India Today - - LEISURE - —Suhani Singh

When we meet at her home, Man­isha Koirala is still re­cov­er­ing from a late night wrap of The Kapil Sharma Show, which she took part in to pro­mote her up­com­ing drama, Dear Maya. Best known for her work in the 1990s, in­clud­ing films such as Bom­bay, 1942 A Love Story and Dil Se, she re­alises that, th­ese days, “pro­mot­ing a film is equally im­por­tant”, even more so if yours is a small, in­de­pen­dent film di­rected by a first-time direc­tor—in this case,

Su­naina Bhat­na­gar. “I feel it is all a lit­tle over­whelm­ing,” Koirala says with a smile. “But I know that I’d bet­ter buck up and move ac­cord­ing to the tide. I’m learn­ing.”

This year will be Koirala’s most pro­lific since she was cleared of can­cer three years ago. Her re­leases be­gin with Dear Maya, open­ing on

June 2, in which she plays a trau­ma­tised, reclu­sive woman who avoids all hu­man con­tact. “She feels unloved and un­wor­thy, and is very scared,” says Koirala of the char­ac­ter she plays. But all of that be­gins to change when she be­gins re­ceiv­ing anony­mous love let­ters.

Dear Maya aside, Koirala’s work in 2017 also in­cludes a spe­cial ap­pear­ance as Nar­gis Dutt in the Ra­jku­mar Hi­rani­di­rected San­jay Dutt biopic, which will be re­leased later this year. She also re­cently shot for a Dibakar Ban­er­jee short, for part two of Bom­bay Talkies. “I am choosy about my work,” says Koirala, who thanked cast­ing direc­tor Mukesh Ch­habra for bring­ing the first two projects to her. “I also don’t want to take on too much work.”

That’s be­cause her health takes prece­dence now. Yoga and med­i­ta­tion are an in­te­gral part of Koirala’s life. She’s al­ready plan­ning hol­i­days to Badri­nath, Kedar­nath and Kailash with her spir­i­tu­ally-in­clined friends. Even her daily rou­tine th­ese days is not all that Bol­ly­wood-friendly. “I sleep by 10 pm and wake up by 6 am,” she says. How­ever, she is will­ing to bend the rules oc­ca­sion­ally. Film­ing for Ban­er­jee’s short, for in­stance, was done through the night. “If it’s re­ally re­quired, I am will­ing to push my­self be­yond my lim­its,” she says. “I’m hun­gry for good roles. I want to ex­cel and raise my bar.”

“I’mchoosy about­my­work, butI’malso hun­gry­for­good roles.Iwantto ex­cel”

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