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Meet Aahana Kumra

The actor makes her TV debut as Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter

By Sonam Savlani  July 3rd, 2014

Aahana Kumra went in to audition for a bit part in Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet and emerged with a definitive role in Sony Entertainment Television’s Yudh (watch the promo here). She plays Taruni, Amitabh Bachchan and Sarika’s daughter in the much buzzed-about show that promises to ‘take Indian television by storm’. There’s very little anyone knows about the serial other than it’s a drama about an ageing tycoon (Bachchan makes his TV fiction debut), who struggles with frail health, bitter business rivals and umm, two wives. Kumra’s Taruni is reunited with her father, Yudhisthir, after many years, and their relationship is fraught with tension.

Kashyap is creative director on the project that also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Kay Kay Menon. “When I walked into the casting director’s office, Anurag and I got talking about the plays I’d been working on, like By George and Sir Sir Sarla,” says 29-year-old Kumra. (Interestingly, Kashyap was a part of the original cast of Sarla almost 10 years ago.) “When he asked me if I’d like to audition for Mr Bachchan’s daughter’s role, I froze,” she says. The very next day she signed the contract and became the second actor, after Mr B, to join the show.

Having worked with Mumbai theatre’s brightest over the course of five years (Naseeruddin Shah, Akarsh Khurana and Makrand Deshpande) she wasn’t star-struck going into the show. But having Bachchan clap for her (twice!) was a huge high. She’s just bummed she wasn’t allowed to take any selfies. “It’s funny; none of us are allowed to take any pictures with him on set!”

Yudh premieres on Sony Entertainment Television on July 14, 10.30pm.

Photograph: Munna S