Telly actress Jayati Bhatia has always combined theatre with her soapy lather. As the effervescent Titli mami in the Zee daily Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka (Zee), she essays a character obsessed with butterflies.
She also features as Geeta kaki in Kasautii Zindagi Kay (Star Plus) and as the bitter secretary Bindiya in Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin (Sony).
This week, she will also be seen on stage in Q Theatre Productions' Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace, which opened at the Prithvi Festival in November 2004.
Directed by Quasar Thakore Padamsee, it is an adaptation of the Singaporean play, Stella Kon's Emily of Emerald Hill.
It will be staged on April 19 and 20 at Prithvi Theatre, Juhu. As Bhatia strikes that balance between play rehearsals and studio shoots, we settle for a tte--tte with the actress.
Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace has you playing a teenager and a septuagenarian.
Khatijabai is an innocent woman, but circumstances make her manipulative.
She starts off as an abandoned teenager who grows to be the matriarch of a household and ends up being abandoned once again in old age.
Khatijabai is a story of not just one woman, but of all of us who are trapped in lives that aren't our own. It is a one-woman play and ever since we opened at the Prithvi Festival in November, every show makes me better and better. The play is about wanting to belong.
You have always combined theatre and television…
I began acting by doing theatre with Ebrahim Alkazi in New Delhi. When I started doing plays in Mumbai, television happened. But I always managed to do theatre alongside.
What's happened to Bindiya and the rest of the secy gang in Jassi?
We have been missing from the scene for a while. The track has now been focussing on Jassi, Armaan and Purab. But we secretaries have voiced our need to be seen. In fact, we have already started shooting again.
Once Jassi is back in Gulmohar House, the secretaries will be back on the scene. Bindiya and the rest of the gang have always been a huge support to Jassi.
Your styling as Titli in Sinndoor is distinct.
It was a conscious decision to have my character of Titli mami stand out with her unique mannerisms. There was this need to add spice to the bubbling persona, so Titli, as the name suggests, is obsessed with butterflies.
She sports a butterfly tattoo, butterfly hairpins, just about everything to do with butterflies is hers!