Konkona Sen Sharma is a reclusive actor. She is rarely seen or heard in public. ‘Well, I don’t like to be photographed. I don’t like being looked at,’ she says.
She has been missing of late from the Hindi film scene, choosing to focus on Bengali cinema, but this year she is back with Talvar and a couple more projects. One of them is Saari Raat – her mother Aparna Sen’s Hindi film based on a play by Badal Sircar.
But Sen Sharma is also a director in her own right. In 2006, she directed a Bengali short film titled Naamkaran (The Naming) which has rarely been seen or heard of since it was first shown at the Kala Ghoda Film Festival in Mumbai. Although Sen Sharma says she is a long way off from making a full-length feature, her short film is a teaser of things to come.
Naamkaran tells the story of two sisters – one a pickpocket and the other a teacher by profession. Shot in Kolkata in winter, it follows the journey of the two sisters as their worlds collide to make ends meet. Sen Sharma handles the quirky subject with a degree of authority, choosing not to dwell on drama and allowing events to narrate the story.
That's not where Sen Sharma's tryst with the short form ends. She has also starred in another short – Nayantara’s Necklace – a 20-minute film which was shown at the New York Indian Film Festival earlier this year and is soon to be released in India. Set in Mumbai, Nayantara's Necklace explores the friendship between Alka (Tillotama Shome) and her neighbour Nayantara (Konkona Sen Sharma), who has recently returned from Dubai. Their friendship soon turns into obsession as Alka finds herself wanting to be more like Nayantara.