Home India Exclusive: Ci...

Exclusive: Cinema enables Anuritta to Find and Lose herself at the same time

Winning the beauty pageant gave Anuritta a perfect launchpad in Mumbai's modelling world

0
Anuritta (in middle) with other members of Film Mithila Makhaan. Image source: Champaran Studio
 -by Shillpi A Singh
NewsGram presents an exclusive tête-à-tête with the cast and crew of this year’s National Award winning Maithili film, Mithila Makhaan. In the fifth part of the series, Shillpi A Singh caught up with the film’s female lead Anuritta K Jha. In a freewheeling chat, the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed three films old model-turned-actor tells us about the literary background of her famous family, the highs as an actor of Hindi and regional language cinema, and gives a sneak peek into her forthcoming movies and much more.  
“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart!” is how actor Anuritta K Jha would like to be introduced to all and sundry.
Born in a family of litterateurs, Anuritta spent her early years in Katihar, Bihar and moved to Pilani in Rajasthan for schooling, and from there she landed in New Delhi to study fashion. And all through her growing up years, she was fascinated with the glitz and glamour that came along as a perk for a model. “I always wanted to be a model,” she said, with a childish grin.
Gifted with a beautiful visage, chiselled body and towering height, she became a sought-after name in the fashion world. Soon, she was all over, you name it, and she’s been there, done that! A popular face in Delhi’s modelling circuit in the mid-Naughties, she made a grand entry in the City of Dreams by winning Channel V’s Get Gorgeous contest in 2006.
Follow NewsGram at Twitter: @newsgram1
Winning the beauty pageant gave her a perfect launchpad in Mumbai’s modelling world. “It gave me an opportunity to explore, learn and grow in this industry.” From being a fashion student to a fashion model, it had been a smooth transition for her, and she soon set eyes on the big screen. “It was an expected move, barely a matter of when and not why for me,” she said. Her ardent suitor, success followed here as well.
Anuritta's dad. Image source: Champaran Studio
Anuritta’s dad. Image source: Champaran Studio
Dad’s the Word
If Anuritta’s granddad Upendra Nath Jha ‘Vyas’, Sahitya Akademi Award winner and first Chief Engineer of Bihar, has left behind an enviable literary legacy with his remarkable contribution to Maithili literature, her parents — Dr Shailendra K Jha and Dr Bhanu Jha — have done that as acclaimed economists. That’s quite a legacy. Her paternal uncles are academicians and litterateurs par excellence. “As a kid, my grandfather used to make all the children assemble in the courtyard and recite Shlokas in Sanskrit. It seemed such a futile exercise way back then, but now I realise that he intended all of us to stay closer to our roots and take pride in our culture and language,” said Anuritta about her fondest childhood memories.
Follow NewsGram at Facebook: NewsGram
She is currently reading Du Patra, her grand father’s Sahitya Akademi Award-winning novel in Maithili. Her favourite though is father’s Economic Heritage of Mithila that stood her in good stead for her role of a girl from the Mithilanchal region in Mithila Makhaan. Coming from a close-knit family, she is extremely close to her father and elder brother Anshuman. “They are my best friends and will dole out a sincere and honest advice without being judgemental.” She owes her success to her family for being so progressive and supportive. “I am who I am because of my family,” she said with a lot of pride. Indeed, she ought to be proud; in small measures, she has contributed to Maithili films on its 50th anniversary, much like her famous family has done to the Maithili language.
A still from the film. Image source: Champaran Studio
A still from the film. Image source: Champaran Studio
Film circuit
“You cannot walk a straight line without a fixed point to follow,” she said on foraying into films, adding, “I consistently love to challenge myself.”
After winning the Get Gorgeous contest, she joined Atul Kasbekar’s modelling agency, Matrix. Reminiscing those days, she said, “It was a stepping stone of sorts.” As a model, she had been the face of umpteen products, but it was a television commercial for a face wash that made Anuritta give a second thought to acting as a career in 2010. She courted this passion by pursuing some acting courses and attending theatre workshops with Neeraj Kabi, her guru. It was a beautiful dalliance that reaped rich rewards when she made her dream debut with maverick filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2. Being from Bihar worked to her advantage. Though she had a measly role in the gang war drama, she managed to steal the show with her docile act as Shama Parveen, a character who adds to the rivalry between two families, and takes the plot forward. “I had auditioned for the role, and Anurag Kashyap liked my performance, and before I could realise, I was in the cult film as Shama Parveen. Initially, it seemed like a dream, and I had to pinch myself to make sure that it was indeed true.”
Follow NewsGram at Facebook: NewsGram
Filmmaker, actor and writer Zeishan Quadri, who had penned the gangster saga of rage, rivalry, and retribution, said, “In Anuritta’s case, beauty isn’t only skin-deep. She’s strong because she knows her weakness, she’s beautiful because she’s aware of her flaws and she is wise enough to learn from her mistakes. She’s constantly evolving, and the best is yet to come.” But a perfectionist to the core, this Virgo loves to give her best to the role that she essays on the screen. She doesn’t shy away from calling herself a keen student, always eager and anxious to learn the nuances of acting. “I attend acting workshops now and then. I love to indulge myself by doing meaningful theatre. It helps me learn the art better. I find it educative, informative, and motivating.”
Mithila Makhaan that won National Award for best Regional Film.
Mithila Makhaan that won National Award for best Regional Film.

