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KI & KA: Multifaceted Swaroop Sampat on acting, teaching and the gender bias

March 22, 2016 12:26:22 PM IST
By Vishal Verma, Glamsham Editorial
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Honorable Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi calls her ‘Gujarat's Masterji'.. Swaroop Sampat has many shades to her ever smiling face. Crowned Miss India in 1979, Swaroop became a household name with Kundan Shah's hit television sitcom YEH JO HAI ZINDAGI.

Her bold avatar in KARISHMA (1984) send shock waves, the lady who has always followed her inner instincts gave up her passion for acting to play the role of real – time wife of actor and now MP – Paresh Rawal.
An astoundingly motivating step towards education that uses theatre drama techniques in providing training to teachers on creative thinking, decision making, coping with stress, etc, has brought Swaroop back in the news. She has recently written a book on learning disabilities titled “ Learning Disabilities in a Nutshell: Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia.”.

The multifaceted Swaroop has now re-embarked her acting passions by bouncing back remarkably as Swati Sanghvi in ABCL's much acclaimed SAPTAPDII (2013) – hailed as the turning point in Gujarati Cinema.
Playing the mother of Kareena Kapoor in R. Balki's interestingly quirky gender bending romantic comedy KI & KA starring Arjun Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor in lead, the teacher, actress, writer and thinker sits and speaks on her Bollywood comeback and lots more...



You are doing such good innovative work on education, using drama techniques to provide learning, what made you so excited to come back to Bollywood again?
I love acting. Put a camera in front of me and I will be different person altogether. But I cannot do it 24x7. It's my hobby. I use to watch films and wished.. Ah. If I would have done that role, use to interpret a certain role in my way if I would have done.. so the passion never died..Earlier I couldn,t do, because I was busy with my family, kids where small and I was studying. In Hindi films the next best role after heroine is the mother, I was too young to play the role of a mother, so the gap came. R. Balki planned this film and he came to me, luckily I was free. I am at that point of my life where I like to work with people with whom I am comfortable with. R. Balki has proven his mettle as a director and he is a good human beign. So everything started falling in place. Time for me to fulfill my passion with a good role, a director like Balki to work with.. I am very happy.

What role are you playing?
I play an important role in the film. I play Kareena's mother, a widow, Arjun doesn't have a mother in the film, he has a father and one day Arjun comes to stay in our house with Kareena. My character sets the tone of the film, the whole essence of KI & KA gets explained through my character – the gender bias, stereotyping that exists.

How much do you believe in the concept of KI & KA?
I have always believed and even Paresh feels the same. 28 years back when I married Paresh, I asked him whether should I change my surname and Paresh said, “ You will always remain Swaroop Sampat', my individuality and identity is intact. Not even Swaroop Sampat Rawal. Why a man cannot have those finer emotions, why man cannot cry, why girls are delicate. My father was the Chief Producer of Indian National Theatre and he made tea for his whole life. He felt that he makes the best tea in the world. 

'My character sets the tone of the film, the whole essence of KI &KA gets explained through my character.'

Has your husband Paresh Rawal done those things which are normally said to be a women's job?
Not nowadays because he doesn't get time as being a Member of Parliament. Previously he use to help me in kitchen, clean the house without any shame.

What is the best thing Paresh has done that breaks the shackles of stereotype mindset regarding genders?
He made a very big statement. He felt that children should have their mothers name as middle name as mothers take more care of children then fathers. Deadly. What else would you ask for from your life partner/husband.

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