Balika Vadhu


Balika Vadhu
Balika Vadhu

Articles Archive (Page 7)

CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 18 April 2009 at 10:03am | IP Logged
Avika Gor, the kid who's become an overnight rage following the success of Balika Vadhu, doesn't want to be an actress. Her only goal in life is to become Miss Universe! Yes, although Avika is accepting all the offers that are coming her way, including movies like the Shahid Kapur-starrer Paathshala, she would rather win the world's most famous beauty paegant than face the arclights. "My dream is to become Miss Universe and these (serials and films) are all steps to reach my ultimate goal," says Avika. "I am a focused girl, so I have started working towards it from now itself," says the Color-ful kid.


Who would have thought a 10-year-old would single-handedly down the saas-bahu shutters? Avika Gor stormed the small screen with Balika Vadhu and an entire nation was hooked. The show dealing with the sensitive issue of child marriage in conservative Rajasthan zoomed to the top of the charts in less than eight weeks, with the credit going to Anandi, the child bride played by Avika. From walking the ramp to shaking a leg with Shahid Kapur in the upcoming film Paathshala to bagging an award last week, the chirpy Avika is going places.

CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 18 April 2009 at 10:05am | IP Logged
'I was self-obsessed'

How old are you?

I'm 20 years 4 months old (laughs).

At this age, how do you manage to play Gehna, who may be just 15 but is emotionally very mature?

Yes, it is tough for me. I'm the only daughter in my family after 72 years and I am also the youngest. So it was difficult for me to relate to a girl who is the eldest and takes the responsibility for her family. Also, my character is married off to a man three times her age who forces a sexual relationship on her. It was difficult to get into her shoes. I'm a girl who can rarely stay quiet while Gehna steals the whole episode away with a single line.

What did you do to familiarise yourself with the character?

I owe it to the workshops, the script and the environment on the set. I was kept confined in a room and made to see films like Bandit Queen. My director, Purnenduji, who conceptualised my character, along with the dialogue writer, gives me instructions. I do not ask questions like most other actors. I pose a question only when I cannot relate to something. I feel people write the show with conviction. By now, I know how Gehna will react to situations and there is no need to instruct me all the time.

The first nights after Gehna's marriage were torture for her. How did you pull off showing her pain?

The beauty of Balika Vadhu is that it plays with expressions and gestures. We have shown 7-8 nights where I was sexually molested but it was done so beautifully, so much was conveyed by subtle suggestions. For instance, the after-effect of the first night scenes was captured beautifully. The pain of what she went through in the night was shown with her gestures and expressions. I was convinced and so was the audience, hence it worked.

Shooting this sequence was difficult for me. When I read the script, I could not visualise what I had to do. So I let the director take me through it and not think about it myself though I was very uncomfortable.

Some people feel that the show does not protest against child-marriage strongly enough. What is your view?

When you distribute pamphlets, people immediately throw them away. If you give the same pamphlet folded or crumpled, people will open it to see what it contains. It is our nature to notice negative aspects far more easily than the positives; and that is what we bank upon. In the show, we showcase the wrong and insert a message in the end that it should not be done.

There are no negative characters in Balika Vadhu though a lot of people think Gehna's character is negative and others believe Maasaa is negative while some find Anandi irritating.

Do the men in your family you receive preferential treatment?

I have nine brothers in my house because we are from a joint family. My dad is the youngest amongst three brothers and I'm the youngest child of my dad so I'm pampered. In the metros, girls are not ignored completely but in remote places, as the popular saying goes, "Neeyat badal jaati hai par fitrat nahi badalti". However, even today, I have overheard my friends telling their girlfriends that they can give up studies if they don't have an inclination for it. Why can't the girl study and why does the man think he needs to study and do something in life? We claim that men and women are working shoulder-to-shoulder but the girl's shoulder is always an inch less.

Do you speak your mind in real life too?

