In this chat Neha Sargam opens her heart out on her experience, acting, on her big break and lot more. So, to know Neha's fairy tale story, read on…
Firstly, tell us something about Neha Sargam…
I am a graduate from Patna Women's College. I come from a musical family and my maternal grandfather was a classical singer. I learned music from my mom and I am making my pathway to music as well.
How did your journey begin in the entertainment industry?
I auditioned for India Idol 4 and was called to Mumbai for the next round. I had a throat infection and goofed up. But to my luck Rajan Shahi Sir spotted my audition clip on Internet and called me and I was absolutely stunned to receive a call from a person of his stature. Though I had watched his shows, I didn't know that he was 'The Man' behind them. He told me that he saw in me the main lead of his new show. He wanted to cast me and thus asked me to come to Mumbai for a look test. It's like a Cinderella story, everything happened so fast that I still can't believe that I am doing this show.
How did your family react to this?
My family was much more excited than I was. Actually, I was planning to do my MBA before this show. I was little apprehensive but they assured me that if things don't work out they would get my admissions done for MBA. I agreed to it, and came to Mumbai.
Does it mean that your parents were keen that you pursue acting?
Yes, it's only because of them that you are seeing me on television today. They convinced me to give it a shot and also promised that if I was not selected, they would see to it that I get into the best college for my MBA. That gave me confidence to come back to Mumbai and give a look test. And as they say, the rest is history.
Did you take up any crash course on acting?
Yes, Rajan sir arranged acting sessions for all new artists with Amardeep Jha. We had a time constraint, so we could do it only for a week. I am grateful to her because whatever little bit of acting I am doing in this show is only because of her. She made us do a lot of exercises which I thought were not applicable while acting but now I understand its importance and it is helping us a lot (Smiles).
Was it difficult for you to face the camera?
I was a very camera conscious person but now I have changed. I still remember the first day of shoot; I was nervous and gave a few retakes. But thankfully Rajan sir's acting workshop with Amardeep Jha has helped us a lot. My talent for singing has given me the confidence to face the camera. Singers have to rely on emotions so I didn't have to ask the director about the expressions I should give.
Are you upset that music has taken a back seat today?
Yes, doing a daily soap as the lead leaves you with very less time for yourself. So, right now I cannot pursue anything in singing. But I don't plan things and I like to go with the flow. Now, I am fully concentrating on this show but I am taking it as a pathway to my singing career as well. Thanks to singing I am not finding it difficult at all while emoting. You need to feel when you sing, so being a singer is helping me in acting too.
How are you similar or different from your character, Nivedita?
We have a lot of similarities, like both of us are polite, homely and simple. There is only one difference between Neha and Nivedita. I am far more confident.
Your character Nivedita is unwilling to accept that she is in love. Will you admit to yourself when you fall in love?
Of course, I will but at present there is no one. Besides, I am not in the situation that she is.
What kind of reactions have you received from the industry?
I am told that I fit my character like a glove and that it doesn't seem as if I am facing the camera for the first time. Javed Akhtarji said about me, 'There is something in this girl …' This certainly encourages you to give your best.
Are you staying alone in Mumbai?
No, I stay with my mom since the time she had accompanied me for the look test. My dad and sister are in Patna though they keep visiting me whenever they get the time. Rajan Shahi's production house is my second family; I spend most of my time there.
Does your mother accompany you on the sets?
My mom is busy tending to the house most of the time. She visits me on the sets whenever she is free, but it's not quite often.
How has life changed after this serial?
I wanted to pursue my MBA and like my friends, I thought that I would be a 9 to 5 office goer. I never thought of becoming an actor but yes life has changed for the better. I am enjoying this life, this phase and these moments.
What did you do with your first salary?
I gave that to my mom. She placed it in the temple as a gesture of offering thanks to God and also to seek his blessings. I have not yet thought about what I should do with my salary.
One unfulfilled wish that you want God to help you realize …
I would love to be a playback singer. In future if I get a chance to sing, I will definitely have a go at it.
How has been your journey of Chand Chupa Badal Main so far?
It has been a fantastic journey, I came here in Mumbai, started acting and I am really enjoying it to the core. I am not fond of fame but I wanted to create some path for myself. I wanted to make my career in singing and I think this is the first step towards it. I am still learning the various technicalities involved.
How is it working with Rajan Shahi?
It is lovely to work with him, when he called me for the first time and introduced himself I was very confused and didn't understand what he was saying. Our first meeting was very casual but he is a sweetheart and a wonderful person. I am fortunate to have a mentor like him and am really grateful to him for making me what I am today.
How is your chemistry with Kinshuk Mahajan?
He is a very friendly person and doesn't have starry tantrums at all. He is very understanding and co-operative in nature. He makes sure that he doesn't hurt anyone and is very much polite.
Are you happy with the way your character is shaping up in the show?
Yes, I think I am very fortunate to get such a nice role to play; it is a very strong character. I love every bit of it. The whole show and its story is revolving around Nivedita. She is very understanding and will grow eventually. I am happy with the kind of reactions I am getting.
What are your future plans?
I had rejected two shows, before this I was offered a show on Colors and one by Sphere's Origins but I could not do it because I was studying at that time. My parents told me that I should accept the third offer as it is a good opportunity for me. Luckily, I finished my graduation too at the same time so it was not an issue. I never thought that I will act but it just happened.