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From Indian Idol to TV soap

Last updated on: July 6, 2010 15:53 IST

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Rajul Hegde in Mumbai

Rajan Shahi, producer of hit shows Sapna Babul Ka Bidaai and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, recently launched his third serial, Chand Chupa Badal Mein.

It's a love story with newcomers Neha Sargam from Patna, who participated in Indian Idol 4 auditions, and Abhishek Tiwari from Dehradun.

In the show, Neha plays Nivedita, a simple middle-class girl who, due to circumstances, has built a strong wall around her heart, forbidding anyone from coming too close to her. She does not even acknowledge love or realise that romance exists in the world.

Shahi is known for turning fresh faces into big television stars with his shows. Will he be able to create the same magic with Chaand Chupa Badal Mein?

Let's find out:


Image: Neha Sargam

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'Chand Chupa Badal Mein happened like a Cinderella tale'

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How did you bag the role for Chand Chupa Badal Mein?

Last year I auditioned for India Idol 4, and was called to Mumbai for the next round. I had a throat infection and goofed up. But Rajan Shahi Sir spotted my audition clip on (the Internet) and called me. I was shocked to get a call from him. Though I had watched his shows, I didn't know that he was the man behind them.

He told me that he saw me, and that the main lead of his new show was so much like me, and that he wanted to cast me. He 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 more excited than I was. Actually I was planning to do my MBA before this show. I was little apprehensive but they assured that if things don't work out they would get my admissions done for MBA. So I just accepted it and came to Mumbai.


Image: Neha Sargam

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'I owe my acting to Amardeep Jha'

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Did you take up any crash course on acting?

Yes. Rajan sir arranged acting sessions for all new artists with Amardeep Jha (actress). We had a time constraint, so we did 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 know how much it is helping us (smiles).

Can you talk about your character?

My character Nivedita is a homely girl. She doesn't have a mother and has been brought up by her grandmother. She is an introvert and a hesitant person by nature, but strong and positive in her own way. You will see different shades of her character as the story progresses.


Image: Neha Sargam

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'Being a singer helped me in acting'

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Tell us about your background.

I am a graduate from Patna Women's College. I come from a musical family. My maternal grandfather was a classical singer and I learned music from my mom. I have a younger sister studying in class 12. I am making my pathway to music as well.

Why didn't you try your luck in Indian Idol 5?

Last year my friends forced me to go for Indian Idol auditions. This year I skipped because I had exams and I didn't want to take any chances.

You want to be a singer right? You are now doing a daily soap. Will music take a back seat?

Yes. But I don't plan things. It happens. I would 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.


Image: Neha Sargam

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