In Betaal Aahana Kumra has a distorted face which suggests either her character in the web-series was attacked by acid, or her she was half-burnt during her mission. At any rate, Aahana seems to be satisfied with her profession, simply because she extracts a varied experience.
One moment, she can be a real princess in a castle, and with that life (of an actor) she can also be a woman in the Army, who lives inside a camp. She is happy that she can actually live up to the 'YOLO' (You Only Live Once) motto.
Are you satisfied with the roles you get now, post your immense success in Lipstick Under My Burkha?
Well, I think I have been successful in getting the kind of roles I have dreamed of, (actually I never dreamt that I would ever get these roles) and it is a great variety of roles and I feel greedy to do more. Sometimes when I watch a few good shows or a film, I go like aah, I should have played this part, or maybe how would I have played if I would have gotten this opportunity.
Any recent example?
A recent example would be from...there's this Swedish Netflix series, it was a show about women who get lured to join ISIS, wait I am just Googling the name...Caliphate, now I remember the name. I loved that show because there were many female protagonists.
It was a very interesting show, about how these young girls get lured in to join ISIS, it's not there in Netflix India, and I felt yaar aisa shows udhar kyun nehi hota hain, hum logo ko bhi aisa shows banana chaiye. It was a very interesting show.
There are many shows like this. I would have loved to play Shefali Shah's part in Delhi Crime, you want to be part of these stories because those roles are fascinating. But having said that, I am happy with the offers I am getting right now.
In Betaal, the characters talk a lot about civilisation. What is your idea of civilisation?
I don't think we have ever had a civilised society. There has always been a disparity in society. Civilised society abh kya bologe?....
(She sounded dissatisfied, unhappy with the ways of the world.)
Well, what is it that annoys you?
Obviously disparity annoys me the most. When opportunities don't go to a certain section of society, like now, what's happening, where migrants have to walk home because they don't have the money they are not getting food.
When these things happen I start questioning everything around me, I go like, is this why the lockdown has happened to show who we really are, to show our real faces? I feel a lot of things, when you come out and live in the world we are living in, it is going to break a lot of myths for a lot of people.
In a clip shared by Netflix, you were forced to carry out an encounter while you were trying to evacuate. What was your emotion at that point of time?
UMMM... I think what I feel is that sometimes you have to do to a job because it is an order. As a soldier, if you have ever dealt with an army, there are lots of things which are not right or which are really not wrong but you don't really have a say in it.
An order is an order, and as a soldier, you are supposed to follow it. I cannot defy the orders if he says shoot then you shoot. If I don't then I will be court marshalled. For a soldier, it is vital to follow your senior's orders. She doesn't agree with her senior but she does them anyway.
What have you learnt from the characters you have played?
When I worked at Lipstick, I wanted to live a decent, normal life. My takeaway was the want to be able to live big. When I saw the way Leela live, I used to live for hours in that house, and I felt that people actually stay here. You see that's the perks of being an artist, you get to live so many lives. That is why I feel that the actors are so empathetic. Sometimes, we are a princess, and sometimes I work as a beautician in Bhopal.
In Betaal, I play a very strong character, she can differentiate between right and wrong, she is very positive and brave. She is blunt, and bindass. I think my takeaway from her was that her nature, we shot in nature, we wore army uniforms, we shot with insects. It was so much fun. I worked with so many men and I did not feel that I'm a woman, I did whatever they did. I feel with each role I move forward in life, and even those characters have taught me to live a life.