For every Bindiya Goswami or Zarina Wahab who may find her too overbearing and competitive to co-star with, there is a Shabana Azmi or a Neetu Singh who finds her quite easy going and co-operative.
For every S. K. Luthra (‘Khel Kismet Ka’) or Vijay Sharma (‘Gopal Krishna’) who find her too demanding and interfering an artiste to direct, there is a Basu Bhattacharya or a Raj Kumar Kohli who consider her most obedient and receptive on the sets.
For every Sachin or Mithun Chakraborty who call her an incorrigible tease, whose favourite pastime is to make majnus out of men and drop them as soon as she’s bored (and they’re hooked), there is a Vinod Mehra or a Rakesh Roshan who can’t fault her behaviour in any way.
The point now arises:
DOES SARIKA DESERVE THE ‘PROBLEM-STAR’ REPUTATION SHE HAS BEEN GIVEN?
A big NO is clearly written on both ma-beti’s faces before I can even ask the question. Initially, the mother is uptight, “We don’t want to comment on the controversies”, and the daughter pathetically, “I’m unfortunate…” at least, they are sensible (and smart) enough not to feign ignorance. Mother and daughter are fully aware of all the bak-bak that’s circulating within the industry, and aware also that none of it is complimentary!
Slowly, the nothing-bothers-me façade wears down. The real irritability, anger, hurt shows through. Sarika is too spirited a youngster to play the martyr, the woman wronged for long. Her voice rises, the pent-up words tumble out in torrents, tears rush to the blue-grey ryes.
But she makes the same (convenient) mistake that all stars with ‘reputations’ have made before her. She blames the press for all the trouble. “They have nothing else to write about me.” Sarika fumes. “I don’t swing at discos, I don’t fight with anyone on the sets, and by God’s grace, I don’t give bad performances. But since people want to read about me, the press has to write about me. So they make up things – how I use men, why I …”