Staying rooted

Fresh from the success of Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2, she landed the lead role in Mithila Makhaan, her most-talked about outing so far. In the Maithili film, she essayed the role of Maithili, a fine arts graduate who lives true to her name by returning to her village and running an NGO for the promotion of Mithila paintings and in the process happens to provide a decent livelihood to thousands of rural women. She shows her strength and attitude when she tells the male protagonist, Kranti, who is based in Toronto that “It takes a lot of courage to leave behind a life of luxury in foreign shores and settle in the village”. As a parting gift, she gifted him a beautiful painting depicting the plight of those affected by the Kosi deluge that forces the lead actor to take a call and return to his motherland for “if he doesn’t, then who will work to make it a better place for others”. It is a film that highlights the best of the region and gave Anuritta an opportunity to connect with her mother tongue, and appreciate the beauty of the beautiful language.
Made on a modest budget, Mithila Makhaan shows her in a deglam avatar. She is dressed in ordinary cotton salwar-kameez and sans any make-up. Her role will surely redefine the very meaning of that oft-used word. Buoyed by its success, she said, “I am keeping my options open for regional language cinema. The role has to be emphatic, and the story has to meaningful.”
anuritta-jugni
A Perfect Note
Her next, Jugni, was written and directed by Shefali Bhushan, and released in January 2016. The movie was based in Punjab, and Anuritta essayed the role of Preeto, a Sikh girl who lives in a village and is madly in love with Mastana. It is an out and out musical film, and though Preeto has no sense of music, it becomes synonymous with Mastana and her unconditional love for him. The entry of another character leaves her shattered. “The film explored myriad emotions through music and connected it soulfully with beautiful songs. It is a story of how letting go of someone in love is more fulfilling than clinging on to it. My role as Preeto was quite taxing emotionally, and I had to learn Punjabi. It was a great learning experience, and I am happy to be part of it.” The film is all set for an international premiere at the prestigious London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) to be held in July.
Arunitta in Moonlight Night Cafe
Arunitta in Amit Mishr’s Moonlight Night Cafe
She has just finished three other interesting short films that are ready for release. An exciting project that she’s kicked about is Amit Mishr’s Moonlight Cafe, a mockumentary following the misadventures of the unlovely Abhimanyu Gujjar from Mumbai to Dharamkot in Himachal Pradesh. It boasts of an international cast and crew. Apart from these, two other films are expected to go on the floors later this year.
Follow NewsGram at Twitter: @newsgram1
For a layman, Anuritta comes across as a beautiful Mithila painting, sans shading, full of bright and vivacious colours, depicting the best from the region and reflecting her connect with the land. And just like the paintings where a double line is drawn for outlines, representing the favourable and unfavourable circumstances, and the gap is filled with either cross or tiny straight lines, she is here to fill the gap between the two extremes with her realistic cinematic portrayals. The reason, she said, “It is because I know what I am doing, love what I am doing and believe in what I am doing.”
 (In the next part of the series, we will introduce the film’s music director. Stay tuned!)
The author can be reached at shilpi.devsingh@gmail.com 
ALSO READ: 

Next Story

This Quarantine Centre is A Place To Delight: Filled with Music, Yoga and a Menu of choice

This COVID-care centre in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan offers music, meditation, aerobics along with the choicest of the menu for the people staying there!

0
Quarantine centre
Rajasthan's quarantine centre has emerged as a role model by setting up new benchmarks. Pixabay

BY ARCHANA SHARMA                                                                                                  A COVID-care centre in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan has emerged as a role model by setting up new benchmarks as it offers music, meditation, aerobics along with the choicest of menu for the people staying here!

Called as Parda Chundawat Quarantine Centre, it has set example by creating a serene environment where people wake up listening to soothing music. Then, there are Yoga and meditation classes where they exercise to shoo off negativity from their mind.

In fact, the daily schedule of those admitted here is quite impressive. They wake up listening to melodious bhajans at 6 a.m. Soon after, there are two yoga classes — one for the people who love to do indoor exercise while the other for those who are interested to do yoga under open sky.

All guidelines of social distancing are followed by the people while performing yoga.

