Neeru Bajwa started her career in the Hindi film industry with Dev Anand’s Main Solah Baras Ki in 1998, and has gone on to become a celebrated name in the Punjabi film industry. However, she says she was “put off” by Bollywood after she faced an “indecent experience”.
On why she quit working in Bollywood, Neeru told IANS, “Well, without taking any name, I just want to say that I had a really indecent experience during a meeting for a Hindi film. I was told that, ‘This is what you have to do to make it here’. It left me shaken, uncomfortable and I was put off.”
“I am not saying that that is how the industry works. I am saying that I was one of the unfortunate actresses who had encountered a terrifying experience. Since then, I did not try my luck in Bollywood, and I never will. I am comfortable in my space in Punjabi cinema,” she said.
Known for films like Mel Karade Rabba, Jihne Mera Dil Luteya and Jatt & Juliet 2, Neeru is currently being seen opposite Diljit Dosanjh in Shadaa, which released this Friday across India. Talking about it, she said, “I think it also depends on the actors in the film. As for Shadaa, we are releasing the film for the Mumbai audience especially, because of Diljit. Now that he has strong followers among the Hindi audience, we know that this film will have a greater reach.”
A mother to a four-year-old girl, Neeru wants to encourage her daughter to be independent. “I think we condition our girls with the thought of getting married to feel complete and successful. Therefore, once girls finish education, their goal becomes not to build a career and earn money, but getting married.
“I will not even tell my daughter to get married if she does not find her life partner. I would rather push her for education and financial independence…. That is why I work even now. I know that the confidence comes from there. I do not have to depend on a man to give me bread,” she said.
In the film industry, she is happy to observe a vital change for women. She is glad that now a woman can continue her acting career even after marriage and having children. “Earlier it was so different. Now a woman is still offered a lead role in films at the age of 38. Look at me,” she said.