Evolving Everyday - Kalki Koechlin

Kalki Koechlin, who made an impressive debut in Bollywood with Anurag Kashyap’s directorial, Dev-D, in 2009, has come a long way in her acting career. From getting a Filmfare for best supporting actress, to adding several realistic as well as commercial successes to her kitty, the actress says her journey in B-Town has been great so far.

In her recent film, Ribbon, Kalki played an urban woman who faces trouble at her work place with an unplanned pregnancy. Talking about how she prepared for the role, she reveals, “I read a lot about pregnancy, so much so that I started getting news alerts on Google about articles around it. I met some mothers too, who told me what it feels like to give birth and after it. Rakhee (the director) had a friend who’d just had a baby. I spent time with her, watching her breastfeed, how to pump milk, how to massage a baby, and change diapers. It was hands-on work.”

Kalki feels quite fortunate for her 2017 release Jia aur Jia, where she was seen sharing screen space with Richa Chadha, as it served as a great opportunity for her to break the intellectual and serious mode that she has been surrounded by. At the same time, it also helped her to do something really light and bindass. However, the film came with its own challenges; owing to the fact that Kalki is not a dancer, she had to work really hard for it.

While the actress is said to be quite selective in picking the roles offered to her, she is frank to deny what she doesn’t want to do. She feels, “you can only be as choosy as the work that comes your way. If films are not coming your way, you are not going to do those films, so you choose within what you have.” She candidly adds that she does a lot of stuff that is offered to her. She opines that in today’s day and age when social media is so abuzz, a news that might move you today hardly remains relevant two days later, so it is important to assess your opinions calmly.

Not many know, but Kalki is fond of poetry and has been writing poems since her childhood. While she earlier kept her poems mostly to herself, treating them as a medium to get things out of her system, over time she has developed a passion for poetry slam. She loves watching slam poetry; Sarah Kay-Hands and Saul Williams being some of her favourites. Kalki believes that poetry slam can be revolutionary and interesting. Other than performing at colleges and at places like The Hive, she has highlighted women issues at events organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation.

Kalki, who often wears her feminist heart on her sleeve, when speaking about the equal rights to women, says, “I think we need some equality in the kind of questions we’re asked as well! When men are never asked how they balance work and family, women shouldn’t be either. What we really need is for men and women to be equal shareholders at home, and this question will answer itself.”

Interestingly, sharing her views on maintaining a balance between work and personal life, she says that it is really hard to do so because of the fact that there are times when work takes the front seat and personal life takes a back seat, and vice versa. For her, life is not about running to the next job or the next thing. It’s about people we love; it’s about respect for other human beings.

The actress has found that that things change with time, adding that in her 30s she spends a lot more time with her parents than she did in her 20s. She thinks that a person prioritises different things at different times in his or her life.

On the work front, Kalki will portray a venture capitalist in the upcoming film Scholarship alongside Konkona Sen Sharma who will be seen as a domestic help.

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