CHAYANIKA CHOWDHURY AND ANULEKHA CHOWDHURY
Mother- White, Purple and Blue
Mother- Anything with rice
Daughter- Food made of potatoes
Mother- Sareng Bou, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Me Before You
Daughter- Marley & Me
Mother- Uttam Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, Mahfuz Ahmed
Daughter- Shah Rukh Khan
Mother-Srikanto Acharya, FahmidaNabi, Bappa Mazumder
Drama directed by Chayanika
Mother- Anumoti Prarthona, Nishite
Daughter- Kotha Chilo Onno Rokom
Why would you choose working behind the camera instead of choosing the limelight and focus?
Chayanika: Basically my mother wanted me to become a doctor but I got rejected in the viva examination. As I graduated from Chayanaut Sangeet Viddayatan for Rabindra Sangeet with a first class second; I went to Santi Niketon to pursue my career in Rabindra Sangeet but unfortunately my voice betrayed me again. Even now I am under treatment which started back in 2008. Later I developed interest in writing and directing and continued as a director. I never wanted to work on screen because I never felt I was pretty enough for the audience to accept me on screen, but I can always satisfy my audience with a good script and direction. But I did a few. I worked in “Ekanno Borti” and in “Ekjon Chayanika Chowdhury” by Alvi Ahmed.
Your mother has been in the industry since you can remember. Did you never feel like working with her or for her?
Anulekha: For a fact, I know media way to well and heard a lot of stories and controversies, so speaking frankly I don't like that part of the world and feel it is not for me. Everybody keeps on insisting me to work, even my mother wishes to cast me in at least one of her dramas, but I just could never grow any interest in this. Although my mother supports me in everything and never forces anything on me, I am really sorry to not be able to fulfill this dream of hers. But I like what my mother does behind the camera and respect her work; she has even worked on my stories, around 20 of them. So basically if I choose media, I will choose to be behind the camera too.
Do you feel that you get the same respect as any male director?
Chayanika: This is a wrong concept. A director does not have a gender. However, I think artists do tend to respect female directors more due to their motherly nature and structured thought process. It is not necessary thatrespect has to come based on gender, it should be based on the work they do.
Share with us a good and bad side of your daughter that you feel as a mother.
Chayanika: Her best thing to me is that she is very loyal and truthful. She shares everything with me and does not lie at all. Another thing is that she is very punctual and very sincere with whatever she does.
She has only one bad side and that is she refuses to do a lot of things we say. That actually is good because I never want my children to do things they do not want to and that reflects her truthful nature as well, but at times it takes time for me to digest that she refused to do something very small.
Tell us one good and bad side of Chayanika Chowdhury. How is she different as a director and a mother?
As a director my mother is the best, no doubt about that. However, there are a few things I do not like, for example she gets angry very easily whereas I feel she could handle some things in other ways. I also think that she gets too involved with the artists sometimes, leading to getting herself hurt.
Being a mother, I love how she balances her personal and professional life smoothly. Although being busy with her work, as a kid I never felt alone or never felt her physical need at home because she has everything I would need ready beforehand. And to her, we come first and I really want to adopt this nature of hers.