You know her as Kareena’s mother from Veere Di Wedding, from the hit film Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain, and for the film buffs, from What Will People Say. We are talking about the one and only Ekavali Khanna. She has also acted in Punjabi movie ‘Mast Qalandar’ and she is a great thespian, displaying the ability to essay different kinds of roles. But did you know that she came to film quite by chance? We didn't too and to know more, we spoke to Ekavali Khanna when she graced us at Jay-Ho! The Jay Kumar Show.
Speaking of her childhood, Ekavali shared with us how she grew up with her father and grandmother. She had a tough beginning as she lost her mother during childbirth. However, her father and grandmother ensured that she grew into a bold child who experimented with different things, be it karate, horse riding, playing sarod, and different kinds of dances. And unlike the helicopter parents of today, they were ok with her trying and leaving things as well. She made lots of friends and had a normal childhood in Kolkata, which is also known as City of Joy. No wonder her smile radiates the happiness and contentment of one raised in that city.
Continuing further, she spoke about the pivotal role played by her father in life. Her father was a great lover of Indian classical music and often took Ekavali to concerts. Before the current days of OTT, he would also bring her CDs and DVDs of movies that he wanted her to watch. In fact, he himself was an artist hailing from Lucknow and was quite fluent in Urdu. Laughingly she says, “I think my Urdu is quite alright”.
Ekavali’s father also encouraged her to delve into poetry. She recalls reading a book of the poet Sahir Ludhiyanvi. Looking back, Ekavali said that unconsciously, she was receiving knowledge and exposure to fine arts, which of course blossomed into a career in movies.
The incident which led Ekavali to become an actress
This subtle training and exposure paid off when she practically stumbled into acting without any such intention. During one of the tough phases in her personal life, when she was struggling, she went to watch a play. There, a gentleman was constantly looking at her and Ekavali was starting to feel bothered. However, when the play ended, the gentleman approached her and put her at ease. He said, “Look, I am a very decent person. My name is Shantanu Bose and I am one of the directors at Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) and we make student's films”. He went on to say that he was looking for a woman for an army officer's wife role. Since she was looking to distract herself, she took the role. That moment snowballed into one film which led to another film, and to other films. Here, her creative exposure and meeting with creative individuals passionate about storytelling brought her great joy and satisfaction. And the rest, as they say, is history. She found herself loving being on set and acting.
To know more about Ekavali Khanna’s personal and professional life, stay tuned to Jay-Ho.com.