Free Press Journal

“I believe in God, but I am not superstitious”, says Fenil Umrigar


She brings an unsullied charm in her performance on screen. Fenil Umrigar of Zee TV’s popular Kaala Teeka talks to Dhrithi Sudhakar Gulvadi about her show, superstitious beliefs and more…

Usually the word “Kaala Teeka” is associated with superstitious belief, but the show Kaala Teeka is a metaphor for enlightenment. Comment.

Normally, Kaala Teeka is to ward off evil eye, but in our show Kaali (character name) is made as Gauri’s (character name) Kaala Teeka, so that she can protect her from all the evils. Everyone knows that she is Gauri’s (character name) Kaala Teeka but we are more like sisters to protect each other. Gauri has a soft corner for her and she is confident that Kaali is always there to protect her, no matter what happens.

Connecting with the audience is more important than the varying characterizations and stories in the shows. Comment.

According to me, I think there has to be finite stories which should have specific stories for specific characters. It’s not just about the positive characters of the show. Each and every character should connect with the audience in an emotional manner.  Whenever there is a leap in a show or the introduction of a new character takes place, the raw factor is lost in the process.

Despite of country’s progression, efforts to replace superstitious belief with rationalism have gone in vain. Do you think such beliefs would continue to prevail in the coming ages as daily soaps are also one of the factors to the mounting credulity?

Daily soaps bring back the beliefs because the audiences want it. Despite of India’s progression, there are many people who still believe in superstitions. There is a very thin line between faith and superstition. I don’t believe in superstition, but I think that there is some energy somewhere which is guiding me or giving me a positive feeling. I believe in God, but I am not superstitious.

India is the land of spirituality, it is encompassed with many religions and hence, religious belief is allied with spirituality. What is your take on the same?

I feel that there is one God, but people pray for blessings in different ways. If I visit a church or a mosque, I join my hands and pray. I don’t differentiate any.  If I come across any church or mosque I simply pray to shower blessings on me and my family. Religious differences are made in India. There is one God, but people worship in different ways.

What is your definition of success with regards to the show?

I think our show is doing very good. I was very excited to do this character because normally Kaala Teeka is a black dot but in our show a girl is symbolized as Kaala Teeka. There are other shows like 24 which have a good concept and the episodes are interesting, but unfortunately the TRPs are drooping.  In contrary to that, shows which show kitchen fights have TRPs burgeoning. I don’t understand what these Indian audiences are looking for. There may be categories of audiences. People who work in the corporate world may not have time to watch these shows; hence shows like 24 don’t have much audience. Indian television is all about housewives, so they love to watch dramas or the kitchen fights. It may depend on the kind of audiences that the shows are produced.  Some shows work and some may not. I think Indian women like drama, gossip, fights or domestic issues more than the inspirational kind of shows.

Indian television show makers distance themselves in experimenting content alike art films. Comment.

I guess the makers are more focused in raising the TRPs and hence, they don’t want to take any risks. If they want to make shows that have dark or psycho kind of roles or violence in it, then I would love to be a part of such shows because as an actor that will give me lot of shades to perform which would lead to get better with the acting skills, additionally, it will be interesting. I think hardly such shows are produced. I would love to do the kind of shows like Sony TV’s Beyhadh where Jennifer Winget is playing the negative character and she is equally the heroine of the show.