She is Miss Madhya Pradesh, and a well-known face of Madhya Pradesh Doordarshan. She has worked in about 45 Advertisements in Bhopal, and is in her first year of college. At present, she has settled in Mumbai, with her mother, who plays the lead in 'Bidaai', on STAR Plus, talks to us.
Q. Tell us about your role in 'Bidaai'.
A. I am playing the role of Sadhna, who is very fair. She is full of innocence and wonder. She lives with her maternal uncle and aunt, and her father works abroad. She has been waiting for her father since she was a child. Her cousin Ragini, a very dark girl, is her closest friend, and they are both fond of each other. In fact, everyone loves Sadhna, except her aunt, who leaves no opportunity to hurt her. Sadhna never takes it to heart, and always thinks it is her own fault that she gets a scolding all the time.
Q. Your character sounds very innocent. Do you relate to this character at all?
A. Personally, I am cooler. I wear both western and Indian clothes. I am not so innocent, and no one has the guts to scold me, in real life!
A. I am from Madhya Pradesh. I won the Miss Madhya Pradesh title this year. I have worked on 45 films there and also anchored three programmes on Madhya Pradesh Doordarshan – 'Bollywood Hungama', 'Style Hain Toh Life Hain', and 'Hum Hain Toh Kya Gam Hain'. My father is a doctor, and my mother runs a boutique. I am the eldest of four sisters. I just passed my XIIth, and have enrolled in the Mumbai University for my graduation.
Q. How did you decide to come to Mumbai?
A. I had already worked a bit in Bhopal. Vivek Jain was my senior in school. He is the supervising producer of this serial. He auditioned me in Bhopal, and sent the tape to the channel. The channel called me for a final audition in Mumbai, and I was selected. I am now living in Mumbai.
Q. How do you plan to balance your studies with your acting assignments?
A. I am a student of the Retro group, where my studies are private. Therefore, I can act, as well as shoot. At times, I have shot for 24 hours at a stretch. A student never studies unless he is under pressure. Books are opened only at the time of exams. I will do the same.
Q. Was your family opposed to the idea of you coming here?
A. Absolutely not. My family and I were both surprised and shocked that I was selected, without any struggle on my part. It is like a dream come true. One small audition, and I got the lead role. Unbelievable. My mother lives with me here. You know, I did not tell my family about this role till the promos were aired. I believe in doing things, not talking about them.
Q. How different is this serial from the usual saas-bahu ones?
A. Quite different. This is the story of two sisters. If one falls, the other one gets hurt. There is no place for saas-bahu here. Of course, in future, when the two characters get married, there will be a saas, maybe. There is a maternal aunt instead, who has a very sharp tongue!
Q. Ragini and Sadhna are very close onscreen. How is your equation offscreen?
A. We are closer offscreen. We have become very good friends. Parul treats me like her younger sister – she guides me on life in Mumbai, since I am new. She makes sure I eat, and feeds me herself, when I don't. She takes care of me.
-Rajnee Gupta (SAMPURN)