Those who grew up in the 90s will remember a song by Lucky Ali called Kitni Haseen Zindagi. In the last scene of the video, Malaika Arora, who is playing the part of a glamorous actress the whole time, waltzes into her room wearing a plain white salwar kameez with no make up. It is strange to think of the things that create imprints in your mind, but that scene did. I remember being surprised and quite impressed with how beautiful she looked there in comparison to the rest of her stylish get ups. Probably it was my first time realising that simplicity can look gorgeous too (what with growing up in the Barjatya generation), but when Mithila and I spoke about doing a small shoot again, the first look that instinctively flashed before my eyes was a simple white kurta.
Since the last time we shot together, Mithila has rocketed to fame (so kicked about it- this girl totally deserves it and so much more), with a film about to be released next month. I won’t claim to know her very well, but from what I do, I know her as a very grounded and sensible person, which is what gives me so much hope for her future, and a bit for our too, as the audience.
She might be surrounded by glitz, but it’s impossible not to see the brilliant, fresh and intelligent girl underneath. During our shoot, I often caught her humming old songs while playing with her hair, totally lost in her reverie. It really does sometimes feel like she has stepped out of time and landed here.
And so it came to be that this amalgamation of both our personalities resulted in this very simple shoot we did over the course of 90 minutes. She has a lot of promotions to do for her film, and shortage of time coupled with the fact that Mumbai doesn’t have any interesting places that haven’t been photographed to death already, made us just shrug and shoot in her home again.
In the first shoot I had done of her, her house also played a huge role, and so I had chosen to photograph it with the 24mm lens. This time, I wanted to focus only on her- her extremely emotive eyes deserve that- and so this set is shot almost exclusively with the 50mm lens, barring a couple of photos.
Next time, I’m dragging you to Goa, Mithila.