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"The magic of the four CHAK DE girls from the film CHAK DE INDIA is all over the country."
Ek Mulaqat is a weekly chat show presented by BBC Hindi India Editor, Sanjeev Srivastava on Radio One FM. The program brings lively entertaining and informative interviews with some of India’s most famous people, including politicians, artists, sports personalities and Bollywood stars.
Below are excerpts from this interview on BBC Ek Mulaqat
SS: For the first time on BBC Ek Mulaqat, we have with us more than one guest. These people are part of a team that has taken the whole of India by storm. The magic of the four CHAK DE girls from the film CHAK DE INDIA is all over the country. The team’s captan Vidya, the senior-most player Bindiya, the beautiful centre forward Preeti Sabbarwal, and on the phone with us is the team’s other centre forward, Komal Choutala.
We’ll start with the team’s captain, Vidya. When work started on the film, did you think the film would be so talked about or such a hit?
Vidya: When I read the script, I thought it could be successful, but this film is very different from all the other films made in Bollywood, so you couldn’t say for sure. I didn’t have any idea that the film would be so popular. When the film was completed, I saw the second half. The game takes up a lot of duration of that part of the film. That part is so full of energy that people had to like it.
SS: Bindiya, your character goes through many ups and downs in the film. How do you think people will remember your character – as a bad woman or the best player on the team?
Bindiya: As the best player on the team. When I came to know of my character, I thought that now I will only get these kinds of roles, but then I remembered something from my theatre days – that a role is not good or bad; you have to do justice to the character.
SS: But a character is strong or weak, and your role was strong in the film.
Bindiya: Yes, that’s what I thought and played my role. Later in the scenes where I come across as a good girl, I tried my best to make people believe that I am a good girl.
SS: Preeti, in the film you are asked to go back at first. Then you become the girl who scores the most goals, and also turn down a famous cricketer. How was this film experience?
Preeti: The most special thing about this film was that it revolves around the game. There is no place for things like love stories. Jaideep sir and ShImit sir didn’t let the film graph go down at any point of time. Even when I am asked to go back and when I leave the cricketer, the graph doesn’t go down.
SS: The film doesn’t show the personal life of any of the characters in any depth. Only some incidents related to your and Vidya’s lives are shown.
SS: Komal, how did you feel while playing? Your dialogue about the buffalo’s tail is being talked about everywhere.
Komal: I really felt good. [Laughing] I have taken the copyright for the buffalo’s tail dialogue from Jaideep sir.
SS: Please say that dialogue for us.
Komal: Khelne-wala hel rahega, railne wala fail rahega. Jo zyaada marodega moonch, who jaaye chaat le bhains ki poonch.
SS: A few days back there was a picture of you in a newspaper and you were looking very beautiful in that. But your character in the film was very tomboyish. How are you in real life? A soft girl or a bit tomboyish?
Komal: This you need to ask the girls with me.
[Preeti, Vidya and Bindiya]: When she is acting it’s a different thing, but otherwise she is a very stylish girl. Her nails are longer than mine. She wears heels.
SS: Vidya, is it true that Shahrukh Khan is very energetic, or have these things become associated with him because of his being famous?
Vidya: So far I have seen CHAK DE INDIA five times. Every time, my love for Shahrukh Khan increases. What amazing acting he has done. He looks fantastic in the last shot of the film. He will keep working the same way for a long time. As a person also, his personality is very magnetic. If you meet him for two minutes, you will feel like meeting him for two hours, if you meet him for two hours then you will feel like meeting him for two days and then two years. We consider ourselves very fortunate because we have spent six-eight months with him.
SS: Hey, some one talked of some shortcomings also. Bindiya, what do you have to say?
Bindiya: No. Shahrukh is really a magician. The best thing about him is that he knows what struggle is. He knows what it’s like to travel in a DTC bus. He is easily available to people. That’s what gives him a magical personality. He is really a man attached to the public.
SS: I have also interviewed him. He has amazing understanding and sense. He doesn’t speak any thing just like that. What do you say, Preeti?
Preeti: We met him for the first time during the first script reading. We were very nervous. Just so we don’t get nervous of making mistakes, he was also making mistakes. He spoke to each of us individually and explained that you people don’t have to emote too much. Just work the way you are.
SS: Now that you’ve attained success and become stars, how do you feel?
