Zaara Yesmin’s modern Bollywood classic out July 12
Dropping a remixed ’90s song, the actor lets us in on her future plans
MENTIONING MERELY A few titles including Clueless, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and even Little House on the Prairie returning to prime time TV in 2021, if one bankable element concerning the media landscape is clear, the appetite for reboots shows no sign of abating. And it makes sense. Basing a project on familiar property and repackaging it for a modern audience harnesses both the power of nostalgia for returning consumers and a voyage of discovery for new fans. We’re willing to bet as much of Ghostbusters’ (2016) box office was derived from admirers of the originals taking their kids as well as standalone moviegoers.
It is exactly this sentiment, Bollywood performer Zaara Yesmin told us dictated she jump at the chance to star in a remix of ‘90s classic tune Is Tarah Aashiqui Ka dropping on all platforms today. Originally featuring in the Sunny Deol/ Saif Ali Khan vehicle, Imithaan (1994), the Kumar Sanu penned track has continued to resonate throughout the decades.
“When I was a child my mum used to hum this song all the time” Yesmin said during a visit to the Khaleej Times office in Dubai over the weekend. “It was always inside me.
“It has ‘recall value.’ Everybody with whom I have discussed the track has said, ‘I remember that. I love it.’
“It’s my honour to do this song. I’m so excited.”
In the latest version, songwriter and playback singer Dev Negi takes on the lead vocals while Yesmin appears in what she calls a ‘glamorous role.’ The number has also been given a brand new tilt, moving away from lyrical ballad to dance hit.
“He’s (Negi) a new trend singer,” Yesmin explained. “We tried to twist it from a romantic track to a peppy number. It used to be very slow and romantic, now it is more about clubbing and dancing.”
Capitalising on her previous hit, Kandhe Ka Woh Til (2020), which Yesmin revealed was her first foray into the more contemporary genre and therefore required around 15 days of rehearsals to have the steps nailed down, Is Tarah Aashiqui Ka’s video is a continuation of the theme and thus came a little easier.
“We have to go with the rhythm and catch those beats,” she said. “You have to prepare. It’s a more glamorous video and it’s the first time my fans will see that.”
A longtime visitor to the UAE, Assam native and Mumbai resident Yesmin calls Dubai her ‘second home’ as a result of the city’s proximity to India. Exploring the area for over three months during this current sojourn, the actor has been able to take in more activities than usual.
“It’s rejuvenating for me,” she said about spending time here. “I like to try new cuisines. It’s a multicultural platform. I love to communicate with people from different countries.”
A brief glimpse at Yesmin’s 1.4million-follower strong Instagram account reveals dining trips to locations such as CZN Burak in Downtown aren’t simply opportunities to eat. The world-famous eponymous chef gave the star a very special welcome; presenting her with a personalised giant pide (Turkish bread).
“I’m a huge fan of horse riding and I had to ride horses in the desert,” Yesmin said about other activities she has undertaken. “Playing with dolphins I also had to do. They are so cute. A ‘things to do in Dubai’ list is too long!”
However, it is not all action-packed. Being away from the frenetic B-Town pace, gives Yesmin vital time to indulge in her choice pastime: mindfulness.
“I like my own company and being by myself. I try to practice that. I switch off my phone at night. I wake up fresh and then after breakfast I check my messages and mails. I used to keep it on all the time but now I avoid it.”
The social network
With the mention of electronic media, we feel it is always important to seize the chance to ask an individual with followings greater than the populations of a fair few countries how they handle the dark side of sharing their lives with millions of strangers. Taking time to consider the response, Yesmin singled out one platform from where the majority of hurtfulness can emanate.
“I have around 3.5 million fans on Facebook and there I see more in terms of negativity. But I just think it’s a pandemic time going on and it’s a responsibility to look after our family; not be negative.”
She also expressed a desire for viewers to hone in on an account’s content rather than the supposed reach.
“People tend to focus on the numbers and I feel we shouldn’t. The quality of the work and their profile is what we should judge. Numbers can be [manipulated].”
In December last year, Yesmin’s involvement in South India blockbuster Superstar, directed by Ramesh Venkatesh Babu, was announced with considerable fanfare. Filming apparently progressed until the pandemic shut down the industry nationwide in early 2021.
“With Covid we’re stuck with the shoot,” Yesmin said. “It’s half done. I hope it starts up again soon.”
In the meantime, Yesmin told us, she has been considering a few OTT films and other big screen hits.
“I’m waiting for the correct script and we are close by to that. I’m looking forward to showing the audience what I can do.”
A message for Khaleej Times
“Thanks to Mr Suhail Galadari and the team for having me here. Khaleej Times is my favourite publication whenever I come to Dubai. First thing in the morning I check the news and it’s the one spot where I find all the different kinds of [stories].”
How would you describe your acting style?
“I try to be real. I see myself in dreamy romantic characters. I like dance and all that. I follow very classic actresses like Madhubala because I feel at that time they had their soul in their acting. Today also we do, but it is very trend focused, so I try to keep myself a little old school at times.”