She had a big-ticket Bollywood debut in the late 90s with ‘Prem Aggan’, Fardeen Khan‘s launch vehicle. But after doing barely four films in Bollywood and working with filmmakers like Gurinder Chaddha (Bride And Prejudice) and Shyam Benegal (Hari Bhari), actress Meghna Kothari disappeared from the big screen. After her last film, 2004’s ‘Bride And Prejudice’, in which she played the character of Maya Bakshi, Meghna chose to stay away from the limelight and got married to Sandeep Chatterjee, director and head of the department of direction and screenwriting at FTII Pune. These days, she’s living in Kaladham in Greater Noida, where her mother Rita Ganguly, a classical musician and vocalist, has been staying.   “I think everything happened too soon with me. I am a trained theatre artist and as soon as I moved to Mumbai, I got to do Prem Aggan. Everything was very new to me. I am a very simple and straightforward person, but once you are a part of Bollywood, no matter how many films you do, you are expected to live in a certain way, maintain a certain lifestyle. After a point, I just didn’t want to do anything (like that), I wanted to get married and have a family,” she recounts.  Meghna adds, “Thankfully, I married someone who has an in-depth knowledge of cinema, and it is thanks to him that I got to learn so much. I always wanted to do a film appreciation course from FTII Pune, but that is not possible once you start doing films. So after getting married, I managed to do a film appreciation course from FTII Pune while we were living there. I have recently moved to Greater Noida – my nine-year-old son is studying at a school there and my husband is still in Pune.”  The former actress, who studied psychology at Delhi’s prestigious Lady Shri Ram College, says that staying in Greater Noida isn’t as bad as people told her it would be. “When I told a few people that I would be moving to Greater Noida, I was warned that the area has a high crime rate and the highway is especially unsafe, but I haven’t faced any difficulty so far. In fact, I find it better than Delhi, which is far too crowded now. Commuting from Greater Noida to Delhi is easier than commuting within Delhi! Also, the place where I am staying, Kaladham, is a government-promoted art colony where many award-winning artists live. It is very peaceful and just the kind of place I need. Also, since there are so many universities nearby, I meet many students, and it is good to get to know them,” Meghna says. The Times  of  India : 27th. May,17


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