As a person I'm very vocal. Before I played Gehna it was all about I, me and myself. I was self-obsessed (laughs). I would stand up for all "my" demands. But now I have started speaking for people around me. Not in public places but if I feel that my mother is in the wrong I tell her so; I even tell her the other person was right, which I could not have dared to do before.

Your co-actor Smita Bansal says that she gets goose bumps when enacting scenes with Surekha Sikri. What about you?

She gets goose-bumps and I get tears. The best thing about Surekhaji is that if you need her over-the-shoulder shot, she not only gives you cues but does them with the same intensity she gives to her own shots. From Anandi to Jagiya to me to Basant, we have never required glycerine because the way we react to each other is so natural that it just happens.

What is happening to your other fiction show Jo Ishq Ki Marzi Hai?

It is finally going on air from March 10. We have started shooting for it already.

You are a young girl. Are you dating anybody?

No. Actually I'm thinking of somebody but the results are not out yet. So I cannot say anything now (laughs).

Source : The Calcutta Telegraph
CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 18 April 2009 at 10:10am | IP Logged
'She is a real fighter'

Balika Vadhu on colors — 8pm, monday to friday — has won many hearts. Gajra Kottary, the writer of the serial, talks about what started out as an experiment

Balika Vadhu started out as an experiment but has now become the most strikingly successful show on television. Love it or hate it, you certainly cannot miss it. It's a phenomenon just like Kyunki... Such a success streak is no doubt a noteworthy achievement. Add to that Balika Vadhu deals with a sensitive issue like child-marriage on national television. So the question arises — is it able to carry off its social responsibility to educate and not just entertain?

"Frankly, we in the team believe that it is not possible to educate people until you catch their fancy," says well-known writer Gajra Kottary who co-writes Balika Vadhu and pens the story of every episode. "Unless the audience wants to listen, you cannot tell them because the remote is in their hand. So the point is to be able to drive your message across in a very entertaining manner. As far as our stand is concerned, we make it very clear right in the beginning of the serial and at its end (there is a written disclaimer condemning child marriages) — we are not trying to hype up or use the regressive theme, as some people have called it, to entertain people."

But is it easy to strike the balance between watchability and a social message? The serial constantly focuses on the sufferings of an 11-year-old girl-bride, Anandi (played by Avika Gor) at the hands of her dadisa, her grandmother-in-law (Surekha Sikri).

The current track deals with yet another child-marriage in the family — a 15 year-old girl is married to a man twice her age. And he is even shown to abuse her physically. Does a one-line disclaimer at the beginning and end of the show take care of all the sufferings shown? Gajra says: "We are not promoting child-marriage at all. The theme of Balika Vadhu is the story of a robbed childhood. A girl who was very bright was not allowed to continue her studies and has to come to terms with growing up when there is so much for her to explore and discover."

Gajra points out that the serial's anti-child-marriage stance is clear enough and it has had a positive influence. She says, "I know of many cases, especially in Rajasthan and UP, where parents among the poorer classes were on the verge of marrying off their 15-16 year old daughters but after watching the serial have said 'Let's wait a bit'. That is what an achievement is all about."

That's definitely commendable. But wouldn't the serial's message have been even more impactful if there were stronger voices raised against the wrong-doing? Or if there was a strong adult voice of reason which is not easily squashed? Gajra argues: "It is not a documentary and neither is it a film where you have to prove certain points within three hours. It is about portraying reality, which in this case is extremely morbid, unfair and unjust. The reality is that people like Anandi's parents are not able to put their foot down in the face of the social order. It takes a long time."

Taking a breath, Gajra adds: "We have a lot of story to go. We are certainly not going to have our protagonist just go on (being victimised) like this. She is going to be a real fighter because she has been the victim," concludes Gajra.

Source : The Calcutta Telegraph

CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 18 April 2009 at 10:11am | IP Logged
'I'm just a little old woman'

Unlike the tyrannical daadi-saa of Balika Vadhu Surekha Sikri is a soft-spoken person in real life

Congratulations on winning the 'Best actress in a negative role' at Indian Television Academy awards.

