What is you favourite track from the film?
Itís hard to say because all the songs have their own charm whether itís the song in New York or itís the song where I am performing on stage after I come first time to India. Bulbul I think is very peppy and Indian but there is so many layers to that song because the whole story is told in that song. There is ďOh Re PiyaĒ which is a very slow number.
What was the experience like working with Salim Suleman?
I think Salim Suleman they both are a very talented because this story needed them to have a range of different kind of music because it starts in New York it comes to India. Then there is a very rustic kind of a number which is Bulbul and there is also a slow song in the movie which is very melodious there is a western number and so they had to be very flexible and they had to have that kind of range and they do. They have done justice to every song.
Can you tell us something about the character you play in this film.
The character I play is Diya who is extremely strong she is very independent and she has to leave her village, she actually elopes with someone she falls in love with and she tryís to make a life for herself in New York where she realizes that the person she ran away with is not the same, somewhere she realizes that this not what she had come for, she has a child. She is a choreographer who makes a life for herself out there she works like exactly what her guru was to her and she is to the others and then when she has to come back her whole journey when she comes back to her town where people donít like her anymore and how she tries to save something that is very close to her heart, something that she believes in and how she stands by it and how she seeís the whole mission thru is what the movie is about. So I see her as a very intelligent and a very strong person who doesnít sit and cry about her problems but instead takes everything bang on and says lets go ahead from here. She is a very positive person who always looks forward to life and she believes in the spirit of people, she believes that goodness exist and everybody has a good side and something good comes out of it.
What was it about the script that made you decide on doing this film?
First of all I think itís a story of believing in something and standing by it and Its a very feel good kind of a movie, itís a very positive movie and also that its very relevant in todayís times where you see western culture taking over everywhere else and our own roots are kind of fading away like theater especially is kind of a dying art today and something needs to be done to revive it. So I think itís like basically going back to your values, your roots and back to your culture and I think thatís very relevant today.
Can you tell something about how this offer came to you and what made you decide to do this film.
It all started with my performance at Filmfare and thatís where Yashji saw me and said that would you be interested in working again. It was just a conversation like that I never thought about it seriously and then I happened to meet Aditya Chopra when I had come to see the studios and we just got talking and I think thatís when something clicked in Adiís head and he had some subject with him for a long time thatís what I came to know later because they didnít tell me anything then. After which I left for Denver then my secretary Rikkuji got in touch with me saying they have a subject for me and then I just kind of had an idea of it and I quite liked the gist of what he had given and then told me that he would send me he script then Adi came over to Denver just to tell me what he had in mind and I thought it to be a very good subject, its also very relevant to where I am right now and also I have worked with Yashji before in ďDil to Pagal HaiĒ and I knew they are extremely professional and when say they will be complete a film in four months they will do and also I have very high regards for Yashji and I know that whatever product they make they make sure they do a good job of it so I had that confidence in them as a filmmaker also and as people, They have also worked with married artist so there was a kind of a comfort for me to work with them so there were many such factors that went into deciding for me to love to do this film.
How different is it working with YRF after 10yeras now?
Yash Raj Films has always been very organized even 10 years back but now I would say they are super organized, they are like 10 steps ahead of what they were and itís always a delight to work with them again. Its funny I always wanted to work with Anil Mehta before but in a different capacity, I wanted him as a cameraman for one of my projects and it didnít happen at that time so I think god had different plans then in his mind. Itís been a wonderful experience. When I did Dil To Pagal Hai I had a lovely time working with them and even today Yashji has kept his standards and also built this beautiful studio. Itís been a beautiful experience working with them
Was making a comeback a difficult decision.