Soon after Yoga, they go for aerobics where they stretch their body rhythmically on different music beats. Thereafter, they get breakfast of their choice and are served lunch in the afternoon. As they take nap in afternoon, the evening time at 5 p.m. awaits for another interesting activity where they listen to their favourite songs of renowned singers including Kishore Kumar, Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mangeshkar amongst others, while sitting together.

Qurantine centre
This COVID-care centre in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan has emerged as a role model. Pixabay

Special games and activities are available for kids which include spelling, synonyms, pronunciation, painting etc. Kids find this environment really engaging, says Sabhla sub divisional officer Manish Faujdar who is in charge of this centre.

Also, there are psychological experts who help in counselling. “People coming here are quite worried about their future life, their spouses and families. These counsellors help them connect to meditation with scientific facts which make them feel joyful and relieves them of their stress,” says Chhaya Choubisa, assistant director, Information and public relations, Dungarpur.

Faujdar says that when admitted, these people were quite aggrieved and angry. “We saw an unseen fear in their eyes and mind. Therefore, we introduced a few activities which can make them relieved from their stress, offering mental peace to them. We wanted to divert their attention and hence launched music therapy. We connected the music system to youTube where there were bhajans in morning, filmy songs in the evening and Aarti and patriotic songs later. Eventually, their anger vanished and they look joyful now with no stress or anger seen amongst them.”

Also Read: Caring For The Elderly, Tackling Old-age and Loneliness in The Times Of COVID

District collector Kanaram also visited this place and praised these innovations. (IANS)

Next Story

Pixar Introduces it’s First Gay Lead Character in Animation Genre

Pixar unveiled the first gay lead character in the animation film "Out"

0
Pixar_logo_21
Pixar premiered the LGBTQ-themed short film "Out" on Disney+ streaming service. Wikimedia Commons

Pixar Animation Studios has created animation genre history with its short film “Out”. The studio introduces its first gay lead character in the film. AS a part of social media advantages, the teaser was posted on the official Twitter account.

The Disney-owned computer-generated animation studio premiered the LGBTQ-themed short film on Disney+ streaming service as part of its more experimental SparkShorts program, reports dailymail.co.uk.

The nine-minute film follows a man named Greg who is trying to hide his sexuality from his parents, and attempts to remove traces of his boyfriend Manuel ahead of a visit from his parents.

The official Twitter account of the streaming platform posted a ‘heartwarming’ teaser of the film.

In the clip, Greg, who has a thick red beard, is seen trying to talk himself into coming out to his parents.

human-rights Pixar
The film is nine minutes long and follows a man named Greg who is gay. (Representational Image). Pixabay

“Just look them in the eyes and say, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m…”, he said in the clip before he gets interrupted by his parents, who ring the doorbell.

Also Read: Eid Celebrations Amid Coronavirus are Different

The short film is the first Pixar release to feature a gay lead character, and it is also the first time Disney has featured an animated gay main character.

However, the official synopsis of the movie makes no mention of the word ‘gay’ and or Greg’s sexuality. The term is not used in the clip either, but a loved-up photograph of Greg and his boyfriend hints at the fact.

Pixar didn’t release a film with an openly gay character until “Onward” earlier this year, which featured Lena Waithe voicing the small role of a female police officer who references having a girlfriend. (IANS)

Next Story

Domestic Violence Escalates in Bihar Amid Lockdown

Bihar sees surge in domestic violence

0
tears
There is a significant increase in domestic violence cases in Bihar amid the lockdown. Pixabay

The enforcement of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus has put one vulnerable group more at risk in Bihar.

Domestic violence has escalated in the state as women confined to their homes during the lockdown have no escape from their abusers.

Former Bihar Youth Congress leader Lalan Kumar on Tuesday said, “The cases of domestic violence against women have seen a dramatic rise in all the police stations records in the state since the imposition of lockdown. This shows police inaction while the state has a shortage of women staff in all the stations.”

“Recently the National Commission for Women (NCW) released a figure which says that in March alone, the commission registered 587 complaints in connection with domestic violence”, Kumar said.

Domestic Abuse
Women are confined to their homes during the lockdown and hence have no escape from their abusers. Pixabay

He demanded from the state government that women police personnel should be appointed in each police station as soon as possible.

Read More: Now Buy Galaxy Smartphones with Samsung Finance+ Home Delivery Service

Kumar said, “A spate of rape cases has also been reported in the state during the lockdown. A minor girl was gang raped by five youths in Darbhanga on May 8. On the same day, another gang rape of a minor girl in Kishanganj also came to light. On May 1, a minor girl in the state capital was raped.”

Though arrests were made in some cases, but in the maximum number of such incidents the criminals were still at large, he alleged. (IANS)