Filmmaker Nardeep Khurmi on the Complexity of Sikh Representation in new Short Film ‘Pagg’

PAGG Featured - Nardeep Khurmi
[Photo Source: Pagg / Facebook]

Look, I am a diaspora kid just like many of us, I was born in New York and lived between NYC and Arizona during a post 9-11 America that made turbans synonymous with terrorism. Actor and filmmaker, Nardeep Khurmi has taken the hate-filled sentiments that perpetuate our countries and translated those emotions into a short film titled “Pagg.” It’s a film that despite its brevity, tugged at my heartstrings with its relatable and very real storyline.

It brings me insurmountable joy to say that in my experience, the general sentiment towards my Sikh community is changing in places like Arizona, where just nine years ago, the “towel head” mentality was very, very painfully real.

While there is an increase in hate crimes and religiously motivated violence in North America, I believe that education and information are part of the solution.

We should all know by now what is under a pagg (HAIR, GUYS, IT’S JUST HAIR!), but I wanted to find out from Nardeep the inspiration behind his “Pagg.”

PAGG Image 2 - Nardeep Khurmi
[Photo Source: Pagg / Facebook]

When did “Pagg” come into conception, and how?

‘Pagg’ came into conception as a result of the 2016 election cycle. There was so much anger, hatred, and fear bubbling up to the surface, and like many, I had hoped it was an anomaly. After the election, the frequency of hate crimes towards South Asians grew to a degree I hadn’t seen since 9/11. This was alarming, especially because the news would mention one event and then quickly move onto the next. Things changed when a shooting in Kansas City hit the cultural zeitgeist and was reported on for the better part of a week. I don’t want to go into the details, but the gist was that the assailant was bold enough to scream ‘get out of my country’ while opening fire on an Indian man in a bar. It was hard for me to shake the growing dread that all this was becoming the norm.

This type of rhetoric had even crawled back into my own life. I’ve dealt with my own racially charged encounters, but I was taken aback when, as I was walking down the street in liberal Los Angeles, the day after the election, a couple of ‘good old boys’ yelled ‘time to go back to your own country, Osama!’ from their truck. That hadn’t happened to me in years.

Suffice it to say, after the election, with the increase and boldness in hate crimes, I felt like it was necessary to make something that explored the fear that was growing within the South Asian community, and that’s how ‘Pagg’ was born. I was dealing with my own insecurities, fears, and anger due to what was happening in America.

“Pagg” touches on fear, racism, and intersectional issues. What was the thought process behind depicting interracial marriage?

Ha! Yeah, the film touches upon a lot, but I feel that’s hard to avoid since these issues intersect in so many ways. It was important for me to depict an interracial marriage for a variety of reasons. I’ve never really been satisfied with depictions of these types of relationships. They’re complicated and beautiful, but also loving and supportive. That being said, both partners in interracial relationships have to deal with micro-aggressions, albeit in different ways. I thought it would be interesting to see how Rachel deals with those types of comments and situations and how she chooses to support Mandeep in that.

Having Rachel not be South Asian was important in many ways because of what it represents. Mandeep is a Sikh American who has kept his traditional uncut hair and beard and wears a turban. Rachel accepts him for who he is and has never asked him to change. His home is a safe haven, and his relationship is a constant he doesn’t have in his everyday life and something he can always come home to.

Lastly, I wanted to show the isolation that can still exist in these relationships. Though Rachel does have to face the daily bigotries alongside her husband, she doesn’t necessarily feel the same isolation as Mandeep, considering she’s not Sikh. So it was important for me to show that even though this relationship was incredibly loving and supportive, there’s still space for Mandeep to be isolated within that because his situation is inherently different than his partner’s. The ‘us against the world’ mentality gets complicated when each individual’s experience is inherently different. And all that compounds when you have a child.

[Photo Source: Pagg / Facebook]

The death of Sikhs in the U.S. is often associated with being considered “terrorist” — do you feel that notion is changing?

I think that perception is slowly changing. The major problem we face in the US concerning Sikhs is a lack of knowledge. Most people don’t know who or what Sikhs are. They just draw the equivalence of the turban to some bad guy in a cave. But I think that idea is slowly eroding due to increased representation. As Sikhs are getting more face time both in the media and politically, I’m seeing the narrative changing for the positive.

Did you fear backlash from the Sikh community for including non-vegetarian and alcohol oriented components? Did you receive any?

