By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 01, 2019
Sahher Bambba is a small town girl from Shimla who has worked hard to get a break in Bollywood. By her own admission, she says she was lucky to get her big break when there are so many talented people around struggling to get in. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas may not have got positive feedback and reviews, but the girl is confident that the whole unit put in their best efforts. A nature lover, a trained Kathak dancer who loves her food and yoga, Sahher bubbles with enthusiasm when we meet her.
Opening Doorz to Miss Sahher!
How would you describe your day leading to September 20; your first Friday in Bollywood.
I was very anxious. The energy around us was that of nervousness. I remember we had butterflies in our stomach and Rocky and I lost our appetite. Both of us were so excited and at the same time we did not know what to expect.
Who is Rocky?
[Laughs] Rocky is Karan Deol’s pet name.
How was it when the news/reviews started trickling in?
Actually, my experience in the past few years has been very amazing. I have worked with the best people possible. The outcome of the film was no big deal. I was just satisfied with the whole experience of being a part of this project. It was beautiful. We were all working towards a good outcome, we did our best.
Were you disappointed by the reviews, were you expecting a better response?
We were definitely expecting the reviews to be different. Having said that, everybody is entitled to their opinion. Some liked it, some did not.
Are you angry or upset with the reviewers?
[Laughs] I’m definitely not angry with the reviewers. At the end of the day, they also are an audience. They have their opinion, which is OK.
What has been the response from within the industry to you?
Fortunately, it has been great. I’m very grateful to all the people who have liked my work. As an actor, we thrive on love and appreciation. I feel blessed to have gotten such amazing feedback.
How have your parents reacted to seeing you on screen?
I did not tell the storyline to my parents. I just wanted them to go to the theatre and watch me. I wanted an unbiased perspective. After they came out during the interval, I was waiting for their reaction. It was a different energy around them. They were happy to see me on the big screen and happy with my work.
How did your journey to Bollywood begin?
I came to Mumbai after finishing my schooling in Shimla in July 2016. I was always interested in the glamour world and there weren’t many opportunities in Shimla. I got into Jai Hind College and was living in Churchgate, Mumbai, in a hostel with 10 other girls. Accommodation and transport were a huge issue. I used to take the local train from Churchgate to Aaram Nagar in Andheri, everyday for auditions. Eight months into college, around February 2017, I learnt about the auditions for Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas and I gave it a shot. The whole process took a month-and-a-half by the time I was finalised.
What was your first impression of Rocky?
Rocky came across as someone very reticent and shy, very cute. It took us some time to break the ice as both of us are very reserved in nature. Our friendship was very gradual. Today, we are very good friends and are definitely friends for life.
And your impression about his dad, Sunny Deol?
I remember when I met Sunny Sir for the first time; he made me feel so comfortable. We developed a rapport over a period of time and he was the first person I would go to on the sets whenever I had any doubts. He was very patient with both of us and he guided us very well.
How was it riding piggy back on Rocky in the film doing those stunts?
[Laughs] It was quite tedious for me as well. All the stunts were done by us, there were no doubles. We shot in sub-zero conditions. The water would have become ice in the morning. It was pretty inhuman. Sunny Sir is a hard taskmaster. We would have to check early in the morning, 45 minutes before shoot began. There was no network. After shoot we would all run to the mountain top to get a signal and make calls.
Any other films signed up?
No, nothing right now; meetings are happening but nothing that I can speak of officially.
So you live alone in the city?
Yes, I have moved from Churchgate to Andheri which is where all the work is centered. My mother keeps coming down quite often and fortunately, no more train travels!
Tell us something about your experience of travelling daily in trains?
I had heard so much of the Mumbai local trains, that they are the most convenient mode of transportation… people were punching and purposely. I just had to stand and I would be pushed in the train and when I had to alight, I would be pushed out. It was a mess, very chaotic. Eventually, I got the hang of it—I did not know there was a special compartment for the ladies!
So were the ladies in the compartment any accommodating than those in the common compartment?
[Laughs] The ladies compartment wasn’t easier; it feels a little better because there are women around. But the women also push you, and how!
Now that the stress of the Friday is gone, how would you handle the Friday of your next release?
I think it is inevitable to feel anxiety and be a little nervous. I’m a lot more prepared now as to what to expect and what not to. The first time around I was clueless.
Is it easy or difficult for a person with no connection in Bollywood to break through?
Most definitely difficult—I have had my own share of ups and downs before bagging my big role. I was lucky to have got this opportunity. There are so many talented people around trying to get a break. It is not easy for anyone who is not from the industry.
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