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Meet Balika Vadhu's new Anandi

Last updated on: July 23, 2010 18:46 IST

Meet Balika Vadhu's new Anandi

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Patcy N in Mumbai

On Thursday night fans of TV's most popular show Balika Vadhu waited with baited breath for a glimpse of the grown-up Anandi, the show's protagonist.

For those not familiar with the popular show on Colors, the show took a five-year leap which meant that the young protagonist played by teen Avika Gor got replaced by an older actor, Pratyusha Banerjee.

So who is this new Anandi? Patcy N finds out. Excerpts:

Tell us about yourself...

I am a 19-year-old Bengali girl, born and brought up in Jamshedpur. I'm doing my final year in commerce from St Xavier's College. My father is a businessman and my mother a homemaker. I am an only child. We live in a joint family with my grand parents.

I have always been interested in cultural events since my school and college days. I am a trained Kathak dancer and have done a four-year singing course too.

I knew that I wanted to act when I performed a Kalidas play, Aashad Ka Ek Din at age 17. But my studies are also very important to me too so I will try to complete my graduation as well. I am good in my studies.

What was your parent's reaction when you first told them you wanted to act?

They were shocked at first. But since they trust me a lot, they decided to give me a chance. They were very happy after I got the role of Anandi.


Image: Pratyusha Banerjee

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'I think I am very similar to Anandi'

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Have you watched any episode of Balika Vadhu? Did you ever think you will be the next Anandi? Why do you think you were selected?

I have never missed an episode. You won't believe it, but I always dreamt of trying out for the part of the grown-up Anandi. I think I am very similar to Anandi; I have the same values and I believe in those values. But that does not mean that I don't like to party. I do like to party but to a very small extent. 

So when did you come to Mumbai? What was your audition like?

I forwarded my portfolio (to Mumbai) six months ago when I came to know that they were searching for a new Anandi. Soon after I was called for an audition in Mumbai. It was my first time in the city. Now, I am staying in a PG accommodation.

I was given a script and told to perform a scene. I had to give a lot of screen tests. In fact, I learnt a lot from them (screen tests). A great moment for me was when I got to wear the clothes of Anandi for the first time.

Avika Gor as Anandi was a huge success. Aren't you nervous about stepping into her shoes?

Excited, yes; nervous, no. I will give my hundred percent to this show.


Image: Pratyusha Banerjee
Video: Afsar Dayatar
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'Avika hasn't given me any tips'

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How different will be the grown up Anandi be from the child?

Not very different. She will be her same chirpy self, but yes she will be poised and soft-spoken. She will be like any other married woman who takes care of her husband and family.

Have you met the other characters of the show like Dadisa (played by Surekha Sikri)?

I haven't met her yet but I have heard that she is very sweet and calm.

Has Avika given you any tips? What are the preparations that you had to do in order to play a Rajasthani character?

No she hasn't. She calls me Pratyusha didi. So there's very less chance that she would give me any advice.

I did not have to prepare much. I can fit into any character. Dialect and diction too were not a problem. In fact I can sing the title song of Balika Vadhu. I never felt that I would not be able to cope on the sets.

You are an adult. What do you think about child marriage?

The whole purpose of the show is not to support child marriage but to make people aware about the issue. Such practices need to be stopped.


Image: Pratyusha Banerjee
Video: Afsar Dayatar
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'I never felt like an outsider'

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How was the experience of shooting for the show? Do you miss home?

People on the sets are really sweet. I never felt like an outsider. When I joined the shoot they said 'welcome to our family'. I have still not faced any problem on the sets. They all treat me like a kid, as I am the youngest of the lot.

My first shot was the scene that you all saw on TV yesterday; when Anandi was waiting for Jaggya aka Jagdish, her husband. It was a very affectionate shot. It was shot in Rajasthan.

Yes, I miss home a lot.

Do you think Anandi will become a mother in the near future?

Anandi is a very nice and cultured girl. So she will be a mother one day. And if that happens and I am still Anandi at that time, I will be happy to experience that.

Has life changed for you after you got this role?

Yes. We all have dreams but not all dreams come true. But this is happening to me. My dreams have come true. So obviously my life has changed. I dreamt of giving interviews and now that is happening too.

If you were not an actor what would you be?

I would have been a singer.


Image: Cast of Balika Vadhu
Video: Afsar Dayatar
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