Tisca Chopra, Actor, Author and Film Producer

Tisca Chopra, Actor, Author and Film Producer

Asit Dixit and Umesh Patil |
February 19, 2019

“Teen thoda kum hain. We charge five normally. That is my normal rate (Three [lakh rupees] is somewhat on lower side. We charge five normally. That is my normal rate).”

A kin of late Khushwant Singh, noted journalist and author, Tisca Chopra shot to fame after portraying a tormented mother to a dyslexia child in Aamir Khan-starrer Taare Zameen Par. Her talent, however, goes beyond acting in theatre, TV serials and films. She has penned Acting Smart: Your Ticket To Showbiz, a best seller in its genre, while writing and producing Chutney, a short film which bagged her two Filmfare Awards. Born Priya Arora, Tisca has trodden a path people seldom tread, and it has brought her fame and encomiums in equal measure. As it happens, fame brings in popularity which Tisca enjoys on social media. Tisca has about 4 lakh followers on Facebook, more than 3 lakh on Twitter and more than 6 lakh on Instagram.

We met Tisca in a Delhi five star hotel. But before that we had already apprised her of our objective. Here, our objective is to seek celebrity support for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) instead, not the BJP. We tell her she would have to praise the AAP government for its good work, especially in education. “Aur Delhi mein kaafi accha kaam kiya in logon ne humne suna hai (I have heard they have done really good work),” Tisca tells us. Getting a fair sense of what she is expected of, Tisca asks, “Kab tak karna ye (How long am I supposed to do it).” There would be contract for coming eight months and you will be required to post three to four messages each on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram every month. “Three to four per month,” she reiterates the number of messages to be posted. Yes, this is exactly what we are looking forward to, messages focusing on achievements and social issues, withoust naming the government or its ministers. At times, you will also have to defend the government on certain issues that would arise from time to time. “Highlight karein … kabhi defend karein ([You mean] Highlight [good work] …  sometime defend them),” she says understanding perfectly the requirements. Giving an example of how cheap electricity is in Delhi compared to Mumbai, we ask her she could write on that as well. Tisca proves to be a good learner, as she says, “Haan aap bataate rahein, hum log karte rahenge usko (Yes, tell me such things I will keep promoting them accordingly).” Yes, we would provide the content, we tell her.

You can ask us if you have any confusion, we tell her. “Nahi confusion nahi (No, there is no confusion),” she assures us in turn. When we ask her in what mode, cash or by cheque, she would like to accept her fee, she is prompt to say, “Pehle amount toh decide kar lein (First, let us decide on the amount [of fee]).” Okay, let us do that first. Tell us what your expectation is, we ask. “Humare toh rates hain fixed jo hum charge karte hain because hum karte hee rahte hain ye alag-alag brands aur alag-alag cheejon ke liye toh ab aap bataiye aapke mind mein kya hai (Our rates are fixed whatever we charge, because we keep promoting different brands and different events. So tell me what is in your mind),” she asks us.

We forgot she also works as a model and promotes some big brands. The ball is now in our court. Telling her to not hesitate while quoting her expectations, we ask her how many followers she has on Twitter. “Twitter pe kaafi hain … teen lakh … Instagram pe 4 lakh, Facebook pe dus lakh (There many [followers] on Twitter … 3 lakh, 4 lakh on Instagram, 10 lakh on Facebook),” she claims. Here, Tisca gets her numbers wrong, in order to shore up her fee, perhaps, for she has less than 5 lakh followers on Facebook. Anyway who is bothered about such statistics?

To give her an idea, we tell her there would be three contents a month, which comes to nine messages. “Toh per month kitna ho jayega (So, how much it will be per month),” she asks. Accordingly, she would be paid Rs. 3 lakh per message, we tell her. But when we are unable to arrive at an exact figure, she chips in, “Nine three ja twenty-seven.” But she is not satisfied with the offer and is quick to convey it, “Teen thoda kum hain. We charge five normally. That is my normal rate (Three [lakh rupees] is somewhat on lower side. We charge five normally. That is my normal rate).” We promptly approve the fee she has quoted but with a rider. Since she is a celebrity and when she says something on an issue, it has a great impact on people’s mind. So, in situations when there is need to defend the AAP government, she would have to be more proactive. “Kar paoongi (I will be able to do that),” she assures us.

The deal thus sealed, we come to the mode of payment. We would pay you up to 20 percent of the fee in white and the contract would include only this much of the deal, we tell her. The rest would be paid in cash. “Theek hai, theek hai, wo theek hai (It’s okay, it’s okay. That is okay),” she utters in agreement. Before wrapping up the interview, we again tell her that her objective would be to work in the interest of the AAP by writing positively on good work that its government has done in Delhi. Assuring us she says, “Theek hai, theek hai aur Mohalla Clinic wagaireh ke baare mein mujhe thoda saa writeup de dena … toh fir jaake main apne hissab se usko (It’s fine. Give me a write-up on Mohalla Clinics … so after getting back I will write about that in my own [words]).”

Sure, we would provide you content backed up with research, we tell her. You see, the party in power would rake up issues which would lead to polarization during Lok Sabha elections. So, you would have to criticise the government at the centre for lack of its will on the issue of black money that is hoarded in Swiss banks. “Matlab basically jo ruling party jo ghalat kaam kar rahi hai un cheejon ko point out karna hai (You mean, basically I will have to point out those bad things that the ruling party is doing),” she says. Yes, this is what we are looking forward to. In addition, you have to appreciate the AAP. “Haan jo beneficial kaam hai wo saara (Yes, all that beneficial work [done by it]),” replies Tisca. Finally, you have to defend the AAP on issues it finds itself cornered, we tell her. We hear a crisp “Okay” in return from her.

We had e-mailed a questionnaire to all these celebs to know what they would like to say on what we have revealed in our story. Click here to read the answers.

Reply of Bollywood Celebrities 

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