When Pooja Bhatt was cast as her own grandma in the 1998 movie Zakhm, which also starred Ajay Devgn, Sonali Bendre, and a young Kunal Kemmu, she recalls being terrified as she wore her grandmother’s saree for the role.
Pooja Bhatt has said that she was terrified to take upon the responsibility of portraying a character based on her real-life grandmother in Mahesh Bhatt’s semi-autobiographical film Zakhm. Pooja Bhatt played a single mom in Zakhm, and Kunal Kemmu essayed the role of her young son. Ajay Devgn played the role of her grown-up son in the film that also featured Nagarjuna and Sonali Bendre.
Pooja’s thoughts on playing her grandmother
Pooja told ETimes in an interview, “Frankly, I was terrified to take on the responsibility of playing my grandmother and tried hard to suggest to my father we cast another actor in my place but my father gave me no choice. He said ‘I am not asking you Pooja. I am telling you that you are playing this part.’ That was the end of the discussion. The rest is history. The privilege of playing my grandmother – that was her personal saree I was wearing in the song.”
She added, “It is something I will always be grateful to my father for. The ‘mangalsutra’ I wore in the film also belonged to my grandmother Shirin. And the set of our home was a replica of the home my father grew up in as a boy. Those days and that space I shared with Kunal (Kemmu) in front of the camera are some of the most magical times of my life!”
Zakhm was critically appreciated for promoting national integrity as it highlighted the rift that religion-based politics brings in the society and the harmony possible among fellow citizens.
Pooja’s old tweet about the movie
A few years ago, Pooja recalled her grandmom and revealed she was a Muslim woman who would take young Pooja to the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai every Tuesday. “15th December 1998 is when our film #zakhm got censored. A film where I had the privilege of playing my grandmother, Shirin Nanabhai Bhatt-a Muslim woman who took me to Siddhivinayak temple every Tuesday & to church every Wednesday & Friday. That is the true spirit of India,” she tweeted in 2019.
Disclaimer: Except the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service