Aruna Irani turns ‘khadus Dadi’ for her next

Sushmita Jha
Monday, 14 January 2019

The veteran actress is back on the small screen with a role of a grandmother in Dil toh Happy Hai Ji on Star Plus

We all love Aruna Irani for the roles she has played in hit films like Caravan, Bobby, Beta and more recently, famous television serial Desh Mein Nikla Hoga Chand. Now the actress is set to play the role of a ‘khadus’ grandmother in Dil to Happy Hai Ji on Star plus. The show will go on air today (Jan 15).

Initially, the character was supposed to be played by Surekha Sikri, but due to her health issues, Arunaji  has been roped in. “I hope Surekha gets well soon, she is going through some health issues and that is the reason she won’t be a part of this show,” says Arunaji.

Talking about the character, she says, “I am really excited about my role in the serial. She is not a vamp but a ‘khadus dadi’, who is extremely orthodox in nature. She is a typical old lady who is very particular about following customs and traditions — she expects that she is treated well and everyone touches her feet. But she is good at heart too. In the initial part of the serial, you will see how she dislikes Happy played by Jasmin Bhasin. Happy is an outgoing girl, she is talkative and quarrelsome, talks back to elders, which is absolutely unacceptable by my character and therefore my character hates her. But you will see in the later parts of the serial, how my character stands by Happy when she gets into trouble,” explains Arunaji. 

Recently, veteran actor Kader Khan, who was a good friend of Arunaji, passed away. The actor-writer had started isolating himself from people, firstly because of his health issues and secondly due to lack of good work. Arunaji doesn’t want to isolate herself because she wants to continue working as long as she can. “Kader Khan was an amazing person and also a very dear friend. He lived his life very well with his beautiful family. But at one point he had stopped interacting with people, he preferred staying alone and that is something I don’t want to do to myself. For me, work is forever and I will work as long as I can,” says Arunaji.

In the entertainment industry, the saying ‘Age is just a number as long as you are talented’ may be followed to an extent, but at the same time, there are many actors who despite doing some great work in the past, are jobless today. Arunaji believes that age definitely matters because it shows on your body and face. No matter how talented you are, if you have to play a character of someone who is younger, you need to look young too, only acting like a youngster won’t help, she says. “When people say age is just a number, all they are doing is consoling themselves that they aren’t old yet. Age surely matters because it shows. Your body becomes different and so does your face. But when it comes to talent, age surely doesn’t matter. All you need to do is be fair to your character,” the actress says.
 
Many old actors are out of work today. Arunaji feels, “Every actor goes through this phase at least once in their life. For some, it’s really long and for some, it’s a short period of time, but it happens for sure. So I don’t think it’s rational to connect it with age.”
 
The actress aspires to work for the digital platform in the near future. “If an opportunity comes my way, I will straightaway jump into it, before even thinking twice. I am looking forward to working on the digital platform too. I am going to take up everything that comes my way because I want to work till the last breath,” she expresses.

The Chadhti Jawani number from the ’70s movie Caravan is one of Arunaji’s most unforgettable performances. The song has been remixed and is still as popular. When asked if she had to pick up an actor from today’s generation to recreate the song, who would it be, she says, “I think Alia Bhatt would do a great job with Chadhti Jawani. She has the perfect amount of innocence and naughtiness which is the USP of the song.”

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