I didn’t fear backlash from the Sikh community when I put those elements in. There are people who live their lives in a very strict manner, but there are also those who do not. I never intended on using the film as a way to proclaim ‘this is how everyone who looks like this acts.’ I did receive some backlash from certain people, but it allowed us to have a conversation about the realities of life and how not everyone lives the same way as someone else. They turned out to be very fruitful conversations!

As a woman raised around plenty of Sardars and Sardarnis (Sikh men and women) I have a love and admiration for a great mane and beard, it feels like a beautiful expression of something natural, this moment in the film stuck with me, because lord knows I WISH my hair grew!

An interesting conversation has sparked now that ‘Pagg’ is online. Some have taken issue with the choices of the lead character, feeling a true Sikh would never succumb to a hate crime the way Mandeep does in the film. They feel it misrepresents Sikhs. I think this is an interesting argument to have, particularly surrounding masculinity and the nature of storytelling and representation as a whole. The piece was never intended to represent all Sikhs or Sikhism, just this one particular person who happens to be of the faith.

I think this type of backlash is constructive in that it allows us to have a more complex dialogue about how these characters are presented. In my opinion, characters with three dimensions, with flaws, as opposed to perfect beings are always more interesting. It helps broaden our representation to show that these characters aren’t perfect, they make mistakes, and you don’t have to agree with their choices. (And allows us to have catharsis watching a journey we may not agree with) Certainly, there are people who would never succumb to hateful things, but this narrative was about someone who does, and it’s been really great to have those conversations with people who find it difficult to reconcile the complicated choices the main character makes.

PAGG 4 - Nardeep Khurmi
[Photo Source: Pagg / Facebook]

My favorite part of the film is when a woman remarks “it must be so beautiful” when referring to Manu’s hair. Was it important for you to show what’s truly “under the turban?”

I’m so glad you liked that moment! Yes, it was important for me to show what was ‘under the turban’ to normalize rather than exoticize. The first third of ‘Pagg’ depicts Mandeep with his family in his home without his turban. His hair is never treated as an ‘other’ or as something odd, just as a part of him. Since Rachel and Sunny never question it, the audience doesn’t question it. It’s just an extension of Mandeep. It’s only when he’s out in the world that it becomes a ‘thing,’ and by then I hope we have the audience in Mandeep’s corner so they can experience life from his perspective. Hair is an extremely important thing for a practicing Sikh, so it was important to layer in that idea so that the climax would hit in the right way. I also like this particular moment because it also shows that micro-aggressions aren’t always negative. They can come from very positive places even though the end result is awkward.

Where did you draw the experiences of hate crimes and racism from?

I drew from my own personal experiences, those of friends and family, and from the news. I grew up in the white suburbs of Philly, I have been stopped and frisked in NY, I have dealt with Neo-Nazis and KKK members. So there was plenty of experience there. It’s sad to say, but it’s not really hard to find inspiration for these types of things.

[Photo Source: Pagg / Facebook]
Making impactful films, music and shows are perhaps the most tangible, direct way for us to integrate diversity and inclusion on a large scale. Producing and funding these projects, however — not so simple! Let’s get the T behind the $$$.

What was the fundraising process like?

I’ll be honest: The fundraising process was a bit hit and miss. We decided to crowdfund, which turned out to be great due to the generosity of friends and family, but ultimately the fundraising process disappointed me. We reached out to South Asian organizations across America, many of which have allocated funds for the arts. They are really lovely organizations that help our community, and everyone seemed excited to help the film in one way or the other, either monetarily or otherwise, but ultimately they all turned a cold shoulder to us.

I was disappointed by the larger South Asian community’s lack of support during the fundraising process, but this is a problem our community has been facing forever. When it comes to the arts, there’s still a big stigma to helping out. I’m seeing that change with the younger generation, but we need to get everyone on board, especially those organizations which have the ability to help young storytellers and artists.

What’s next for you as an actor and filmmaker?

Next up is a feature film. I’m keen on exploring the immigrant experience through the lens of the South Asian experience. I’m currently writing a feature film focusing on a road trip between a Punjabi truck driver and an undocumented immigrant. I’m hoping to get that off the ground in the next year. It’s been a great year as an actor. I just wrapped a feature film and television pilot, as well as a play, and I’m lucky enough to be a part of ‘Mira, Royal Detective’ on Disney, so I’m enjoying the grind and the hustle. You can probably see me on TV right now in a Choice Hotels commercial, as well as some episodic television in the fall.

