By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Sep 4 (IANS) A lot of Kajol's character in Siddharth Malhotra's debut film "We Are Family" is inspired by his grandmother, yesteryears actress Bina Rai. And he says he would have loved his grandma to watch the film, specially since he saw a lot of her spirit in Kajol.
Siddharth lost his grandmother, the "Anarkali", "Ghunghat" and "Taj Mahal" actress, just months before his film was to be completed. Now he cannot bear to look at his film without wondering what his doting 'dadi' would think of his work, and specially of Kajol.
Says the emotional director: "I remember dadi never used to go out of the house. But when I started the film she came to Filmistan studio to give the 'mahurat' clap for her favourite grandchild... me!
"Eerily my first shot was on the same floor of Filmistan where she had shot her two most well-known films 'Anarkali' and 'Taj Mahal'. She came back to the same spot at Filmistan after 40 years just to bless me, my film and Kajol. I was her first grandchild and therefore her favourite."
When Siddharth set out to adapt the Hollywood film "Stepmom" in Hindi, the role of the strong wife and mother became a role model.
Says Siddharth: "My dadi was the purest soul and strongest woman I've known. Now there's Kadz (as he fondly calls Kajol), who's got the same qualities. Naturally one became the model for the other in my creativity."
Bina Rai had met Kajol and really warmed up to her. And Siddharth isn't surprised.
"When dadi came on the set, my first shot was with Kadz. She loved what she saw. Truly I see so much of my dadi in Kadz. My dadi meant the universe to me. And Kadz is the only one after my grandmother whom I love and respect so much, not just as an actor but as a person. They don't make human beings like my grandmother and Kajol any more...."
The director says he has expressed a lot of his grandmother's strength of will in Kajol's character in "We Are Family", which also stars Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal.
"Consciously or unconsciously, Kajol's character comes across as very similar to my dadi. When I saw the film, I was amazed at how similar the two women I admire the most were! If dadi had seen my film she would agree. Unfortunately she passed away when I was shooting in Sydney.
"But she did see portions of 'We Are Family' on my computer and was very excited. She couldn't wait to see the whole film. I wish I could have shown it to her," Siddharth said.
Siddharth has dedicated "We Are Family" to his grandparents Bina Rai and her equally-illustrious husband, actor Premnath.