I do not play my character negatively. But there is a shortage of categories — they have one negative, one positive. The industry's perception of categories is strange.

Balika Vadhu has given you more popularity than ever before.

That's true. I have done a lot of good roles in my life but this has hit the bull's eye. Everybody likes it. It is a well-written story and character and I have the pleasure of playing it.

You seem to be living the character.

I try to empathise with the character and try and look at her viewpoint. The identification process ensues. Unless I'm convinced, I cannot convince somebody else. So I have to get under the skin of the character.

In these times, how do you justify your tyrannical character? Do you think mothers-in-law like dadi-saa exist today?

I think women like dadi-saa exist in little towns and villages and, to some extent, even in cities. They might not be wearing dehati clothes but their attitude is the same towards their daughters-in-law. You read about people living in highrises beating up their daughters-in-law for dowry.

What if some mothers-in-law make you their role model — that would be dangerous?

A ma-in-law should not make me her role model; she should have her own convictions. Why would anyone want to be like my character? I'm sure a lot of them want to bash me up (laughs).

Has anyone come up and expressed his anger at you?

Once somebody came up to me and said: "Please don't torture the little kid (laughs)."

Why is there a dearth of roles for the contemporary ma-in-law on TV today?

Lack of imagination, I think. On television, people follow whatever is working, instead of thinking of something original. I would love to play a mother-in-law in jeans — it would be a fantastic character. You have to think out of the box. I'm sure such characters will go down well. Aisa nahin hai ki audience ko chahiye isliye hum de rahein hai. It is an absolute myth.

Can you elaborate?

Balika Vadhu has proved that the moment you give the audience something better, they switch loyalties to that show.

Your co-star Smita Bhansal says she gets goosebumps doing scenes with you.

I'm very fond of Smita. She is a fine actress. I enjoy working with all my co-stars on the sets.

Who is your favourite child?

Oh! I will not divulge that (laughs). All of them are my favourites. I like Anandi and Avinash. The girl who plays Suguna is also a fine actress.

From your earlier roles, which would be your pick?

I enjoyed playing Radha, the mother of three daughters in Banegi Apni Baat. It was another well-written role.

You come from the NSD. Do you believe that training/theatre makes better actors?

Yes, it gives a certain amount of discipline and empowers you with various techniques on how to approach your role.

What kind of a person are you in real life?

Oh, I'm just a little old woman with a normal lifestyle. I work from morning to evening; and when I'm not shooting I stay at home. Because of these shooting schedules, I am left with no time. I mostly like spending time at home. Nowadays, because of the traffic, one does not feel like going anywhere. I enjoy my work a lot, it energises me a great deal. I love music, reading, cooking.

One knows very little of your personal life.

I'm married to Hemant Rege and I have a son who lives in Delhi. He is in his late twenties. He is an artiste, a self-taught painter. My husband is involved in production work.

Source : The Calcutta Telegraph

CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 19 April 2009 at 8:21am | IP Logged

Love triangle in 'Balika Vadhu'?

Now with the entry of a music teacher for Neha Marda, who plays Gehna, the serial will have a good dose of music to it as well. Rahul Lahani is all set to play Niranjan on the show.

Gehna, who's married to the much older Vasant, has been trying to get along with him. Vasant, encouraged by Badi Jiji, gets home the young music teacher to train Gehna in music. Rahul's role as Niranjan seems to be a complete antithesis of Vasant. Mature, kind-hearted and understanding; he empathises with Gehna's helpless situation. Rahul's entry in the show will lead to a curious situation. So can Niranjan's entry lead to a possible love affair? Or will it bring Gehna closer to Vasant for his thoughtful gesture? We'll just have to wait and watch.

Source : The Times Of India
niveditha IF-Sizzlerz

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Posted: 21 April 2009 at 1:26am | IP Logged
New faces to bring back Balika's spark

After Pratap's death, the plot of Balika Vadhu (Colors) focused solely on sadness and mourning, causing a fall in TRPs. Now, new faces are being brought on the show in the hope of luring back its lost viewers. In the past one month, there have already been two new entries and very soon there is to be a third.