Well yes one is scared when you making a comeback because everything you do, you want it to be the best, because there is a lot of speculation on what subject should be, what kind of role Madhuri should do and you there is a lot of expectation also there is a lot of genuine happiness from different people I have met and that they are genuinely happy to see me do a movie after a long time so there is a lot of expectation that rest on the shoulders and that kind of can weigh you down sometimes, whether this will be a right kind of a move and Whether people will like me in this kind of a role and stuff like that but when we were working it was such a beautiful experience through out that I had to keep my fingers crossed that people like the movie. Yes itís always a difficult decision to work again after a long time also because I have two kids now its not just my responsibility towards my film its also the babies now. There was always an apprehension about how they will adjust to Bombay because they have never lived here for along stretch of time so in that sense it was a little scary to come here and shoot and hope they enjoy but they really had fun. My older son has started speaking in Hindi, singing Hindi songs. Out there we are not in touch with Hindi films but here they watched a few movies and they are getting use to the filmy clout.
What was it like working with Anil Mehta?
Itís been wonderful, I used to always think I am the only patient person in the world and that I am very mellow but When I worked with Anil Mehta I realized there is another person who is much more patient than I am much calmer then I am and that has helped me a lot because heís always been very patient even if we are shooing in the sun or the worst weather in whatever situation we are he has always been calm he has been a pillar to all actors and since I wanted to do a film with him before It was wonderful to work with him finally and I am glad that I worked with him in this capacity as a director because he understands performances and he is also a big help when you perform, he knows exactly what he wants, what the shot is going to be and he never hesitated to tell me that lets take it a little higher or lower also he is very flexible that if I wanted to do something he would let me go ahead and do it, He has not been rigid that he wants it only in a particular way but he understands performance and thatís been the biggest help in this film.
What was the experience like working with Vaibhavi Merchant?
I think with Vaibhavi its been a challenge for her as well because I have worked with different choreographers like Saroj Khan,Chinni Prakash,Prabhudeva and so many other people and they have always been like Madhuri Dixit dances and she has to compete with all the background that I have had and yet make it look little different that its her style, itís a different choreographer who is giving me the dance steps and also she had a wide range in this movie from Western dancing to Indian to Rustic. I must say that she has come off with flying colours and has done a very good job in all the songs and I enjoyed working with her. She is very bright and quick.
Can you tell us a little about your look in the film.
The look is different because I am playing the woman who has spent like a good 10 years abroad and she has made a place for herself there, she is a choreographer and her whole attitude is that it is a manís world kind of a thing. Sheís not very feminine or delicate so she has to look her part through out the movie where as when she is dancing or when she is doing nothing she fits into a different role all together so I think that was the biggest challenge for Manish for it to look constantly like that sheís not a frail or a delicate women and that sheís out there, tough and to give that look without being over the top and keeping a balance so its like a mixture of everything and that had to be brought across throughout the movie and we have successfully managed to do that.
Can you tell us about the sets that was created for this film.
It was small town created called Shamali right there in film city and at the end of Shamli was the theater Ajanta,which is the pillar of the story everything revolves around it and they have done it so beautifully it was very refreshing to go there and see one storey houses like you have in small towns which was very pleasantly made, the little gallis that you miss out on these days, little shops lining the gallis and the changes that happen once I leave Shamli and come back after 10 years, all the changes that have happen in 10 years suddenly the little town looks very different because itís got these jazzy looking things happening there like new mobile shops etc,I think they did a brilliant job with that we were so comfortable in that village that it became a part of our lifeís in those 4 months and everybody kind of got attached to it.
How do you prioritize your personal and professional life?
I have my priorities right my kids are my first concern even when I was working I made sure they were comfortable so I donít have to worry about anything once I go on the sets.Yashji was very sweet he made a play area incase they incase they come on sets they can go and play while I am shooting their grandparents are here my mother in-law came in and supported for sometime she came and stayed here with them so that they are kind of well settled so everybody has been so supportive my husband came twice to be with the kids for a good 10-15 days because I had all this support around me it became possible for me to shoot without any tension on my head and I think my kids enjoyed themselves getting pampered meeting my cousins who have kids their age, they are socializing watching movies and having fun. Its been great for them as well they have opened up, broadened their horizons and learnt different languages