[Read Related: Changing the Perspective of the Hijab: in Conversation With ‘Spiderman’ Star Zoha Rahman]

Part of representing our communities in entertainment and media is representing the spectrum of us that exist in the same manner as our counterparts. “Pagg” is a film I relate to closely, as I imagine many of my fellow Sikhs or South Asians do. Like Nardeep says, we have to work together and continue supporting one another more. If we do that, we just might be getting somewhere.

By Jashima Wadehra

Jashima Wadehra is a multi-hyphenate entrepreneur who serves as the Director of Ode, a global artist management and brand strategy … Read more ›

Joyland: A Film Rising Above Unacceptability With a Story of Acceptance


Haider wades his way through Karachi’s expansive beach, climbing and tumbling over rocks, in Mumtaz’s memory. The vast landscape is perfectly encapsulated in the 4:3 aspect ratio — an unconventional yet welcoming choice. He vanishes into the sea, leaving his storyline open-ended. The screen fades to black. The film comes to a close. The gentle humming and lapping of the waves disappear. However, I stay put. Stumped, and unable to comprehend the masterpiece that Saim Sadiq, director of “Joyland”, has blessed Pakistanis with.

[Read Related: Pakistan Had its First-Ever Trans Pride Parade in Lahore]

The winner of the jury prize at the Cannes film festival, as well as Pakistan’s entry for the Academy Awards 2023, “Joyland” has been marred with controversies (and subsequent bans) from the onset of its win. Ironic, since the film’s core message promotes tolerance and acceptance. Tolerance for unconventional norms, sexual/gender identities, and human emotions and desires.

“It’s so important to narrate these stories in today’s world, where we’re often divided and seldom united,” says producer Apoorva Charan during an exclusive chat with Brown Girl Magazine.

It’s her feature film debut as a producer, and she’s justifiably beaming with pride.

Joyland is such a win for South Asia, but particularly, Pakistani storytelling. Every person I met, I felt like there was some characteristic or quirk about them that mirrored our characters in the film.

Set in the depths of androon Lahore, “Joyland” primarily revolves around Haider (Ali Junejo) — a meek, unemployed house husband in a borderline, passionless marriage. He’s happily helping Saleem bhai (Sohail Sameer) and Nucci bhabi (Sarwat Gilani) raise three kids, while the fourth one breaks Nucci’s water in the opening scene. Another girl is born, despite the ultrasound’s previous declaration of a baby boy. 

“If I were to receive an award based on my character in “Joyland”, it’d definitely be for “best at single-handedly increasing the population of Pakistan,” says Gillani, as we howl with laughter during our spoiler-riddled chat with the cast of the film. “I think that, combined with the ‘coolest bhabi’ — those two will have my name on them.”

But Nucci’s wasn’t just a bhabi who pumped out a new baby every year. Sarwat’s character was given some level of agency — a woman who reminisced about a career in interior design before marriage and kids while smoking a cigarette in secrecy.

I think my philanthropic work plays a part in how I started saying no to bechari roles. How can I be a role model to these women I’m trying to help, while playing the same characters? The change came about with “Churails” and I vehemently stuck to it. My characters need to have a voice; a backbone.

On the other hand, Haider’s wife, Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq), works as a beautician at the local salon, busy dolling up brides in Lahore’s unpredictable load-shedding.

Both Haider and Mumtaz seem to have a relatively stable marriage based equally on societal expectations and gender-flipped roles. While Haider stays home, helps in the kitchen, and attempts at searching for a traditional job, Mumtaz carves autonomy and independence for herself. This is in spite of an oppressive family life characterised and dictated by Haider’s overly conservative, traditionalist father and patriarch, Rana (Salmaan Peerzada), who wishes for the couple to procreate a cricket team of just boys. 

But Rana, known as Abba Jee, is also layered with his own 50 shades of grey, struggling with loneliness and a lack of intimacy, mirrored in his relationship with next-door neighbour Fayyaz (Sania Saeed). His emotional desires are symbolised by his physical impediments — the former handicapped with “what will people say”, and the latter with a wheelchair. The rules that he has for his children are the same that his children have for him, bound by tradition, norms, and society. They are not allowed to stray from what is considered “normal”.

