Recently, during an interaction with Etimes, Pooja revealed she was scared about playing her grandmother on-screen. “Frankly, I was terrified to take on the responsibility of playing my grandmother and tried hard to suggest to my father we cast another actor in my place but my father gave me no choice. He said ‘I am not asking you Pooja. I am telling you that you are playing this part.’ That was the end of the discussion. The rest is history.”
While it may have been challenging for Pooja, she infused emotions into her character and made the audience empathise towards her. The song ‘Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla’ from the film, lives in the hearts of people till today. It is still appreciated for its melody and heart-wrenching emotion. Pooja is grateful as she reveals she wore her grandmother’s saree in the song. “The privilege of playing my grandmother – that was her personal saree I was wearing in the song. It is something I will always be grateful to my father for. The ‘mangalsutra’ I wore in the film also belonged to my grandmother Shirin. And the set of our home was a replica of the home my father grew up in as a boy. Those days and that space I shared with Kunal (Kemmu) in front of the camera are some of the most magical times of my life!”
MM Keeravani who is the man of the moment with his win at the Oscar awards had composed the ‘Zakhm’ album and Pooja still can’t get over how good it was. “To see Anand Bakshi Saab, MM Kreem and my father create the album of ‘Zakhm’ was something else.” The film also starred Ajay Devgn and Sonali Bendre.
Pooja admits that her grandmother played an important role in shaping up who she is. “My grandmother played a very significant role in my life. While she was a Shia Muslim, she took me to Siddhivinayak temple every Tuesday and inculcated in me a great love for Lord Ganesha and to St Michael’s church every Wednesday where she taught me to make the sign of the cross and also, to cross the road on my own. That spirit of religious diversity lives on in me and makes me who I am.”
Pooja continues to be loved by fans for memorable movies like ‘Zakhm’, ‘Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahi’ and ‘Sadak’. She was last seen in R Balki’s ‘Chup’.