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“I’m running all the time”

May/14/2023 / by Abhijit Masih

Kalki Koechlin on savoring motherhood, juggling schedules, and her work in “Goldfish”

Kalki Koechlin
Kalki Koechlin. Pic courtesy Wikimedia

The NYIFF (New York Indian Film Festival) is underway this weekend with a host of stars attending the oldest and prestigious film festival screening features, documentary and short films from the Indian subcontinent. Notable among them is “Goldfish,” which stars Kalki Koechlin. And so she spoke to SEEMA about her film, her daughter and motherhood.

What has being a mother meant to you? What gives you the greatest kick about it?

Being a mother has meant a rearranging of my life, and rediscovering ways to find joy in the moment, while letting go of the past or the future. The greatest kick (apart from that first one in the womb) is witnessing my daughter’s gentle and loving gestures towards others and thinking, lucky me, I get that at home every day.

Are you back to your frenetic work schedule after your baby turned a toddler, or have you slowed down the tempo out of maternal concerns?

In some ways, I have slowed down dramatically if you look at it from the point of view of working in the industry as an actor and pumping work out all the time. But, oh boy, it doesn’t feel slow at all. I’m running all the time, I’m managing, I’m timelining, juggling and finding ways to enjoy my daughter growing up while still creating my work and finding my individuality.

What draws you to such human and realistic stories – like a person with cerebral palsy in “Margarita with a Straw” and now “Goldfish,” a film dealing with dementia?

These are the stories that make us get up in the morning. The ones that remind us of our own problems, our relationships, our loved ones, and the fact that people are everyday ordinary heroes all the time.

How was the experience working with Deepti Naval, who has played roles similar to the ones you choose?

Deeptiji is an icon in indie cinema before it was even coined as indie cinema. And her artistic nature and her unpredictability helped me stay alert and be on my toes every day on set.

What are the exciting projects you are working on?

“Kho Gaye Hum Kahin,” which is a Tigerbaby production. “Made in Heaven” Season 2. A one-woman show I’m doing on motherhood called “I’m OK.”

Which are the three most satisfying roles you have done so far?

“MWAS” (“Margarita with a Straw”). “Lucrece” (Shakespeare play at National Center for the Performing Arts, Mumbai). “Goldfish.”

NYIFF is running from May 11-14, 2023. The festival will feature more than 20 features, documentaries and shorts. One of its highlights will be Deepti Naval and Kalki Koechlin playing the lead roles in the closing film, “Goldfish.” Closing night will be on May 14 at SVA Theatre, NYC, and will include the NYIFF Awards.


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