Shefali Shah started off her career in television with shows such as Banega Apni Baat, Adhikaar and Karz, before moving to films.
Her performances in Vipul Shah’s Waqt, Aparna Sen’s 15 Park Avenue, and more recently, Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do, where she played the role of a wife enduring domestic disquiet and infidelity with spunk, have been consistently applauded.
However, in a career spanning over nearly 25 years, Shah, now in her mid-40s, has done relatively lesser work, something that’s testimony to Bollywood’s ageist attitudes towards women.
She now appears as DCP Vartika Chaturvedi in Netflix’s Delhi Crime, a bleak police procedural based on the 2012 Delhi gangrape, directed by Richie Mehta.
“Earlier it was even more difficult but now, as one can see, it has changed for the better,” Shah said when asked what it’s like being a middle-aged woman actor in the Indian entertainment industry.
“The fact is that I am still playing a lead in a show like this,” Shah added, settling down with a cup of tea as HuffPost India met her in the North Bombay suburb of Bandra.
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Shah, however, said that it has been a long wait.
“There were two options for me. The first that I become a Hindi film heroine whose career lasts for 3 years....