Bhai voh foreigner ladki Dev D vali? Is what many of my friends would say as soon as I take the name of Kalki Koechlin. Of course, they are partly right taking a drop at their memory anchor of Kalki’s vulnerable, rebellious and earthly portrayal of Chandramukhi in DevD. As for myself, my harmless virtual stalking of Kalki would traverse through her other unforgettable projects as well. Be it the dazed troubled girl in Shaitan, or the spunky and strong daughter on a mission in A Girl In The Yellow Boots, to the recent suave yet imploding role of a doting wife in The Waiting, Kalki grew from strength to strength. And perhaps, that’s why at a career span of about 7 to 8 years, and at the age of just 32, she has become one of the greatest assets to the Indian cinema. As someone somewhere said, “Kalki is a thinking man’s Deepika.” Hence, it was imperative that I write about her and list out things that I absolutely and unequivocally love about her. And of course why she remains to be my greatest crush:
Kalki And Her Unconventional Aura:
The foreigner ladki, so to speak, is actually of a French decent. Fun fact: She is a descendant of Maurice Koechlin, a French structural engineer, who played a major role in the design and construction of the Eiffel Tower. Yup. Carrying on, she is a multilinguist who can speak about five languages. Also, did you know Kalki is more proficient in Tamil than Hindi? And of course, when you are someone who can practically converse with people from any part of the country, you surge miles ahead in your desirability factor. That apart, there’s a beguiling Aura about her which is very hard to escape from. Perhaps, some literary student will do a 1000 page thesis on ‘Kalki and her Why About’ and throw some light on why she has that strange, captivating presence about her. It’s unnervingly poetic. From what I can understand, the self-made woman, (who gives not a single damn to what the world thinks about her and never affirms to any stereotype at all), that she is, there is an undertone of melancholy about her which perhaps defines her. Much like Da Vinci’s Monalisa. But that’s just the poet in me trying to weave an alluring tale about Kalki. To the brainiac in me, she’s a whole lot more.
Kalki Koechlin And Her Dark Roles:
One looks at her repertoire of work, and you know why she is considered one of the biggest talents we have. Perhaps, it was her unconventional looks that restricted her from going the commercial way. But then, who the heck is complaining. That’s how destiny plays out right? It would have been an upending disaster if she took the mainstream route. Thankfully for us, she chose to do movies like Shanghai, Margarita With A Straw, Ek Thi Daayan, Waiting and the upcoming A Death In The Gunj, which redefined the fabric of Indian cinema. Her accolades, of course, don’t just lay pretty in the movie circuit. She’s an assertive force at the Indian theater scene, as well. Her highly acclaimed plays include – Skeleton Woman, Color Blind ( based on Rabindranath Tagore’s material ), What’s Done Is Done, which have been lauded by the critics and audience over the years.
Kalki And Her Acclamation:
If you aren’t in love with her yet? Let us help you with the following facts about Kalki which will melt your heart instantly:
- Kalki Koechlin, after completing her schooling at the age of 18, she moved to London and studied drama and theater at Goldsmiths, University of London. There, she worked for two years with the theater company Theatre of Relativity, writing The Rise of the Wild Hunt and performing in plays such as David Hare’s The Blue Room and Marivaux’s The Dispute. She worked as a waitress on weekends. Talk of biopic stuff. You’ve got everything here, all the stuff you need.
- Kalki won the coveted Filmfare Best Debut Award for the film DevD, in which she played a trite young girl who becomes a prostitute after a series of unfortunate events.
- Her excellent penmanship got to the fore when she co-wrote The Girl In Yellow Boots, alongside director Anurag Kashyap. But this was just the filmy start point of it. In 2009, Kalki had won Hindu’s The Metroplus Playwright Award along with Prashant Prakash for The Skeleton Woman. The play is a modern adaptation of an Inuit folk tale about a writer; Koechlin played the protagonist’s wife.
- She also co-wrote Colour Blind, a play that attempts to rediscover different aspects of the personality of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore through his life and writings. In dual roles, Koechlin plays the Argentine writer and intellectual Victoria Ocampo (a close associate of Tagore), and a young woman who is writing a research paper on him. How great is that?
- Of course, the pinnacle of awards recognition came to her, when in 2016, for her portrayal of a spunky girl suffering from Cerebral Palsy, she took home the National Award For Best Actress ( Jury ).
- In a recent interview with a national newspaper, she spoke about being sexually abused at the age of 9. Always one to speak her mind, Kalki emphasized the need to come out and to voice our opinions. A torch bearer of societal upliftment Kalki has been involved with many NGO’s over the year in doing her part in bettering our community. She was also the brand ambassador of the “Cinema For Care” section, aimed at creating awareness about disability issues at the All Lights India International Film Festival (ALIIFF) held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in November 2015
Seriously man, if you aren’t in awe of Kalki right now, there’s something seriously wrong with you. I could go on and do a book on her, but then hey, we do what we can.
Here’s wishing her a more fantastic journey ahead. Kalki Koechlin, you rock..!!