Vidya: Can’t understand what’s happening. Don’t even get the time to think. Today we are in demand everywhere. But it feels good. We worked hard to make something of ourselves in this industry but got nowhere. Now all of a sudden we have become popular.
SS: Absolutely. Bindiya, did you pinch yourself?
Bindiya: Oh, how did you know? I did that many times. On the morning of 10th August, we were standing at Infinity Mall but no one recognized us though our posters were up. We were thinking what the day would be like when people become stars overnight. After that nights show itself we were getting our picture taken and signing autographs.
SS: What do you all think of the future?
Preeti: It has been a good beginning. Going forward we will work hard and if we are lucky, we will do well.
SS: Preeti, you are looking so different. There you look like a tough player, but now you look like a model.
Preeti: I had to look like a hockey player, so I looked a bit rough and tough.
SS: Komal, are you enjoying this popularity?
SS: Was there a memorable moment with Shahrukh Khan that you would like to share with us?
Komal: When we reached Australia, my neck was paining a lot. Shahrukh sir came to know of it and he massaged my neck. I was the first one on the team to get a massage. He also has neck pain and he said he knows how bad it is to get neck pain. He also told me a neck exercise. It was good fun.
SS: This film is being compared to LAGAAN, but that film’s team wasn’t so glamorous. While you were shooting, did you feel any patriotism?
Vidya: In the film, when we are given the cup, it feels very good.
Preeti: When the National Anthem plays before the match begins, we felt like we are playing for the country and we have to win.
Bindiya: Yesterday we were online with the real National Hockey team’s captain, Mamta Kharab. Mamta was saying that whenever the National Anthem plays, it feels like we will only win.
SS: When I went to see the film, the cinema hall, like all others, was houseful. People were feeling very attached to the film?
Preeti: Especially the last 20 minutes when our match begins. Some people called me up and said that they were feeling like they were sitting in a stadium and watching.
Vidya: One uncle-aunty thanked me for saving the last goal. That’s when it felt like people were feeling so attached to the film. People know it’s a film and this will happen but still people get so emotional with the film.
Bindiya: When we went to Dubai for the film’s premiere, one man said, “What a bad woman she is”, because I deceive one of my fellow players. And when I scored goals for my team, people gave me a standing ovation.
SS: People were thinking why aren’t these girls passing the ball to each other? The same way, people were thinking when will this girl get some sense? This shows that a good film takes the audience with it.
Preeti: When Komal gives me the ball in the last match and says – ‘Go show them’, everyone has tears in their eyes.
SS: Preeti, is there such a man in your real life too who you want to prove something to?
SS: Bindiya, I think yours was the strongest character. Did you do anything special to prepare for this role?
Bindiya: We got enough time to improve ourselves. One year is not less. By the time the shooting completed, I had become like Bindiya in my real life also. Everyone would sit on one side, and I would make a face and sit in another place.
SS: Vidya, you were the captain of the team – who was your favourite player on the team?
Preeti and Bindiya: Her favourite player was the team’s coach.
Vidya: I understood Vidya’s character to be a common Indian girl who gets one last chance to prove herself. She cannot fight at home. She thinks that this coach thinks a bit differently and he can take the team to the final goal.
SS: Bindiya, who did you like?
Bindiya: I used to like the group of Gunjan Lakhani, Aaliya and me. But as a viewer I like Komal Choutala best, and then Preeti Sabharwal. Komal has amazing childishness and her face is also very innocent. I got a phone call from some one who asked me if Komal Choutala is a film actor or a hockey player.
SS: Preeti, your favourite player?
Preeti: If Komal Choutala weren’t there, my character wouldn’t have come alive. There’s one incident I have with a boy, but another with Komal where I take out my frustration on Komal. That’s my favourite character.
SS: Preeti, are you really like this or are you a team player?
Vidya and Bindiya: She is a girl who mingles with everybody.
SS: How does it feel after achieving all this success? Has anything changed?
Preeti: We are the same, but people’s attitudes have changed. Everyone is being very nice. People get together and say that we have done a good job.
Bindiya: A lot has changed. Previously, no one used to call me when my film would release, but now I get so many phone calls. Our role in the film is such that people don’t feel hesitant to meet us. I can sit with them and watch the movie. They come and say that we have done a very good job.
SS: Vidya, what do you have to say?
Vidya: Like Bindiya said, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing. It feels very good when people come and say that you have done a good job and would like to see us working in the future also.
- By Glamsham Editorial
- Movie Stills