'I was outrightly rejected by Aamir'
Many would believe Pakhi, the writer and actress of the John Abraham starrer Jhootha Hi Sahi got her big break only because she happens to be the pretty wife of Abbas Tyrewala. Of course that’s not entirely wrong, but not too many know that Pakhi always desired to be a heroine. She was a model to begin with, with aspirations to make it to the big screen. She even screen-tested for the Manjiri Phadnis part in Jaane Tu ...Ya Jaane Naa, and got outright rejected by Aamir Khan. “It was a terrible blow to me, because I hold him in such high esteem. He’s been my idol. I broke down completely and really believed I didn’t have it in me, precisely because it was someone like Aamir who made that call. Now I just hope he sees Jhootha Hi Sahi and if he says I’m okay in it, that will mean a lot to me,” she says emotionally.
In spite of Aamir’s rejection, Abbas took to her and asked her to assist him with the casting, “And he really demands out of you. He didn’t want the same faces one sees in television and ads. He expected me to really find people,” she says. And as one knows, the fresh casting of the film was one of the prime reasons why Jaane Tu.. came in for such enormous appreciation.
The couple also got married in the course of the film, and the spunky Pakhi on her part, started work on a script that Abbas could film immediately after Jaane Tu... Briefly, Jhootha Hi Sahi traces the friendship (and then love) between Sid and Mishka which is forged over the phone. In order to impress her though, Sid makes up several lies which to his friends are amusingly unbelievable. Caught in the web of lies, the lives of the couple go through a series of dramatic turns. The supporting cast includes actors Raghu Ram, Manasi Scott and Anaitha Nair. R Madhavan is also said to feature in the film in a cameo role.
Pakhi says the couple had several disagrements during the scripting stage, but none whatsoever during their long shooting schedule in London for the film. “Looking at the way we fought, most thought our marriage wouldn’t last. But in the end, it all came together well,” she says.
Incidentally, it was her co-star John Abraham, who heavily recommended her for this film, she says. “Abbas was apprehensive. But John liked the way I narrrated the parts and he told Abbas, ‘If you are anyway looking for a newcomer to play the part, then why not Pakhi?’ And it is true. The role does require someone with no star baggage. Abbas thought about it and finally I was cast,” she says.
The experience of working on the film was unbelievable, says Pakhi. “It’s a great feeling to be among people who want the best for you and are a constant source of support. John is incredibly generous actor, who really makes sure that his co-star is comfortable, giving his/her best. It was really unforgetable,” she gushes.
Releasing on October 22 and having music by A R Rahman (which incidentally hasn't caught on all that much), the film is a labour of love, and should be an effort to watch out for.