After a long sabbatical, Gauri Yadav Tonk is back on Indian television with a show to watch out for. Ek Boond Ishq on Life Ok is looking interesting and Gauri thinks she has picked up the right show as her comeback vehicle to daily soaps, "The show is nice. After a long time I gathered courage to do a daily since it is a very good production house. They are very professional people," says Gauri about Saba Mumtaz who after being a known writer for all these years debuts as a producer with the show.
Talking about her character, Gauri says, "I play Nirmala Devi, who is mother to the main lead played by Viraf Phiroz Patel
. He is shown to be my step son who accepts me and respects me as his real mother but I love my own son more than him. I also end up hating his wife who I find to be too simple." So is she playing an out and out negative character? "Yes, I am a hot and khatarnak saas and I am enjoying playing a negative character."
Gauri is also very excited about her look in the show which she claims is very classy and royal. She will be seen wearing a lot of sarees and outfits but Gauri is not ready to reveal much about it at this moment, "For each and every character the briefing is precise and we have dress trials before the shoot. There are colors attributed to each character and the look for each one is very particular. I will be wearing trendy costumes and sarees and the costumes are such that they have not yet been seen on television. Nobody has seen me like this till today. We are hoping to create a fashion trend. I am a classy mom and I am wearing a lot of pastel shades like white and rose."
Gauri who has a chiseled body took extra care when she had to prepare for this role, "As it is many people ask me how I have maintained myself so well, but that is all because of my work out and also because I am particular about my diet. For this role in particular since I am wearing transparent sarees, I had to have nice flat abs and show off some good curves so I went on a diet and worked on my body."
Apart from the fact that she is liking her look, Gauri is happy with her role which is why she gave her nod to this role she says, "My role in Ek Boond Ishq is very good and not typical. I wanted to do something nice and not the blink and miss type of roles." So is that why she was away from acting for so long? We remember seeing her in Jhoome Jiya Re
which was telecast in 2008. "Yes, after Jhoome Jiya Re
in 2008, I did episodics but Television had a different trend and I wanted to work but I was not fitting in," says Gauri.
She also thinks that it all has to do with the fact that the mindset of people in the industry is not changing, "When you stay away from Television, people don't show confidence in you and the roles offered to you are not worth it! The mindset of the people in the industry is not changing. Just because I have a 9 year old daughter they offer me elderly roles not thinking once that I got married early and had a baby early too. Also I cannot do simple saree clad roles. The role has to be important for the show too and even if it is less money but good character then it impresses me. So it has to be worth it too. Professionally, I have lost opportunities but now want to do everything. Hopefully after this role things will change."
However, the fact remains that Gauri will be seen playing a mom to older kids. Did that fact not bother her? "Yes, I am shown to be having 3 grown up kids which was a difficult fact to digest. Accepting the fact that I am playing a mom to a guy (Viraf Patel) who is just 4 years younger to me was something difficult but then I feel nowadays the character on TV is not that once you act as a mother you cannot do any other character. Things also have changed and there are shows which need mature actresses too. Frankly, I didn't want to just sit at home. This is the time to work and thankfully this show and concept is different which is a plus point," says Gauri who is now determined to re-start her career even as husband Yash Tonk
too is busy shooting with Salman Khan
for his upcoming film Mental and for Balaji's new show Pavitra Bandhan on Doordarshan.
"Even as Yash is busy with his shoots, my mom is looking after my daughter Pari who has also growing up to be quite independent and learning to manage on her own," says Gauri.
So in the meantime, the set of Ek Boond Ishq has become a second home for Gauri. The sets which look grand are too good to believe says Gauri, "The sets are so real and good that sometimes we feel that this is how our own grand house should be! It is a pretty good house with lovely chandeliers and beds and all the furniture is very, very expensive. On top of that all the co-artistes are very sweet and nice. As a team we are all comfortable with each other. I believe in being positive otherwise it becomes miserable for everyone. A healthy atmosphere is good for everyone - for the show and for you too as a person. I believe that a set is like a temple for us artistes."
Gauri also feels that it is all because of the efforts of Saba Mumtaz, "Saba and her husband have worked really very hard for the show. The storyline is different and they both have managed to come up with something new. I just hope that all the hard work is rewarded and this show does well."
Finally Gauri maintains that she is now raring to go, "Acting is my passion and it is not to make money but something inside me said that I need to work. I have realized that I love my work so much that even if I'm tired, I get up early and reach the sets on time. I am enjoying myself whenever I go in front of the camera."
All the best Gauri... even we are eagerly waiting!
Seema Khot Mattoo