A woman with a beautiful smile, good looks, confidence and yet ready to run in the race of cinema to make herself sustainable, she is none other than Kishori. My 3rd Guest-editor-of the day; she just arrived with no tantrums or show off. What mesmerised the most is her ageless look. She looks in her sweet thirties. I remember there was one episode of an actress hunt show, ‘Jhakaas Heroine’, Kishori Shahane had come to teach the shades of ramp walk to all the contestants, during that time one of the contestants asked Kishori her age. With no hesitation or glitch she gladly disclosed that she is 46-years-old then, now she is 48 and yet rocking. Absolutely in awe, I was stunned to see young looking and charming mother who has a 22-year-old son. She was open to all the questions asked by fellow journalists.
My only interest was to know how she could remain ageless, she said I had to seal my mouth, cravings for all those taste buds and workout routine is a must. And, she says, “Firstly, I gave a lot of importance to my fitness. Secondly, there was proper time management from my side while giving my dates for shooting. Some roles are to be accepted for self-satisfaction, while others are just because of good money offered. And, I really enjoyed working and making me wanted in the industry even today.” Her approach to life is very clean and transparent, she wants to run and never stop. Kishori believes industry is vast and there is much more to be accomplished. She is an actress having head on shoulder, be it social question or political she had her answers ready. Not only that, being an editor she was in a position to garner the young journalists of our publication with new approach and guidelines.
Her journey towards theatre and acting began when she was 13 years old. In college days at Mithibai College, she was crowned Miss Mithibai at the cultural hub of Mumbai. She entered into Marathi films and shot to fame with Maherchi Sadi and Wajva Re Wajva. Her stage performances in plays like Moruchi Maushi (Marathi) and Aadhe Adhure (Hindi), directed by Amal Allana bought her recognition as an actress. Kishori worked in Marathi blockbuster films like Ek Daav Dhobi Pachhad and Navra Maza Navsacha. Her role in Hindi movies like Pyaar Mein Twist and Red: The Dark Side, directed by Vikram Bhatt put forward her ability to play different roles while maintaining her fitness level in front of audience. While growing in acting, Deepak Balraj Vij, a Hindi filmmaker noticed her talent. He did Hafta Bandh, Bomb Blast and two more films with her. During the making of Hafta Bandh in 1991, their romance began and later they got married. This famous actress, director and dancer proved herself to be a best wife, mother and socially responsible person.
After her marriage, she switched over to Hindi TV serials and continued to work in Hindi and Marathi films. She became popular with her performance in serials like Ghar Ek Mandir, Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, and Sindoor. She is also a classical and folk dancer. She gave thousands of performances on stage in India and abroad. In 2003, she took part in the Mrs. Gladrags Beauty Pageant show and was the Runner-up. Now her son Bobby Vij won Mr. Gladrags. Not only that but also he was a judge for the show called Mr & Ms Maharashtra 2017. From mentoring her son to making movies she has excelled every level of her career and personal life. As a filmmaker, her Marathi film Mohatyachi Renuka won the Maharashtra State Award for best editing. The film was produced and directed by Kishori. Her next Marathi film was “Aika Dajiba” with top Marathi stars. Currently she is working in soap opera and new age films.
This Marathi Mulgi never stopped here, but took a big leap to Hollywood movies. She is still in demand even after spending more than 25 years in acting field; She is doing a Hollywood film ‘Heart Beat’ directed by Duen Adler. This film will be released soon. She recently worked in Ashutosh Gowariker’s big budget Hindi film ‘Mohenjo Daro, with popular actor Hrithik Roshan. Though the movie didn’t do well but Kishori’s act was appreciable. Then, there is one Marathi film ‘Khind’.
As the time changed Indian film industry is evolving for the best and worst. Keeping all worst aside or facing is all less she is making her mark, by adhering to new way of cinema dominating with her skills.
Another trend that has been on the rise is the prevalence of item-numbers in movies. Today, item-numbers have become a must, with offensive or provocative lyrics and a whole lot of skin shows. It’s very disturbing that words such as ‘item-girl’ or ‘item-numbers’ have become acceptable and the female-leads are themselves performing and encouraging these so called ‘item-numbers’. What these celebrities do not realise is that people look up to them and when they themselves perform such numbers; it unconsciously reinforces the already prevalent stereotypes and prejudices about women. Bollywood is a completely male dominated industry. Women are not only given trivial or insignificant roles in the movies, but are also underpaid. In most of the cases, the actors are approached for the movie and then they are asked to choose the actress they want to work with. The female-leads today perform item-numbers because they fear losing grounds to the ever-increasing starlets. The journey is a tough one where, for every missed opportunity, there is an ever-present eager replacement. Another discrimination that the women in Bollywood have to face is the fact that it is ageist in nature. After an actress hits the 30-year mark, the number of movies coming her way dwindles. Today, when asked Kishori, she told us, “We have to earn our bread and butter out of this business, sometimes you just have those limited options and as somebody who’s self-dependent, I have tremendous passion, so I have to keep working.” These are just some of the very deep-seated prejudices that force the actresses to succumb to the discriminatory treatment of Bollywood. But this actress has risen up against all odds and still running… we wish her all the best.
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