Farida Jalal: Veteran actress Farida Jalal made her entry last month as badi jijisa and with the character, the family's sorrowful disposition seems to have brightened up. She plays a very positive role on the show; a character who tries to bring about changes in everyone's lives. Her practicality has proved very beneficial to all the daughters-in-law in the family. And it's not just them who are taking advantage of this: badi jijisa has given Sughna a lot of comfort after her husband's death.

Rahul Lohani: He previously played the innocent Mayank on Kyunki. Now, Rahul Lohani will be bringing in a very interesting twist to Balika Vadhu's story. Rahul, who entered the show yesterday, is seen as Gehna's new music teacher. His character's name is Niranjan, who is very shy and innocent. There is a high possibility that there may be a love triangle emerging soon.

Vikram Massey: The Dharam Veer boy is the next to enter Balika Vadhu. He's going to be playing a positive character who adds to the family's happiness. Now that Sughna has no one in her life, after her husband Pratap's death, Vikram's character Krishna will be seen playing her love interest. Initially, the story might have a negative take on their relationship but later, they will end up being together.

Balika Vadhu airs every Monday to Thursday at 8pm on Colors.

niveditha IF-Sizzlerz

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Posted: 21 April 2009 at 9:48pm | IP Logged

Death has made me famous: Jehangir

22 Apr 2009, 0000 hrs IST, ZEENIA F BARIA

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His death was mourned by a phenomenal number of people.
Jehangir Vakil

When Jehangir Vakil died (on screen, of course!), it catapulted the young actor to fame and the serial, Balika Vadhu, to the number one slot. And although the show has now slipped from its numero uno position, Jehangir is still basking in the recognition it has fetched him. "I can't believe death made me so famous!" he says with a laugh.

"The adulation feels great. Working on the show was a fantastic experience. Sugna is a lovely co-star, I miss working with her the most. I knew that my character had to eventually die so I was prepared for my exit. What I wasn't expecting was the response from viewers," he grins.

Unknown to many, the young actor signed on his first film role before Balika Vadhu. "I'm currently working on three films — Kaccha Nimbu, Paathshala and Mera Bachpan, where I play different roles. I landed the role of Pratap quite by chance. They called me for an audition, shortlisted me and I was in," says Jehangir who describes himself as a shy, down-to-earth guy who loves to act.

"I didn't always want to act. I wanted to become an IPS officer but I hated studying!" says the actor who doesn't come from a filmi background. "I entered the industry quite by chance. None of my friends belong to the acting arena."

Jehangir now is waiting to do a negative role. "I think I have that bad boy look to carry off a baddie's role. It would be a great learning experience. Right now my priority are films but I'm open to more interesting television roles, too," he signs off.
CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 22 April 2009 at 5:51am | IP Logged
Jodhpur, Apr 22 (ANI): Young television actor Avika Gaur motivated school children here to take a pledge against child marriage.
Avika interestingly plays a child bride herself in the popular soap opera, 'Balika Vadhu'.

"I am too young to talk about it, but I know that this is a bad thing. Like it is shown on my show that an eight year old is married. She has to be away from her parents, leave her studies, which are very important. She leaves her friends and was given responsibilities, which she was unable to understand. She just had to sit with her head covered. This is a bad thing," she said.

She campaigned against child marriage and made people take a pledge to neither be involved in child marriage nor let child marriages happen.
The writer of the show accompanied her. Thousands of school students were present to support the cause and take the pledge.
"I just want to say that the government legislating laws against child marriage and implementing them is not enough. We all need to understand the pain these children go through. They are robbed of their childhood. There needs to be social uprising against this custom so that it stops," said Purnendu Shekhar, the writer of the television show.
According to last official census in 2001, 6.4 million persons under the age of 18 were married, with Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh accounting for a large chunk of such marriages. By Yogesh (ANI)

Source :

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