Bipasha Basu on Lamhaa, Kashmir and more

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Lamhaa has finally released and Bipasha Basu is satisfied with the way the reactions are falling in place for her in the movie. If we were to play the word association game, the words when you hear of Bipasha Basu are sultry, uber sexy, stunning, billo rani & the likes. In a case of a 360 degree makeover, Ms. Basu has traded her ultra-glamorous for the simple Indian attire clad girl in Lamhaa. She is pleased and so are we! “It was so refreshing. For once in my life I was playing a character who did not take hours to get ready before a shot,” says Basu.

Apart from showing Bipasha in a different light, the overall shooting and characterization has been an enriching experience for Basu. It is a known fact that shooting in the valleys of Kashmir could have blend of traumatizing or simultaneously breathtaking moments alike and you can never be too sure of the reactions of the locals. “One day, it’s peaceful and the next day there may be unrest or curfew. We have tried to capture the fights, the battles and the dilemmas with sensitivity,” says Basu.

Moreover, having spent couple of years being associated to the film, Bipasha finds herself empathizing and voicing strong opinions about the socio-political state that Kashmir finds itself in. “The fact is that a majority of us Indians have taken a backseat and don’t think too much about what is really happening outside our household. We don’t care much either which is sad because what is happening in Kashmir is much more than just a political crisis. Why do we continue to be so ignorant about the state of affairs there? Something like that could happen tomorrow in Maharashtra, West Bengal or any part of our country,” she said.

Lamhaa is about the constant struggle for daily survival of Kashmiris. It highlights how the life of a common man is caught in the midst while politics, militants work for or against each other. “Politics and religion are such strong elements that they can create a lot of problems. And, when the issue of region also comes in, it becomes quite lethal actually,” she added. “This is a crisis situation in Kashmir. What a Kashmiri goes through is not really humane. We have to think about it and Lamhaa makes an honest and sincere attempt to do so.”

The past has been proof that movies with a strong political or social plot fall into untimely and sometimes unreasonable controversy. Lamhaa was not an exception and has had its share of bad news. Nevertheless, the actress maintains that the National-Award winning director Rahul Dholakia has steered away from it. “We have tried to keep the ‘diplomatic angle’ at bay. Yes, there are sensitive issues involved that have to be kept in mind. However, to ensure that the writing is perfect and nothing comes across as artificial or made up, Dholakia has done a lot of research on Kashmir.” “The intent is not to highlight the political play between Hindustan and Pakistan. We wanted to tell a human story and have succeeded in doing just that,” she said.

Unlike most Bollywood movies, Lamhaa does not tread the path of mushy-love and candyfloss romances. Bipasha is quick to clarify that the movie does not revolve around her romantic angles with any of the actors in the film, but rather is about the connection with the place you are born in and responsibility towards one’s motherland. Reflecting her sentiments, she reaffirms, “It’s a tale about the fight to regain a bit of that paradise you knew,” “So much hard work has gone into the making of this film. Whether it is the director, producer or us actors, we have experienced all kind of things during the filming of Lamhaa. It will be great if the film is seen by many because it will open your eyes to reality,” she concludes.

The box-office fate is out and not very encouraging, but irrespective of the final verdict, Bipasha isn’t losing sleep over the reports yet. She is proud of her role in the film and treasuring the experience.

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