This Actress’ Bizarre Encounter with Sajid Khan Will Leave You Shocked

‘Lipstick Under my Burkha’ actress Aahana Kumra shares shocking details of what newcomers have to go through in the industry
This Actress’ Bizarre Encounter with Sajid Khan Will Leave You Shocked
Aahana Kumra and Sajid Khan

Like any other talented actress from outside Bollywood, Aahana Kumra has gone through her share of mortifying experiences with the predators of showbiz.
But those experiences have left her untarnished. Says Aahana, “Believe me, the experiences an outsider has to go through, and I am talking about both male and female newcomers, is very discouraging. It can kill your spirit. These are people away from home, vulnerable and confused. Like any newcomer, I ’d try to meet as many producers-directors as possible. I had no filter to determine their quality as artists or human beings. I was  in the wrong company, looking for work in  places where I shouldn’t have been.”

It was during one such ghastly encounter that Aahana has subjected to very strange conversation. “I met (director) Sajid Khan at his home. I went in the morning, which was in my mind, a safe time. He met me cordially over chai and very coolly told me  I’d never make it in mainstream Hindi cinema, which was fine. He was entitled to his opinion.  But then he made some really strange comments about whether I’d have sex with a canine for a hefty amount of money. Would he have asked Jahnvi Kapoor or Sara Ali Khan the same question? No! The truth is, only struggling actors and actresses  from outside the  film industry face this  kind of  harassment.”

Sadly the aspiring male actors prefer to keep mum. As Aahana explains, “They are too embarrassed to speak up about their predicament. Even women actors like us have gathered courage now to speak up. Otherwise, sexism and misogyny are accepted behaviour among the men of the film industry. Many men don’t know any better. They should’ve been slapped by their parents when they showed signs of misogyny in their early years. We would have been spared this distressing situation. When young actors and actresses from small towns have to go through this behaviour it does terrible things to their morale. They can’t even tell their parents back home about it as it would freak them  out.”

Luckily for  Aahana, the tides have turned after Lipstick Under The Burqa, the game-changing feminist film that brought her commercial and critical success. “I am eternally  grateful to (director) Alankrita Shrivastava  and my fabulous co-stars Ratna Pathak Ma'am and Konkona Sen Sharma M’aam for opening new  doors in my career and my  life.”

Aahana will now be seen as  Priyanka Gandhi in the Manmohan Singh bio-pic The Accidental  Prime  Minister. “I do feel I’ve more than a  passing resemblance to Priyanka Gandhi. We are looking forward to how the  film version  of  Mr Singh’s story is  received by the audience.”