Your serial Jee Le Zara has been trending on Twitter with celebrities like Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra tweeting about it..
It feels great when you hear about it but all I want is for people to connect and fall in love with the show. The serial is very close to life, the characters and situations are real — almost everyone can identify with it. It’s not one of those heavy serials — it’s light-hearted. Even if we are dealing with the serious subject — at least in India it’s considered serious — of a girl who has crossed her marriageable age.
What kind of reactions have you been getting?
It’s great. People are saying it’s hard to believe that I was away from the small-screen for six years. (She was last seen in Virasat and Rabba Ishq Na Hove). It feels nice when people say ‘we are watching the show for you, we were missing you’. I am glad I took that break!
Why did you take a sabbatical?
I was bored of seeing myself on TV even though I hadn’t done too many shows. I am not the kind to do two-three shows simultaneously. I can’t, I don’t work for money. Yet, one fine day I felt that my routine was set and it wasn’t exciting. So, I just stopped working. Also, my parents weren’t keeping well and I wanted to spend time with them. Then I got married. My in-laws never said I should not act, but I wasn’t missing signing autographs or the fame. I was happy doing everyday chores.
You were looking at making a Bollywood debut. Did that also contribute to staying away from TV?
I was fortunate to have been approached by big filmmakers and I wanted to concentrate on that. So I couldn’t do TV. I did a couple of films but unfortunately, they didn’t get released. However, I don’t think about what happened, some things don’t work. It’s okay.
Has that made you wary or are you still open to doing films?
You never know what happens tomorrow, if a good offer comes my way, why not? But this time I will make sure the film will get released!
What is your husband’s reaction to your comeback?
Oh, he is very excited! My husband (Shailendra Singh Rajput) is a polo player and he hadn’t seen any of my earlier shows. When Jee Le Zara was launched on August 15, he came down to Mumbai from Jaipur and we watched it together. He was impressed and told me I was a natural actress. After that he watched all the repeats of the episode!
It’s difficult to believe he hadn’t seen your serials. How did you meet?
We met in Jaipur when I had gone there and decided to learn riding. Since he’s a polo player he taught me and we fell in love with each other. However, he had no clue about my work as an actress. Tell me, where do men watch serials?
They are more into sports and news.
The story of a younger man falling in love with an older woman was explored earlier in Astitva – Ek Prem Kahaani...
Yes, but it was dealt with differently. It was a serious soap while our show, as I said, is light-hearted. We don’t hammer the issue — either about the girl crossing her marriageable age or the odd love story!
You are best remembered for your role as Pammi in Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand. What are your memories of shooting for it?
The serial gave me fame and recognition. The way it was written and directed, it created magic. I was fond of that character. Pammi was styled well and she went through the entire gamut of romance —the way she gave a look, the expressions — I think I can open a school of romance! I must thank Aroona Irani (actress-director) for that. She taught me a lot. I remember shooting for the second episode of the serial in Chandigarh.
It was a terrace scene, where I look at the moon and say some beautiful lines. Suddenly Varun (Badola) comes in front of me and I feel shy and embarrassed. It was a simple scene, but the place was surrounded with moths. While I was looking into Varun’s eyes and being coy, make-up artistes were busy dusting off the moths that had got inside my clothes! It turned out to be the most difficult scene (laughs).
Talking about romance what is the most romantic thing you have done for your husband?
Well, I know that he likes to see me dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire. When I wear the ghagra choli and apply sindoor, his eyes light up. Nobody can bring the chand, but it’s the little things you do that matter.
What is the most romantic thing that he has done for you?
I can’t share that(laughs). What I can tell you is that he takes me on long drives and to places in Rajasthan that I haven’t seen before.