Ayesha is more amused than exasperated by attempts to put her into the retired actress’ bracket after marriage.
“I’m amazed at the games people play. The other day someone asked me if I’ve started wearing a burqa after marriage,” laughs Ayesha. “Far from feeling clamped, I now have the freedom to do more things than before. My parents-in-law are cool about my business ventures with my husband and my film career.”
“Farhan (her husband) and I went around together for five years before marriage. So there goes the conservative card. Suddenly after we made it official, I hear all kinds of rumours, including one that I’m out of Revathy Varmha’s film and that I’ve been replaced by some other actress.”
Says Ayesha: “I always felt ‘Wanted’ would be the first big hit of my career. Ironical that it should come now after my marriage. And I’ve got more to do in it than the leading lady in a Salman vehicle would be expected to. And why should I give up a dream role like the one in Revathy’s film? She’s new to the Mumbai industry and quite nervous about these controversies.”
In fact, Revathy and Ayesha’s mother are very close friends. “Revathy comes home regularly. We all laugh at the way the casting is being questioned by people who probably have nothing better to do.”
Ayesha also intends to focus on a new business venture. “I started working in films when I was only 15. And I just realised I’ve been at it since then. I need to venture out. It’s time to try out new things in life. Today a young woman has so many opportunities. I’m fortunate to have a name and a face that’s recognisable. I want to use that to my advantage and start a clothes line by the middle of next year.”
Ayesha, her mom and sister Natasha will be partners in the garment business. Says Ayesha: “All three of us are very excited about doing the clothes line. We love fashion. It’s basically for the girls in the family.”
Ayesha’s husband Farhan Azmi, who is a restaurateur and the son of Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi, will be there to help his wife with the clothes line.