up with the graph of the character.” At times, episode eight is shot the first thing in a nine-episode series, and to be able to make that shift back and forth is one challenge she is busy getting the hang of.

Traveller at heart

Kalki derives strength from how her parents gave her the freedom to choose. Growing up with several religions, different cultures gave her the capability to understand other people, “Something that not only made me stronger, but also helped me become a better actor as it lets you be in other people’s shoes.”

A traveller she’s deep within her heart. And, intends to chronicle her father who hitch-hiked his way from France to India. “He is true travel soul.” 

Her immediate next, however, is a web series that she agrees to share about if only she could erase our memory the next moment. Well, we assume she’s referring to Sacred Games 2, though she would only laugh it away!

Playing favourites

Films: Pyaasa; Les Enfants du Paradis (a French classic)

Web series: Delhi Crime

Leisure: Anywhere in the world without any mobile network

High point: Winning a national-award for Margarita With A Straw


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