Says Mona Singh who has ventured into the digital space with a web series and feels proud to say no to shows she doesn’t want to do
Mona Singh says there is nothing worth doing on television nowadays and hence, it does not hurt her to reject the shows that come her way. Singh, who is still remembered for her work in the sitcom “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi”, has reduced her small screen outing over the last few years, and she blames it on the regressive content on TV.
Not the same anymore
“It is not progressive anymore for sure. There are the kind of shows I don’t want to be a part of, and I hope TV sees the same days that it saw when we started. I really don’t know what went wrong with TV. The good shows are not being made or they just shut too early,” the actor said.
Singh says she cannot pinpoint the exact reason why the quality of shows started dwindling over the years. “I don’t know what people really want to see. There are just mythological shows, which I don’t want to see. I saw them when I was growing up. I saw ‘Ramayan’ and ‘Mahabharat’, but that is not what I want to see now. I don’t know what’s wrong with TV. Maybe the channels are not willing to take the risks, to try out something new,” she adds.
She says she does not relate to most of the television content these days. “Honestly, I do not like most of the television content anymore. In the 1990s and even when I started, the content of TV shows was much better. These days I cannot relate to most of the TV shows,” she added.
A choosy actor
In this scenario, when an actor does not have many options in TV, Singh says she has no qualms in turning down a show. “The first thing that my father taught me was to say no. It is the most difficult thing to do because we can’t please everybody. I am a very choosy actor and I prefer quality over quantity, that’s why I have done very few shows but all those shows are remembered till now. I don’t feel bad in saying no. I take pride in saying no because I don’t want to do them. I don’t want to pretend and make someone else happy by saying yes. I think of myself as an actor and what they have to offer to me. If the offer is good enough, I take it up,” she says.
Singh, who has done only six shows in 15 years of her television career, is excited about her foray into the digital space, with web series, “Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain”, which has been produced by Ekta Kapoor. “It is always good to experiment, and people in India are embracing the digital concept and content because there is nothing really to watch on TV these days. Digital is out there, it’s more bold, brave and taking risk in creating content that the audience wants to watch or is deprived of. So, for actors, who are hungry for good roles, digital is the way for them,” she says.
Mona’s liking for the digital platform has spilled over her family too. “I am also teaching my mother to watch shows on apps and smart TV. This is a good change. Do we really get to watch a show like ‘The Test Case’ on TV? No. It is not happening there and that should happen,” she added.
Co-starring Ronit Roy and Gurdeep Kohli, the series shows how lives of the three lead characters are affected when someone finds love outside marriage. Roy and Kohli play a married couple in the show. Singh portrays a single woman, who falls in love with Roy. Singh says she was surprised when Ekta Kapoor offered her the part, because on TV she was used to getting typecast as “the nice, simple woman”.
What made the choice easier was the treatment of her character, she says, adding that unlike TV shows, “Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain” does not make the “other woman” a vamp. “The story, the concept, the fact that it is so real and that Ekta wanted to experiment with me and wanted me to play the other woman. Nobody would have thought of that because on TV, I have always been the positive protagonist. So, when I asked her why doesn’t she want to me to play the wife, she said, ‘Because you have always done that. Let’s try something else’. Her (Kapoor’s) take is very clear. She doesn’t want the other woman to be negative, contrary to what is on TV,” Singh says.