I thought improvisations add to creativity?
They most certainly do, we improvise on theatre all the time but we do it during rehearsals till we have mastered the nuances. Pushan engaged Rajit and me in multiple workshops that involved us to share our experiences of marriage and life. He wanted funny, intimate moments that would make the characters believable, so I told him of a time I visited the bathroom but could not relieve myself because the salwar knot was entangled and he has retained this in the film. Pushan has acknowledged our contribution by including Ranjit and me in the writing credits along with our dialogue writer Nihaarika.
How similar/different is this marriage story to your own life?
All marriages have many things in common and yet all marriages are different. The Threshold is not about borrowing from my or Rajit’s marriage, it is a culmination of what happens in a relationship over the years, it is about perspectives, about how women feel and men think, it is about a journey together and quest for personal space.
Was it easy to inhabit a character like Rinku as a character?
I have known many Rinkus and they exist in our wide circle of distant relatives. When I was growing up I have heard my mother, maasis and chachis discuss domestic issues in hushed whispers. Maybe they are all Rinkus in different degrees in different states and homes. I was familiar with her emotional fabric. The difficult part was to shed vanity both in posture and expression. I’ve worn extra sweaters to look plump and walk with a limp. There were times I pleaded with the director to let me wear some lipstick but the director wanted me to look dull and sad.
Has your husband seen the film, what was his reaction?
Yes, I had prepared him for my character and yet he was jolted to see his beautiful wife transform into a haggard Rinku. Later, when he had adjusted to the film he was able to appreciate my performance but his disappointment over my appearance lingered till we reached home. Next time I’m not going to play an unattractive character.
That’s being a woman?
Yes and there’s nothing wrong with that