The film’s women are strong which is pretty much a reflection of the women in Sadiq’s life. While Abba Jee shuns the love and companionship that Fayyaz offers, she stands her ground until firmly asked to leave. The complexity of each person’s emotions versus expectations is what makes “Joyland” relatable on a human level.

Rasti Farooq channels Mumtaz’s apprehensions and predicament with the utmost believability.

Alternatively, Mumtaz’s relationship with Haider is based on convenience and habit, where two people share the same bed but sleep facing away (partially because one of Saleem and Nucci’s young daughters crashes with them every night, illustrating the confined space both Haider and Mumtaz are allowed to be themselves in). The dynamics of their marriage drastically evolve once Haider’s eye catches Biba (Alina Khan), covered in blood as she walks numbingly into the hospital where Nucci gave birth. The introductory scene mirrored the brutal reality of violence inflicted upon Pakistan’s trans community; one of “Joyland’s” most haunting moments. 

Mumtaz is asked to quit her job once Haider lands a gig as a “theatre manager” — a cover-up for his job as a background dancer at the nightclub Biba coincidentally performs at. The film portrays the traditional Pakistani marital social dynamic; men must work, and women must housekeep. Even when some level of independence is allowed to a married woman, she must forego her right to a career later in life. Understandably, it leaves Mumtaz devastated.

“It’s so strange how that’s just an acceptable act in our society,” Farooq chimes in, voicing Mumtaz’s thoughts. “Even if a woman is good at a 100 things, ultimately, she’s expected to quit her job to be a homemaker because that’s ‘her job’.”

With time, Haider falls into a routine and rhythm of working at the theatre and spending more time with Biba, allowing him an insight into the widespread transphobia she’s regularly faced with. Biba confides her innermost desire to be what she termed as “a complete woman” in order to land the same dancing opportunities as her counterparts.


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A post shared by Saim Sadiq (@saim.sadiq)

Haider’s daring closeness to Biba leaves Mumtaz — who at this point is reliant on him as a best friend more than the physical intimacy he fitfully provides her — alone, isolated, and depressed. For Haider, it is liberating to leave problems at home and escape into a secret world centred around his deepest desires. He doesn’t want to be a bad person. He doesn’t wish to hurt or leave his wife. But his happiness now seemingly lies in dancing and exchanging stolen kisses with Biba. Farooq agrees:

I think Mumtaz and Haider were best friends at this point. They had an unspoken love for each other, which stemmed from the sanctity of their relationship. They might not be in love but they did love each other. In the eyes of our society and otherwise, they were married, but they’d drifted so far apart. There was love but it wasn’t possible to return from how distant they were.

This point of no return brings Haider to a crossroads — one where he is torn between his loyalty to Mumtaz and his love for Biba. Ultimately and ironically, in a particularly passionate moment, it is his curiosity pertaining to Biba’s sexuality that drives her to throw him out of her life. Defeated and guilt-ridden, he comes face-to-face with a pregnant and non-confrontational Mumtaz, who, by now, is aware of what Haider has been up to but doesn’t have the mental capacity to verbally digest his infidelity alongside a child she doesn’t want.

Her apprehensions about bearing and raising children are indicated throughout the early days of her pregnancy. The clutching of her stomach, the tightening of the rollercoaster belt during a visit to Joyland park, and her unease during the ultrasound are just a few examples of Mumtaz’s angst. 

Abba Jee’s 70th birthday was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Mumtaz, surrounded by family and friends and feeling emptier than ever, takes her own life. A tragic full circle where one life ends as the other begins. Her suicide is harbingered by Rana’s birthday speech as he recalls a palmist once saying his bloodline would end with Haider. 

[Read Related: #JusticeforJulie: Pakistan’s Failure to Protect its Vulnerable Trans Population]

“Joyland” is replete with polarity. There is a seamless hand-in-hand flow of happiness and devastation, longing and antipathy, birth and death. Pakistani society’s struggles with misogynistic gender roles are depicted in the most gentle, sensitive, and nuanced ways. The struggle is also ironic, considering Pakistan has one of the most progressive transgender legislations in the world. Trans people have the right to self-identify their ­gender in Pakistan – a right still denied to the trans community in many progressive countries, such as the UK.

A deeply reflective film with memorable and emotional characters doing justice to their performances. It’s currently running in cinemas here in the UK, and we highly recommend watching this poignant piece of art.

