Paakhi Tyrewala on working with Priyanka Chopra for ‘Pahuna’


The world of show business is a challenging one to survive in, even for directors. However, debutante Punarnava Mehta, better known as Paakhi Tyrewala and wife of Abbas Tyrewala, is not going to give up that easily.

Ready with her first Assamese film, ‘Pahuna’ (2017) from Priyanka Chopra’s production house Purple Pebbles, she shared her experience of this project with Deccan Chronicle:

“I always wanted my directorial debut to begin with a Nepali film. Initially, I wanted to narrate it on the silver screen in Hindi. However, as I was teaching Art of Living in Assam, which I learned from my Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, I was carried away with their love and affection. These people took me not only into their homes but took me into their hearts. The conditions 13 years ago were not as welcoming to them as despite being Indians they were looked down upon as if they were from somewhere else. With films like ‘Chak De! India’ (2007) and ‘Mary Kom’ (2014) things have drastically changed for their betterment. If at all I am given a chance to rest finally, I will choose Sikkim. I would like to die in Sikkim,” Mehta said.

Sharing her experience of working with Chopra’s production house, Mehta said, “Having directed ‘Pahuna’ for Purple Pebbles is indeed a privilege to me. The film is all set to release all over India very soon.”

Speaking about her journey as a filmmaker, Mehta went onto say, “A director should never possess any ego at all. Also having worked with director Nagesh Kukonoor, I have learned to finish every sphere of filmmaking, learning all the hardships and facing them to the best of my ability. My husband Abbas has taught me to keep writing a few drafts unless you feel satisfied. Also you need not crave for sleep or any their comforts until you have finished your film. During the course of directing a film, even if you get just three hours sleep you need to be contented.”

“Having worked with Aamir sir, John Abraham and now Priyanka Chopra, I find them all very grounded. About Aamir sir, everyone asks me if he is of the interfering sort. I never experienced any such thing. In fact he never came to the sets even single day. John is a sweetheart. He helped me move forward teaching and helping me at every step. Priyanka is also very passionate producer must say. She will call me and pat my back stating that, ‘You have done a wonderful job’. But if she finds something not fitting, she will tell me frankly and we make changes.”

Talking about her future projects, she said “I have a political thriller written and have got a producer too for it. I will be directing the film as well. I also like to take care of the screenplay. It’s been my ambition to write/direct and write the screenplay as well by myself and bring it alive onto the silver screen.”

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