Posted: 12 March 2005 at 7:11am | IP Logged
Reams have been written trying to identify the
charismatic protagonist of popular TV serial "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin".
According to reliable information, she's a model from Pune called
Mona Ahluwalia. But the lady herself insists she shares her name with
the character she plays.
"I'm Jasmeet, that's my name. My friends call me Jass and Jassi. So
there I'm exactly like my character in Jassi," she told IANS in an
"Even my parents, specially my father, are like Jassi's parents.
That's why it isn't difficult for me to act. I just have to be myself
on camera. "
She says she looks exactly like the character she plays. "I'm all the
time asked by press persons if I've done something to my face to look
like my character, whether I've done something to my nose and hair.
"For the record, I wear braces on my teeth for the serial because I
wear them in real life."
As for Jassi's trademark glasses, the real Jassi burst out
laughing...and refuses to comment. So no glasses for the real Jassi.
The girl has been coached by her channel. But her innate sense of the
ridiculous shines through now and then to demonstrate her true
Contrary to belief she denies she's the model in a paint ad. "I've
never faced the camera before "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin", she says.
"I always wanted to act. I met Tony and Deya Singh, the co-directors
of Jassi. When I entered their office I tripped and fell, just like
my character in Jassi would have, ha ha! Tony and Deya didn't even
audition me. I thought I was out. But after a month they called me
for a screen test. They did quite a lot of tests. And that was it.
"I wanted to make my acting debut with something very unique. I guess
I've done that."
The real Jassi's father was in the army. "So we've always been
travelling. Now they're settled in New Zealand with my sister. I have
stayed alone in Mumbai ever since I started shooting for 'Jassi'. All
I've is my serial and sleep in the night."
She tells me she never went to Ekta Kapoor's production house, though
according to buzz at the latter's Balajee Telefilms "Jassi" had
sought to be cast in their serials.
Tell her that people don't miss a single episode, and Jassi
laughs: "They're lucky. I don't get to see any of it...Actually no
one thought the serial would be such a success. Perhaps Jassi's
innocence and simplicity have won the day."
Jassi lives out the middleclass fantasy of an ordinary working girl
hobnobbing and outwitting the rich and glamorous elite.
"But the serial isn't about bringing the rich to the knees. It's
about having faith in oneself and how this faith makes anyone achieve
what one wants."
She admits her entire life revolves around the serial. "I start
shooting at 7 a.m. and we pack up every day of the week. No Sundays
off. I guess I've to be present all the time since I feature in
almost every frame."
The first small-screen icon since Rajani in Basu Chatterjee's serial
by the same name two decades ago chuckles and says: "I'm enjoying my
sudden success. But I'm not allowing it to go to my head. It's great
to be loved.
"Housewives cry in front me. They say they want a daughter like me.
Young girls tell me they're enthused by my struggle in the serial.
They feel if I can do it, so can they."
There's no prince charming in the real life Jassi's life. "Not yet."
Jassi admits she has no life beyond the serial.
She breaks into peals of laughter when I suggest that she see a
shrink about an identity crisis. "Maybe after two years I'd need a
psychiatrist. Hopefully, after Jassi, I will do some other serial.
Right now I'm under contract with Sony. Besides, I've no time for