Friday 27 February 2015


“I was very insecure” Leena Chandavarkar

Yesteryears actress Leena Chandavarkar who sizzled on the big screen is all geared for her television foray. After a hiatus of almost twenty years Leena is making a comeback to the world of acting and this time in a serial called Bhabhima.

We spoke to the charming Leena and got an insight of her life with and without the legendary Kishore Kumar and her comeback.

You will be facing the camera after 20 years. Are you nervous?
No, I am not nervous at all. I am comfortable facing the camera even after 20 years. After doing so many movies I feel very comfortable in front of camera.

Why did you choose television for a comeback, why not films?
It is not that I am doing only television. I am open to both television and films. Actually at my age it is not easy to get good and character oriented roles. I am scanning the roles that I have been offered. My only condition is that the role has to be good- be it on television or in films. I also want to produce and act in a film and so I am listening to some scripts. Let’s see when I finalise on the script.

What attracted you the most to Bhabhima?
See, it is a show about a family and their bonding. I can’t reveal much about the serial as nothing is official as yet. I have just given the consent as I really liked the role. It is yet to be signed and also the rest of the star-cast has to be decided. I will talk to you about this once everything gets finalised.

You started your Bollywood career with Rajesh Khanna and now you are reportedly doing this serial with him. How was it connecting with him after so long?
Oh! He is a wonderful actor and it is always good to be working with him. Apart from Mehboob Ki Mehndi we were also supposed to act in Kishore ji’s Mamta Ki Chanv but it was shelled due to the death of Kishore ji. Talking about the serial Rajesh ji liked the set-up. Actually it is a woman-oriented serial, so let’s see if Rajesh Khanna ji signs up the serial.

There is K for Kishore on Sony with Kishore Kumar fans participating. Does this bring back memories of your late husband?
It feels very good to know that the young generation remembers and idolises him and his work. Kishore ji always used to say that he will die only once and people will remember him forever. They will not be able to forget me. So I always used to tease him saying, “Being a Leo (4th of August) you are very egoistic.” And to this he would reply, “Leena, ghar ki murgi daal barabar hoti hai!” He was very confident that people will love him and he actually has won.

What are your fondest memories with Kishore Kumar?
He was my philosopher- guide. He believed in fighting bravely against all the odds and come out shining. He was a very strong person. He always used to say that we have got our lives for free so we must live it to the fullest. Though he created a niche for himself in comedy but personally he was a great philosopher. You know I had suffered a lot throughout my life but he was always there standing as my pillar of strength. He was an ace at fighting against difficult situations. I was very insecure about him as he had a major female fan-following. I remember once he was performing in America and suddenly some females came and kissed him. So at times I used to doubt him. But at all such concerts he used to point out to me and tell everyone present that, “Woh meri lagam baithi hai (I am under surveillance).”

Did you ever sing for him or with him at home?
I sang with Kishore ji for Shomu Mukherjee’s (Kajol’s father) film, Lover Boy. Bappi Lahiri was the music director and the song was ‘Aankhein Chura Ke Kahan Chala’. He always used to sing the song ‘Zindagi ke safar mei guzar jate hai jo mukam’ for me. As I was his fourth wife I always used to be insecure and worry if he would bring in a fifth wife. But he was a family man. For him his family and home were very important.

By Neha Maheshwri
Posted on 2 Jan 2008 7:00 pm
More Interviews Comment on Story