Photos Courtesy: Studio Soho/Khoosat Films

By Queenie Shaikh

Desk bound by day and travel bound all other times – Queenie thrives on her weekly dose of biryani and … Read more ›

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History — A Review of Sundance’s ‘Polite Society’

Polite Society

For any of us who have siblings, the relationship with them can be one of the most fulfilling ones. And also one of the most bloody frustrating. No one can quite stroke the fire like someone who knows you extremely well, or sometimes not, but have a familial bond with that neither one of you chose. In “Polite Society,“directed by Nida Manzoor, sisters Ria Khan and Lena Khan’s loving, sweet, and sometimes tumultuous relationship takes center stage. 

[Read Related: Poorna Jagannathan and Richa Moorjani of Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever’ on Womanhood, Racism, and Issues Generations of Desi Women Still Struggle With]

Played delightfully by Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya, respectively, the evolution of their relationship is one of the film’s greatest and simultaneously weakest points. It’s also pretty cool to see two South Asian actresses in an action-comedy movie — how refreshing it is to mention the art of choreography and praise it in regards to fight sequences vs. dance sequences for a film centered on two South Asian women — that itself shows progress. 

Set in London, Ria is an aspiring stunt woman who already shows massive talent in martial arts. She looks up to her older sister Lena, who is enrolled in art school and, also holds remarkable potential in a somewhat less traditionally acceptable field. Their relationship starts off as supportive and sweet with no inclinations of jealousy or resentment that sometimes plagues sisterly bonds. But this also means that they are quite protective of one another, almost to the detriment of their well wishes for each other. 

This all happens when Lena gets engaged after dropping out of art school. Ria feels betrayed. They were supposed to be on this journey together in fighting for their dreams. Ria decides that she knows what’s best for her sister and enlists the help of her friends to rescue the damsel in distress from her own wedding. Her deep animosity towards the prospect of Lena getting married is also fueled by Lena’s fiancé and his mother acting extremely suspiciously. The twist that ultimately brings the two sisters back together is both shocking and weirdly somewhat progressive in the motive behind the villain’s origin story. But the twist, unfortunately, is too ambitious for the movie as it tacks on another genre and theme earnestly, but still clunkily. 

“Polite Society” tackles not only what it means to fight for one’s dreams but also what it means to have just one ardent supporter. As Lady Gaga famously said, “There can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don’t believe in you but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life.” Well, Ria’s Bradley Cooper was her very own sister who seemed to abandon her, and her faith in her, when she chose a different path. For Lena, the film opened up the question of marriage and the weight it bears in the life of a South Asian woman. Ria’s lack of understanding of the pressure it places on Lena is the start of the change in their relationship — the start of Ria’s coming of age and the start of Lena settling firmly into her adulthood. 

Polite Society
Director Nida Manzoor, cinematographer Ashley Connor and actor Priya Kansara on the set of their film “Polite Society.”

Standouts from the cast include Ria’s best friends, played by Seraphina Beh and Ella Bruccoleri, who commit to the story and characters with such hilarity and conviction. They add the lightheartedness and playfulness the film needs, and it is refreshing that never once do they use Ria’s cultural background as a way to make fun of her or dismiss her.

[Read Related: Ms. Marvel’s Iman Vellani and Mohan Kapur Talk Cultural Pride, Hollywood and Brown Representation]

It is also heartening to see Lena and Ria’s parents being some of the most supportive South Asian parents seen on screen. At the end of the day, it is not the external family pressure that impacts the decisions made by the sisters but rather their own satisfaction, or lack thereof, with their own lives that become the driving force of their actions. 

“Polite Society” is written and directed by a South Asian woman for South Asian women, and is definitely worth a watch when it releases in theaters this April. 

Photo Credits: Focus Features LLC

By Nimarta Narang

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Nimarta grew up devouring Hindi movies, coming-of-age novels and one too many psychology textbooks. … Read more ›

Redefining Manners: British Asian Priya Kansara Talks About her Latest Film ‘Polite Society’

Priya Kansara

Weddings, huh? Talk about a stress fest. And for the bride, it’s like a 24/7 walk on eggshells. However, add in a paranoid and overprotective sister, and you’ve got a recipe for a completely different degree of drama. In “Polite Society,” Ria Khan (Priya Kansara) and her gang of clumsy pals take the phrase “till death do us part” to a whole new level as they plot to “steal” the bride — aka Ria’s own sister, Lena (Ritu Arya), during her shaadi reception. But with a wedding hall packed with guests, a mother-in-law from hell, and a groom with more shades of fraud than a rainbow, this heist is anything but smooth sailing.

