Posted: 19 March 2006 at 1:25am | IP Logged
She claims that her dusky complexion is a blessing as it helped her bag
Saat Phere. Now that the serial is doing very well and her role as Saloni is being appreciated, Rajshri Thakur has a lot to look forward to. She's the only actor from Zee to have been selected to attend the Zee Carnival in London. By the year end, the actor plans to wed her longtime beau. Life's surely on a roll for this dusky actor...
As Saloni, Rajshri Thakur has caught the viewer's eye for her plain, dark looks and tragic life. A simple girl from a Rajasthani backgound, she is always rebucked by all for her looks and dusky complexion. Even her mother does not spare her. Her marriage is a major issue as no one wants to marry a dark girl. But she catches the eye of Tara who selects her for her handsome brother-in-law Nahar who falls in love with Saloni at first sight and life changes for the girl. After marriage Saloni begins to look different.
Earlier even her costumes were in keeping with her looks. "What is fun about acting is that you get to wear good clothes," grins the actor. Keeping her complexion in mind, after marriage, she was first given a mature look with saris designed more like draped dupattas, brocade blouse and heavy jewellery to go with her image of a bahu from the royal family. But now the ghaghra-cholis have made way for traditional and elegant saris and heavy jewellery.
Elated, Rajshri says that for her wedding scene, she got to wear bridal outfits designed by Chintan and Priya complete with real diamond jewellery. The small screen wedding looked real with an elaborate Rajasthani ceremony, complete with ghumar dances from Rajasthan and elephants which were a part of the baraat.
Talking about her dusky complexion which has been the talk of the serial, Rajshri says she has never been ashamed of her colour in real life. "I was born with it and have accepted it gracefully. Now the same has become a blessing for me as it got me the role of a lifetime," she says adding that she can now easily identify with the problems of Saloni and understand her as well. The serial has caught on really fast and the actor says that she has been getting emails from all over the world. "One girl emailed me saying that she too has a sister named Shubra and so she knows exactly what Saloni must be going through." Another read that since she was also dark-skinned, she could easily identify with Saloni's character. "It is touching to receive such emails," states the actor who before making her debut on the small screen with Saat Phere, worked as a news reporter with All India Radio (AIR), Doordarshan (DD) and Zee News. The Mumbai-bred Maharashtrian girl has done many commercials including Tanishq, Birla Sunlife Insurance, Bajaj Almond Hair Oil and World Gold Council. Having acted in college and inter-collegiate drama festivals, she was also the assistant director to Abhay Rajadkshay in Marathi serials like Aakash Peltana, Reshim Gaathi where she got to learn what television was all about. She's also acted in an Indo-French film Hawa Aane Do which has been screened at Asian Film Festivals. She wore no make-up for the film. A friend of Purnendu Bose, the writer of Saat Phere, who saw the film and recommended her to producer Sunjoy Wadhwa who was looking for a dark girl. He called for an audition and she proudly beams that she was selected mainly because of her colour.
Thoroughly satisfied with her small screen performance, in personal life too, Rajshri's happiness knows no bounds. She got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Sanjyot Vaidya late last year and "the wedding will be sometime this year," she says shyly adding that her fiance is also an actor and works in Marathi theatre. He is involved with the Indian National Theatre and has done plays with Bhakti Barve, Atul Kulkarni and others. "In Gandhi Vs Gandhi, he plays Gandhi's son. Both of us were seen together in a telefilm Tuzha Tu Vadhva Raja where I played Saibai and he was Shivaji," says the actor.
Though the duo have been friends since their college days, Rajshri had no clue that he liked her till he approached her father for her hand in marriage and everyone approved of the alliance. As for his approach to her work, she says, "The show is watched by his entire family and my mother-in-law just loves the serial and my work in it. And since Sanjyot is an actor himself, he is very critical of my work and is always finding faults. It is very difficult to satisfy him." Rajshri adds that her fiance knows her love for her profession and has granted her permission to continue working even after they tie the knot.
Like every aspiring actor, Rajshri too aims for films. "But since I shoot 13 to 14 hours daily for Saat Phere, it leaves me with very little time for myself," says the actor who is now facing the ordeal of being a famous TV face. Since she doesn't own a car, she would use her father's vehicle at times or even travel by local trains. Lately she is being recognised and being stopped for autographs or maybe a surprised 'Are you really Saloni?', 'Are you really dark?', 'Why are you travelling by train?' and so on. Rajshri says it feels nice but soon it may turn scary so she plans to buy a car and travel to the location in the suburbs from Dahisar. "After marriage, I will move to Andheri," she grins. Just then her cell phone rings and it is the concerned fiance on the line calling to enquire if she had had her lunch. Rajshri attends to his call and we take leave.