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Every woman has a bit of wicked daayan in her: Konkona Sen Sharma

You have two films lined up for release — Goynar Baksho (Bengali) and Ek Thi Daayan. Are you happy with your post-pregnancy career?
I am very happy. My mother wanted to make Goynar Baksho (Jewellery Box) for almost a decade but because of funds, the film took time to materialise. The movie is very close to our hearts. It is not a typical mainstream film. But it’s a funny film which needed modern technology. I play a young woman who is married into a zamindar family which is falling into ruin. An old widowed aunt dies and leaves behind a box of jewellery. It also features Moushumi Chatterjee and Saswata Chatterjee (of Kahaani fame).

Are Bengali actors getting their due in Bollywood?
I don’t know. And I don’t care honestly. I just want to make the kind of films I want to make.

In Ek Thi Daayan, there are three heroines and one hero. Is the same ratio applicable in the world of daayans?
(Laughs) Do you mean there are more daayans than pisaachs (male equivalent of a daayan)? I really don’t know. I have never thought about it.

Do you believe in daayans?
I don’t believe in daayans but I am not denying the presence of the supernatural. I don’t know whether it is good or bad. Not everything in the world can be comprehended by the five senses. But the question is whether there’s something
paranormal.

How do you define a daayan?
They have inverted feet, and a really long choti. Their arms are long and stretchable.

Have you called anyone a daayan recently? Why?
No. Daayan is not in my lingo (giggles).

Arrange in terms of their daayan quotient:
a) Konkona b) Huma Qureshi c) Kalki Koechlin d)Ekta Kapoor. (Ponders) They are daayans in their own way. Every woman has a bit of wicked daayan in her.  

What is the scariest story you have ever heard?
I get scared quite easily. Movies such as The Ring, Omen, The Grudge or The Exorcism of Emily Rose have stayed with me even after a week. I quite enjoy the horror genre.

Is that why you chose to be part of Ek Thi Daayan?
I have never acted in a supernatural thriller before. All the characters in the film, whether they are daayans or not, have shades of grey. You are constantly made to wonder who the daayan is. It is fun to play a character with grey shades. I am bored of playing earnest, serious, good-girl kind of roles.  Also, my dad (Mukul Sharma) has written the story on which this film is based; it was a short three-page story published some 30-35 years ago. My dad and Vishal Bhardwaj became friends over the last few years and they developed the story into a screenplay. That also added to the excitement. And Ekta had done a brilliant job with Ragini MMS. I knew the film was in good hands. Emraan, Kalki and Huma are all fine actors. I had many reasons to agree to do to the film.

Women are more often than not the victims in horror films. How does it feel to have a female antagonist?
It feels good. For too long, these films have had men. But, I am not an expert on Bollywood villains. The stronger the villain, the stronger the hero looks.

What was it like to play a mysterious woman who could be a daayan?
It was great fun. Though we have been pretty tight-lipped about the suspense of the film.

Are you mysterious in real life?
Not much. But it depends, who I am with. I am a very straightforward but reserved person. 

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