Bengali actress Koel Mallick is frank, she is the doughter of Ranjit Mallick’s. She made her acting debut with Nater Guru while still in college (2003). Though she began as arm candy for the film’s hero, she gradually built a name for herself by choosing films that allowed her to exhibit her talent. Films like the dark and sombre Hemlock Society (2012), the supernatural fantasy Arundhati (2014), the drama Chhaya O Chhobi (2017), the romcom Ghare & Baire (2018), and the detective flick Mitin Mashi (2019) cemented her reputation as a versatile actor who could fit into any genre. In 2013, she married producer Nispal Singh Rane. They had been together for seven years before deciding to be married.
She’s been taking it easy since then, relishing the challenges of parenthood while rediscovering her own childhood. Excerpts from a fascinating conversation with the Bengali beauty. You’ve played numerous roles, and the one you’re currently playing is that of a lovely mummy. How do you find time for the infant when you’re so busy doing commercials, movies, and endorsements?My child is my top priority. It is not a conscious decision such as “No, I can’t do that” or “Yes, I can do that.” I believe that once you become a mother, you will always be a mother. He’s a piece of me. Even when I’m at work, I’m aware of what he’s doing at any given time. I need to video call him and see whether he’s eating correctly because he’s teething right now. So he was highly irritable about food for a few days. I was worried since he wasn’t eating well. I was after him when I realised that this is why advertising show mothers chasing their children while saying, “kha le beta!” The identical thing happened in my house while I was racing after my son.Thankfully, I haven’t started filming for any specific film at this moment, but I have clearly undertaken other tasks, such as attending events and meetings. Once you start firing, you must stick to the call times.
You have to be there, on set, and you can’t leave because you have a baby at home. But for events and anything else, I make it a point to avoid doing it when he’s eating his lunch or going to bed because he’s fussy before going to bed. So, all in all, it’s a very overwhelming experience. When I used to talk to mothers, they used to tell me that the kind of feeling you have as a mother is inexpressible.
But now that I’m a mom, I absolutely understand. I easily recognise the expressions on his face. I know what he likes and dislikes. Fortunately, he’s a cheerful baby who is constantly giggling. I used to listen to wonderful music and bhajans when he was in my womb and dance around cheerfully. I was having a good time during the lockdown because I was fully confined to my residence. Perhaps it has infiltrated him as a result of this. He’s a fun-loving baby who is constantly amusing others or himself.
Do you have a greater understanding of your own mother now that you have a child of your own? You must have put her under a lot of pressure.
My mother usually remarks that I’ve been a very lokkhi (good-natured) girl. I’ve always been quite obedient to my parents. I don’t consider myself a challenging child. My husband Rane, on the other hand, was a mischievous child. For example, yesterday we went to the playground, and I was swinging beside my son on the swings. Rane was pushing the swing, and despite my repeated requests to slow down, he continued to push the child higher and higher, refusing to listen to me.
You’d been dating your husband for a long time before getting married in 2013. How is the marriage going? How has it affected you as a person, and how has it affected him as a person?
Our relationship did not begin as a romantic one. We began as friends and experienced the dependability, faith, and loyalty that friendship entails. I believe that if you begin as lovers, the honeymoon period will end after a few days. It’s been about having faith that he’ll always hold my hand and be responsible as an individual for me. My father has always been that that to me and my mother. I’ll never say he wasn’t a good parent to me or a decent husband to my mother, no matter how busy he was. Unknowingly, I believe those are the attributes and characteristics I was seeking for in my husband.
I’d generally chat to Rane about my profession and other things when I first started working with him because I didn’t want to worry my parents out. Now that I think about it, I’d go to him for guidance and be confident that whatever he suggested would be beneficial to me. During my early days in the profession, around my fifth picture, I texted Rane and said, “I guess I’m a misfit here.” I’ve always lived in a bubble, and I started working during college, so I never really had the time to establish friends or get to know people. And Rane responded back, saying, “I believe you’re Miss. Fit in here.”
How much has your education aided your career as an actor?
In my class, I used to be the agony aunt. I was finishing my psychology degree and had just started photography at the time. On top of that, I served as the class representative. Our lecturers were so passionate about our study that college felt like school. There was a great deal of discipline. Psychology has greatly aided me in comprehending why certain people feel bitter. In general, if someone is angry with you, you don’t try to comprehend where they’re coming from. You have a horrible feeling. However, I believe I’ve maintained the atmosphere in which individuals feel comfortable confiding in me about their lives. I recall thinking in college, at times, And most of the time, you don’t want advise but simply want to air your grievances. So, if someone is pouring their heart out to you, you should just listen. So, certainly, psychology has aided me greatly not just in my work but also in my personal life.