Kumkum, Star Plus's afternoon soap, has become synonymous with one actor, Juhi Parmar. Though she started her career with Shaheen on Sony TV, it was with B.A.G Films, Kumkum that she found her true calling. A loyalist, one must say, she has stuck to this show for the last four years and is still going strong. But the irony is that she doesn't relate to Kumkum at all! In real life, while her co-star, Hussain, has already walked down the aisle, Juhi is waiting in anticipation for her prince charming! In a heart-to-heart chat with Prashant Golecha, this beautiful and graceful lady tells us all!!!
Four years as Kumkum... how's the journey been?
it's been a great journey! Kumkum is a part of me, though I don't relate to her at all! I mean, the character has gone through so much; widowhood, an extra marital affair and financial problems. And after the leap, it's been all the more difficult to relate to her since I am shown as the mother of a twenty year old son.
|"Even though my character has evolved, I still look the same"
Coming to the leap, how have you adjusted to it?
I did have initial apprehensions but the producers and channel took care of these. Even though my character has evolved, I still look the same. Imagine I'm not even a bahu in real life and here I play a mother-in-law! So, emoting without relating to it is a different ball game altogether.
But what do you think has worked for the show post the leap?
I think the characters have been sketched in a way that people can identify with them. This is what makes the story believable. Let me cite an example. We have handled everyday issues like a bahu taking up cooking as a responsibility after her marriage, inspite of the fact that she has never done it before. Fans call me saying that after watching this, they have started cooking! Not just this, we have shown Kumkum encourage her daughter-in-law to work post marriage, and this is keeping up with today's times!
So now with the four year association with the show and the leap, it must be like one big family on the sets?
You bet! It's like my second home. We treat the younger generation as new members of the family and so there are no negative vibes on the sets. The leap gave us a chance to rag the fresh lot and behave like seniors, though the fact is that we all belong to the same age bracket. We are busy playing pranks and even indulge in cricket.
How do you describe your relationship with the production house, BAG Films?
Wonderful! I call B.A.G Films my maika (laughs). B.A.G and Juhi have full faith in each other. I am open to adjustments and don't mind walking that extra mile for them. Anurradhaji and Rajesh Chaddhaji have pampered me a lot. I am going through the best phase of this relationship.
|"I am totally mushy-mushy!"
What is the real Juhi like?
I am very hyper and touchy by nature. My friends call me an emotional fool. But over a period of time I have mellowed down. I am a typical Sagittarian and have a great sense of humour. Also, success has humbled me. I have seen people who couldn't handle it ending up nowhere on the scene today.
Your family's still in Jaipur?
Yes, and I do visit them for a few days, whenever I can. My sister Heena has recently completed a course in fashion designing and is now going through her struggle phase.
Now coming to the moot question which I've been waiting to ask, what about marriage?
I definitely want to get married and settle down. I don't believe in frivolous relationships. I am waiting for my Prince Charming and I am sure he will be worth the wait! My dream man has to be a very nice human being. Intense eyes, romantic in every sense of the word and must have a great sense of humour. When I do find him, I will happily declare it.
How romantic are you?
I am totally mushy-mushy! I am longing for a beautiful candle-lit dinner and then dancing with my man to my choice of music in the background. So, it's sad that I have noone to romance with.
Other than love, what are you passionate about?
Cars and perfumes! I have two cars, a Fiat Palio and a Toyota Corolla. I love zipping, especially on the highways. Coming to perfumes, I don't step out my house without wearing one.My favourite are Issey Miyake and Christian Dior
I just can't tolerate people with bad breath or odour.
How do you unwind yourself?
Being with friends rejuvenates me. My set of friends include behind-the-camera people like Dikshita, executive producer, Kumkum, writer Kamlesh Kunti Singh and his wife and Anjali, who works for Star. Besides, I also love watching films.
What's your motto of life?
Live and let live! I believe in giving space to everyone. That reminds me of another relevant adage, 'Life is an ice cream, enjoy it before it melts'.