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Home > Movies > Bollywood News

Meet Blue Umbrella's Biniya

Patcy N | August 08, 2007 16:24 IST

Shreya Sharma

She was not interested in acting but she made her debut as the 10-year-old Biniya in Vishal Bhardwaj's The Blue Umbrella, which also starred Pankaj Kapur.

Two years after the film was made, Shreya Sharma, now 14, is the toast of Fagli, her hometown near Shimla. Her role as a village girl in the film based on the Ruskin Bond novella of the same name has made her very popular.

But it was not all fun and games for her.

During the shooting, Shreya, a student of Sacred Heart Convent School who lives in a joint family, missed an exam on one of her shooting schedules. Her next schedule coincided with exams as well. But, fortunately for her, the school was very cooperative.

"The principal allowed me to go on the promise that I will be good in my studies," Shreya said.

But how did she land the role? Thanks to her aunts, said Shreya. She had done a few programmes for All India Radio, thanks to one of her aunts. When the auditions for The Blue Umbrella were announced, Shreya's aunt informed her dad. At first, he was against sending Shreya but relented after another aunt stepped in.

None of them were optimistic about the auditions. Shreya was given two pages of dialogues during the audition. She was, understandably, very nervous. But in the end, she got the part and she was off to Mumbai.

Shreya Sharma"I was shocked when I reached Mumbai because I never imagined there would be many people and so much pollution!" Shreya recalled. 

"I always thought that it was a seaside area so it would be pleasant. But when I came I did not see the sea. The first time I landed at the airport, I was greeted with a blast of hot air. In Shimla, the air is cold and it was quite a shock," she added. She was in Mumbai for a week.

Shreya was treated very nicely on the sets. "Vishal (Bhardwaj, director) uncle was very polite and positive. He never scolded me. When I did scene badly, he would say it is very good but something is missing and that we should do it again. Everyone was very friendly. My scenes and dialogues were mostly explained and taught to me by assistant directors," she said.

Shreya was all praise for all her co-stars too, particularly Pankaj Kapur. "I enjoyed working with Pankaj uncle. He is too good and has a great sense humour. He always advised me how to do a scene and how to use my expressions," Shreya said.

Shreya Sharma and Pankaj KapurBut there was a song sequence that she could not get right and needed a few retakes. Except for that particular shot, shooting was a great experience for her, the girl said with a smile.

There were quite a few funny incidences during the shoot. One in particular, she revealed, was when the character who plays Tikku, Shreya's best friend in the movie, asks for the umbrella. Instead of saying 'Biniya Biniya jara chhatri dena,' he said, 'Shreya Shreya jara chhatri dena.'

Shreya said she is confused about her future plans. She wants to pursue her dream of becoming a biotechnologist. She is not so sure if acting is her thing.

"I have not gotten any other offers after The Blue Umbrella nor did I try for any movie," she said. "But I would love to act in a good movie if given the chance."