Anand Raj plays eunuch in upcoming Bengali film

Kolkata: Actor Anand Raj of `Chittagong` and ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ fame is playing a eunuch`s character in an upcoming Bengali film which will focus on the often-misunderstood community.

Titled ‘Ami Sairabanu’ (no allusion to famed actress Saira Banu), the film will be the first in the Bengali film history to deal with the community which remains on the periphery of society.

The actor said he had actually mingled with eunuchs in Mumbai to get into the skin of the character and get acquainted with how they go about their daily lives.

"I have been talking to many eunuchs in Mumbai even before I got the script. I started observing them and picked up their mannerism and their dialect. I mixed with them to know the inside story of their lives," Raj told reporters here.

He said his attitude to the eunuchs underwent a tectonic shift when once during a ad shoot in Mumbai he was introduced to some of them.
Despite their apparent happiness, the community in general suffered from a sense of insecurity, he said.

"What I feel about them is that they make a conscious effort to mask their sorrows and pain," Raj observed.

Asked how he delivered his Bengali lines, the actor, also known for his role in "Love, sex or Dhoka", said, "I am comfortable with the language. I have learnt Bengali from a close friend with whom I often converse."

He said he also benefitted from his experience in working

for `Chittagong` which had mostly Bengali cast and crew.

"I went around the streets of Kolkata during which I picked up Bengali. And that is more than a smattering."

Raj said Bengali directors were making it big in Mumbai because of their fresh ideas and that was one of the reasons why he could not say no to debutant director Rahul Mukhopadhyay who approached him with ‘Ami Sairabanu’.

Raj, whose movie ‘Kai Po Che’ on Chetan Bhagat`s The Three Mistakes of Life is waiting for release in February, said he would also be seen in `Queen` by Vikash Bahl.

Mukhopadhyay, who has co-written the script with famed music director Debajyoti Misra, said he had been planning to work on this film for several years.

"I had been to their settlements in Chetla and other areas in the city and Benaras. I had seen an eunuch Bindya Masi in Benaras who is a fascinating character. And I hope to include their character traits in the film," he said.