It goes without saying but “Polite Society” comes with a cast of wacky characters, gut-busting one-liners, and an action-packed heist sequence, making it a must-watch for anyone who loves a good comedy. I mean who hasn’t dealt with some serious wedding drama, am I right?

Lead actress Kansara agrees wholeheartedly. “I definitely have!” she chuckles, as I catch up with her at Soho Hotel in London. Despite the rubbish weather outside, Kansara is a ray of sunshine with her infectious enthusiasm.

The minute I read the script, I thought to myself…wow, playing Ria is going to be one wild ride!

[Read Related: Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History — A Review of Sundance’s ‘Polite Society’]

And wild is definitely the right word to describe her character. Ria is a British-Pakistani martial artist-in-training from London, determined to become a professional stuntwoman. Her sister, Lena, who dropped out of uni, often ends up being the guinea pig for filming Ria’s stunts for YouTube, including one lovingly dubbed “the fury.” She reveals

I’d never done martial arts before this film. The stunt training started from the day I got the role, and it was three to four times a week all the way until we finished filming. It was a seven-week period in total, and boy, was it physically demanding. Oh my God, I think I can add a whole new skills section to my CV! But on a serious note, it was so much fun and we had an amazing stunt team. They, including my stunt double, taught me so much. It was important to me to do my own stunts as much as possible, but also strike a healthy balance.

For South Asian women, who are often expected to be quiet and agreeable, all that punching and kicking on set must have been cathartic, right?

Honestly, it was like anger management at work! I got to kick and throw things around — it was the perfect balance.


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A post shared by Priya Kansara (@priyakansara)

What sets Kansara apart from other actors starting out in the industry is her ability to draw from her own life experiences to bring authenticity to her characters on screen. Her career began with a degree from UCL and a communications job at a pharmaceutical company. But today, her versatile range and unwavering commitment to her craft have propelled her to the forefront of British comedy, portraying defiant South Asian women we’d love to see in real life.

From my own experience as a South Asian woman, I’ve always been told to do what’s ‘proper’ and think twice before speaking up. Playing a character like Ria and putting myself in her shoes, I felt like I was doing and saying things that I wish I had done at her age. It was almost like living through her and speaking my mind about things I never did.

Without a doubt, every South Asian woman on this planet wishes she cared more about herself and less about what other people think.

Ria totally inspired me. If only I had her mindset when I was younger, my career path would have taken off way sooner instead of worrying about other people’s opinions.

The chemistry between the cast members on and off-screen is so apparent, especially the sisterhood between Ria and Lena. The wild adventures of a bride, and her paranoid maid of honour navigating through family drama, are bound to create some unforgettable moments on set.

[Read Related: ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’: A Modern-day Exploration of Love Across Cultures]

We both confess our love and admiration for Nimra Bucha’s portrayal of Raheela, Lena’s evil mother-in-law and share a teenage fangirling moment:

I’m obsessed with that woman. There’s something terrifying yet ultra sexy about her character in “Polite Society” that’s mesmerising. I absolutely loved the dance sequence. As South Asians, we’ve all grown up watching Bollywood films and idolising Madhuri Dixit’s iconic dance moves. “Polite Society” gave me my Bollywood heroine moment, and it was a dream come true with the costumes and jewellery.

It’s definitely a unique experience for Kansara, considering her former career was worlds apart from entertainment. So, what advice does she have for aspiring actors who may secretly wish to pursue the same path, but are unsure of the next steps? Kansara advises, drawing from her character’s heist-planning skills.

I believe starting small and honing your craft is an underrated superpower. If you’re passionate about acting, make short-form videos, and build your portfolio. You never know who might be watching.

So, grab your popcorn and your sense of humour, and get ready for “Polite Society” — the film that proves that sometimes, the most polite thing to do is kick some butt and save the day. It released in cinemas on April 28th, and I highly recommend it.

Photo Courtesy: Universal Pictures

By Queenie Shaikh

Desk bound by day and travel bound all other times – Queenie thrives on her weekly dose of biryani and … Read more ›