What attracted you to this role?
This is my first role, I also happen to be playing the main lead. I gladly accepted the show as Sphere Origins is a very prestigious production house. The 26-12 terrorist attacks in Mumbai shocked and saddened me. 26-12 is about a bigger and more shocking 26-11. It also shows a common woman fighting against terrorism.
Can you identify with this role in any way?
Rashmi is humble, sweet and can't tolerate any wrong doing. Whenever there is any wrong doing she will protest against it just like I do.
Did you prepare for this role?
I really didn't have to. Rashmi is about the same age as I am. Like me, Rashmi too has been born and brought up in Mumbai. So it is like playing myself.
Rashmi loses her loved ones in a terrorist attack. What is your message to those like Rashmi who have lost their love ones in a terrorist attack?
I don't know exactly what message I may give to them. I really feel sorry for their grave loss. While essaying the role of Rashmi I could empathize with the loss of innocent lives a terrorist attack entails. No family should suffer such a loss. People should be extremely vigilant, maybe that may prevent a terrorist attack. For instance nobody should touch a suspicious bag or object. Indians should be united against their fight in terrorism and a harsh punishment should be meted out to the terrorists.
How does this tragedy change Rashmi?
Rashmi was protected by her dad and brother and loses both of them in the terrorist attack. Post the terrorist attack in her family she just has her bhabhi and son. The entire responsibility falls on her; she knows that she has lost the breadwinners of her family, she bravely resolves to fight out this situation. She realizes that it's not just her family which has been affected; this tragedy has affected the whole of India. She knows that she has to take a stand against terrorism.
What do you like best of Rashmi, the character you play?
I like the fact that Rashmi despite being born and brought up in Mumbai is homely, family oriented and not outgoing. Her family means the world to her.
Is there anything that you don't like about her?
Rashmi is so adorable that it is difficult to dislike anything about her.
If you met Rashmi in real life what advice would you give her just after she goes through the tragedy of losing her loved ones?
She doesn't require any advice whatsoever as she is very intelligent and far stronger than I am. In fact I should take advice from Rashmi.
What kind of role would you never do?
I will accept all kinds of roles whether or not I am like them in real life. As an actress I should do varied roles.
What kind of fan feedback are you getting regarding your performance in 26-12?
Nowadays I am being called Rashmi or Lallu instead of Tejashree. My friends, family and teachers are impressed to see me act. They can hardly imagine that this is my first TV show. I am a classical dancer and singer but they could never think that I could act too. They say that I look very different on screen.
Author and Reporter: Pallavi Bhattacharya