Pushpa Joshi, Bollywood's oldest debutante is waiting to go to Kajol's home!
Mesmerised by her act in Raid, Kajol expressed a desire to take Pushpa Joshi, 85, home. Bollywood's oldest debutant agrees
Pushpa Joshi with Ajay Devgn on the set of Raid
After seeing Raid, Kajol wanted to take her home. Pushpa Joshi, who plays Saurabh Shukla's indefatigable Amma in the Ajay Devgn-starrer, has become an overnight sensation. The toothless grey-haired granny has wowed the audience and critics with her loveable act.
At 85, she is probably the oldest debutant in Bollywood. "I am ready to go to Kajol's home," she laughs aloud. At an age when most of her contemporaries have slowed down or are battling age-related issues, Joshi is raring to go. "You can say I am a late bloomer," she chuckles. She's alert, ready to answer any question and does not mince words. "I know there are not many roles for me, but nowadays, a lot of scripts are being written with meaningful parts for the oldies."
Pushpa Joshi with grandsons Shreyas and Aabhas
Theatre and music are an intrinsic part of the Joshi family. Her son Ravindra was a theatre actor, while grandson Aabhas has been a contestant on music reality shows like Voice Of India and Music Ka Maha Muqqabla. He has also anchored Chote Ustad. Along with brother, Shreyas, he has formed a band called Indie Routes. "Amma acted a bit in theatre during her younger days but after she featured in the short film Zaayka, she got noticed and got a casting call for Raid," informs Ravindra.
Though originally from Jabalpur, Joshi is now based in Mumbai. "Since we shot in Lucknow with several local theatre actors, people think that I am from UP. But I live in Vikhroli," she points out.
On the sets of Raid, while everyone one else would be busy applying make-up and dolling up, Joshi would be ready in a jiffy. "Old people do not apply make-up, so I had to wear my sari, comb my hair, wear beads around my neck and plonk myself." Matching histrionics with Shukla meant she used to rehearse her lines in advance. "It was fun to work with him. Shooting the jalebi scene, when he stuffs it in my mouth, was especially interesting."
Adds director Raj Kumar Gupta, "She is a bundle of energy. I was flabbergasted by her enthusiasm. She is such a witty and lively person, exuding positivity all the time. She's a brilliant actor too." Joshi is looking forward to display her acting chops in her next assignments. She doesn't believe in retirement. "Till you are alive, you have to keep going."