Recently, during an interaction with ETimes, Pooja revealed that she was scared to play her grandmother on-screen. “To be honest, I was nervous to play my grandmother and tried hard to suggest to my father that we replace her with another actor but my father didn’t give me a choice. He said ‘I Not asking you Pooja I am telling you that you are playing this role. That was the end of the discussion. The rest is history.”
While this may have been challenging for Pooja, she infused emotion into her character and made the audience sympathize with her. The song ‘Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla’ from the film is still enshrined in people’s hearts. It is appreciated even today for its melody and heart touching sentiments. Pooja is grateful as she reveals that she wore her grandmother’s saree in the song. “Fortunate to play my grandmother – it was her personal saree that I wore in the song. It’s something I will always be grateful to my father for. The ‘mangalsutra’ I wore in the film was also my grandmother Shireen’s. And the set of our house was a replica of the house my father grew up in as a boy. Those days shared with Kunal (Kemmu) in front of the camera and that place were some of the most magical times of my life. There are some!”
MM Keeravani, who is the man of the moment with his win at the Oscars, composed the album ‘Zakhm’ and Pooja still can’t get over how good it was. “It was something else to see Anand Bakshi Saab, MM Cream and my father making the album ‘Zakhm’.” The film also starred Ajay Devgan and Sonali Bendre.
Pooja admits that her grandmother played an important role in shaping her. “My grandmother played a very important role in my life. As she was a Shia Muslim, she took me to the Siddhivinayak Temple every Tuesday and instilled in me a great love for Lord Ganesha and St. Michael’s Church every Wednesday, where she taught me Taught to make the sign of the cross and even to cross the road on my own. That spirit of religious diversity lives on in me and makes me who I am.
Pooja has been loved by fans for memorable films like ‘Zakhm’, ‘Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi’ and ‘Sadak’. She was last seen in R Balki’s ‘Chup’.