Beautilicious and affable are the attributes that delineate her truly. From beauty pageants to Bollywood to television, she is awe-inspiring in all. Nikita Dutta of Sony TV’s popular Ek Duje Ke Vaaste speaks with The Free Press Journal about her show, Bollywood dreams and more…
After your Bollywood debut with Lekar Hum Deewan Dil, what made you bound for television?
Everybody eyes upon Bollywood but more than anything it’s about the job you are doing. It’s not about where you are doing etc. I found love in acting and I wanted to act more. I did not want to sit and just wait that someday some movie is going to come. I think one perfects one’s art better if one is constantly working on it. I think if I sit and keep waiting that someday I am going to get a film then you may never know when that is going to happen. This industry is unpredictable. It’s better to keep working and keep making oneself better, which is why I opted for television. In television, I am acting everyday and it just makes me better at what I do, which is why I don’t mind doing television.
As you don’t belong to a film background nor do you have any formal training into acting, consequently, was it difficult to break into the art form?
I would say yes. I think the first thing that everybody faces in this industry is the issue of facing the camera because as a normal person we are not camera friendly at all but I started anchoring with the show on channel Zoom. That’s what got me camera friendly because I was literally talking to the camera. After that I started acting. Of course, it was again a different zone altogether because when you are anchoring you are just being yourself and you are in a different flow of whatever you are doing, whereas in acting you have to portray a character. There were a couple of workshops that I had taken before the film that I did and before the first television show as well, so I think that has helped me a lot. Once you are doing something on a daily basis, I think you become better and better at it.
Why do Indian daily soaps follow a customary formula of having the character depiction of two protagonists at loggerheads with each other but eventually they fall in love with each other?
I totally agree with you. Firstly, people like watching clichés at the end of the day because in this era women are standing up for their self respect but it’s still not that much, so watching something that you want to be is always loved to watch, which is why it’s always portrayed in such a way that women stand for themselves and they are so highly obsessed when it comes to talking about the issue. Secondly, I think we have tried to move a little away from the cliché by portraying as to how one’s self respect is high and how one maintains a balance. The reality factor is the USP of the show. We had tried to keep it so real that Suman (character name) has her self-respect, she is over confident, when she is outside she’s working with the boy but at the end of it she is a girl. She is a girl who lives in a bigger family, she has no parents and she is indebted by heavy loan but she has a different side to her as well. She is calm and not so loud like how you would expect a girl to just be extra loud everywhere.
In the show they have maintained the balance because at the end of the day, we are not the same person with everybody. We are different at work, different with friends and family, we have our different character and that is what we have tried to maintain in the show by showcasing that she is different when at home, she is slightly different when meeting with friends and she is different when she is with her best friend. She is not exactly a responsible girl; she does make mistakes as shown in the show. She is not a ‘know it all’ girl. I think that’s one of the major problems in Indian television that the girl will just be always right and knows everything. She has solution to every problem and she wants to do good to everybody. I think we have tried to maintain in our show that she is inquisitive but she too can commit mistakes or ask stupid questions as well and which is another key factor of the show.
How do you distinguish self respect and ego?
Ego is when one is not ready to listen to other person’s point of view and when one is not ready to come in any kind of amicable terms with anybody, whereas self respect is when one is holding the ground to the right places. I make a mistake and I still don’t apologize then that is ego, whereas when I am right and I know that I am standing for myself then that is self respect.
Most beauty pageants end up foraying into Bollywood than choosing other career options. What according to you makes them successful in Bollywood – beauty, winning title or acting skills?
Lots of time people develop the skill, for instance, I have not done theatre or it’s not that I used to really do a lot of theatre when I was in school or college or any of that sort. I was more of a sports person and I was not much into theater. It’s just with time one develops and if one likes it then one pursues it further. Besides, if one gets better and better at it then one gets more and more work. There are lots of people from these beauty pageants who try their luck and they don’t succeed, unfortunately. It’s about how you are, what you want to do.
Are you short of Bollywood projects?
No, the problem is when one is doing a television show there is no breathing space because one commits a good 25-26 days over here and works non – stop for 12-13 hours, hence at the end of the day there is no time for anything to look out for something else. When one gets done with the show and starts looking for other projects then probably one can find something. I hope in the future something like that happens.
If you have to look back to Bollywood, which director would you like to work with?
If given a chance then I would love to work with Rajkumar Hirani. I have been a major fan of the films he makes. He makes very clean, very nice, very children friendly and family friendly films. I would love to be a part of those films.