A child actress in the 1970s, Sarika grew up to be a Bollywood swan.
She was one of the 80s top glamour girls, with supermodel good looks
and a body to match. She was often cast as the vamp or 'Westernized Girl'
and consequently because of the moral semiotics of 1980s Bollywood, almost
always died at the end of the movie. Personally Sarika was unhappy with
her 'bad girl' type casting, feeling that she was never given a chance
to expand beyond the stereotype. Sarika though did have a flourishing
career as the glamorous vamp, her films like "Grihapravesh",
"Kunwari Bahu", "Vidhaata" and "Nirvaan"
created a sensation in the industry.
The camera loved Sarika and focused upon her with an obvious and
blatant voyeuristic gaze. No matter how small a role she may have had
in a film, the camera could always be counted on to feature at least
one extreme close-up of Sarika's exquisite face.
Sarika began an affair with Kamal Haasan in the mid 1980s which
led to him divorcing his first wife and eventually marrying Sarika. She
settled into married life and retired from acting opting for the traditional
role of wife and mother to the two daughters she had with Haasan. However
Sarika remained active in the industry and became a noted costume designer
mostly behind the films made by her husband. In 2000 she received awards
for her costume design for "Hey Ram".
Now separated from Kamal Haasan (in what is reported to have been
a bitter separation instigated by Haasan's alleged extramarital affair
with South superstar Simran) and raising her two daughters, Sarika says,
her life is her own. After a 17 year gap she has returned to acting and
has appeared in a Tamil film. Also against Haasan's wishes, Sarika is
supporting her eldest daughter's aspirations to be an actress. Sarika
thought seems to be doing things her way now. Hat's off to her, Sarika
is a true Bollywood survivor.
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