Producer Mahesh Bhatt has invited Rituparna Sengupta, who played Begum Jaan in the Bengali original Rajkahini, to meet his Begum Jaan Vidya Balan in Kolkata.  Aparna, looking forward to meeting her reel ‘namesake’, says, “I remember meeting Vidya when director   Srijit(Mukherji) was shooting with her in Delhi. I didn’t hand her down my experiences because I trusted her ability to do justice to Begum’s part. She’s lucky she had Rajkahini as a reference. When I had to play the part, I just had the script and my imagination.”  The actress, reportedly, was shocked to know that Vidya was the first choice for Rajkahini too. Reacting to this, Rituparna says, “As far as I remember, Srijit had told me that he couldn’t see anyone other than me as Begum in Rajkahini. I was bruised and had lost my voice for days while shooting. So, I really don’t know if he had other choices, too, but the pain was worth it because Mahesh (Bhatt) and Vidya had praised my performance back then.”  When asked what she thinks of the Hindi version, she says, “I can make out that it’s similar to Rajkahini but it has its own soul and face.”  The Times of India : 9th. Apr,17


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