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Ayesha Jhulka: 'I was struggling to convince people'

Free Press Journal logo Free Press Journal 6 days ago

Ayesha Jhulka, who has featured in films like Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, Khiladi, Chachi 420, among several others, is making a comeback in director Tanuja Chandra’s Hush Hush. In an exclusive chat with The Free Press Journal, she talks about the web series, her hiatus, co-actors, and more. Excerpts:

How did Hush Hush happen for you?

Tanuja (Chandra) approached me and she said ‘I will not take no for an answer’. Hence, I couldn’t refuse.

You were away from the camera for a while? Did you miss acting?

Yes, I did miss acting... I didn’t get what I was looking for. Naturally, I danced around the trees. As you grow old, you want to do meaningful roles. Hence, I decided not to opt if I don’t get something I crave for. I looked for meaty roles. I didn’t want to do anything that was not good. Even the audience will point it out if I do something not worthwhile.

How did it feel not to be in front of the camera?

There are pros and cons. My pros were that I was relieved that I was not working in front of the camera because I don’t know how people work right now. I am an Air Force officer’s daughter. I had enjoyed that life and I had done so much work at a young age. I used to shoot on four to five sets. We did 15 films at a time. I didn’t live the life that I had to live. Basically, in a way, I was all over. It was a relief that I didn’t have to get up and wear makeup. I made a guest appearance in the movie Socha Na Tha. I told Tanuja that I didn’t know how I would do it.

With director Tanuja Chandra © Provided by Free Press Journal With director Tanuja Chandra

What did you do during your long break?

I started working for animals. I have a foundation. I did it in a hidden way because I didn’t want it to be misused. I have fed cows, stray dogs, and cats. I have no help in any way. I have it in Lonavla. I am an animal lover, so I don’t expect anyone to help me. I was struggling to convince people. I felt if more people joined in, there would be more help. But there was a lot of political action happening and they came for my pictures. I realised that I could do it alone. I hired a driver and a cook to feed them. Jackie Shroff (actor) helped me a lot. He donated a van to us.

How well-connected are you to celebrities in the film industry?

I have a little connection that happens obviously, that disappearance doesn’t happen easily. I don’t have many friends here or otherwise. I am happy with myself. I can live alone. I love people, but I am a hands-on person. I write, paint, and work with resin and clay. I bring my own art and creativity to things like these. I did the flooring and painting of the house myself in Lonavla. Jackie Shroff is in touch. He says I am there to help. Govinda helps. I do have a few Bollywood friends. I am not connected on a daily basis.

How was it working with Juhi Chawla?

She is senior to me. I came in the ’90s. We never worked together. It was strange that we never met even once. Recently, we met on The Kapil Sharma Show. We didn’t get any projects together. Even she was surprised. I think during Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar she had come for the premiere, but I don’t remember. Now that Juhi and I have worked, we are at a new maturity level. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed working together.

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