Actress Aditi Rao Hydari says there are films where one is associated with a particular profession just for the sake of it but that was not the case in the Neeraj Ghaywan-directed segment of “Ajeeb Daastaans”. Titled “Geeli Pucchi”, the story revolves around Konkona Sensharma and Hydari’s two women, one upper caste, newly married and hired to do a desk job, and the other a factory hand denied the same job despite being qualified as she comes from a lower caste.
As the only two women in a factory full of men, they end up coming close but their bond is tested by their surroundings and their conditioning.
Being working women is at the heart of the story in the Netflix anthology releasing on Friday.
“It (the story) starts from the workplace. Being a working woman is an important identity for the two characters. I did not think too much as it does not jump out anywhere. It’s (career) so important but usually it’s not shown in the movies. There are films where you are called a lawyer or an architect or whatever and I keep thinking where is it coming into what I am doing? It is just a name,” Hydari told PTI in a Zoom interview from Mumbai.
The 34-year-old actor said her character of Priya may come from a privileged background but she derives “a sense of self” from her job.
There is a burden of knowledge and discrimination in Sensharma’s Bharti Priya’s privileged background is the very thing that “stops her from being her and being able to listen to her inner voice”.
Ultimately, she said, the result is same for both the women.
“It tells you a lot about patriarchy and having to constantly alter yourself for that.”
Hydari, whose major films include “Delhi 6”, “Yeh Saali Zindagi”, “Wazir”, “Bhoomi” and “Padmaavat”, said working with Ghaywan was a no-brainer for her as she has been a fan of the “Masaan” director.
As an actor, she said the length of the film does not matter to her.
“For me as an actor, be it twenty minutes or two hours, my work is actually the same. I have to make every second of the story believable and real. I need to make you feel what I am feeling. I have to go home with you in your heart, it does not matter whether it happens in a 20-minute story or a two-hour long film,” she added.
“Ajeeb Daastaans” also features Shefali Shah, Manav Kaul, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Jaideep Ahlawat, Nushrratt Bharuccha and Abhishek Banerjee in different segments directed by Shashank Khaitan, Kayoze Irani and Raj Mehta.