Debina Bonnerjee, NDTV Imagine’s Sita opens up about her character and her future in an exclusive chit-chat with Telly Buzz…
It’s a wonderful feeling. I actually feel the pain and suffering of the character. Being a modern woman I also reject the theory that it’s not possible to find a Sita these days. Playing the character for so long, I have began to understand where she comes from.
Did you watch the earlier season episodes to pick up pointers from Deepika Chikalia?
No I prefer to play the character as naturally as possible. And plus we all have knowledge of the great epic.
As a modern woman don’t you feel that mytho’s give the fairer sex a raw deal?
Scriptures tell us that these things were pre-ordained to finish off the evil and teach values to humanity. As a human all I can is that it's God’s Leela.
The rumor mill is abuzz that you and Gurmeet are married; can you come clean?
All this hog wash started once when I was walking on the street with my make-up sindoor still on. At first we were affected by such talk, but now we have learnt to deal with it. Why should we hide something like this?
Besides Gurmeet who else are you friendly with on the set?
I get along quite well with Laxman as well. But of late I have really hit it off with Akhilesh Mishra, who plays Ravan. We chat away for hours. In fact it gets difficult to say those nasty things to him.
Are you afraid that you might meet the same fate as Arun Govil and Deepika Chikalia, who could not come out of their character images?
No, with technological advances, people’s minds have opened up. They can now switch on and switch off. I am getting lots of south offers, so that justifies my confidence.
Will you do more western and glam roles later?
Once Ramayan is over I will decide whether to change the Sita image or bask in its glory. I would also love to take part in reality shows. Being a classical dancer, I will dance till I die.
What about Bollywood?
Yes, but it better not be like the current stupid films. When I as an audience cannot watch them, it makes no sense to work in them.
Will Mahabharata and Krishna eat into Ramayan’s success?
No the stories are completely different. While Mahabharata is a political saga, our show is a family drama. And Krishna deals with the life and times of the great Hindu God. Also, what works in our favor is the first mover's advantage! Pulling in audiences is easy, but holding them will be a different ball game. We have had to do the hard work of breaking the conventional logic that mythos don’t work, which is no mean task.
In closing any message to your fans?
Thank you for your love and affection. Please also appreciate that Ramayan is not like other dailies where if you fall sick, the creatives can introduce some other character or track. But out here, we have to work 30 days a month, as the story can’t be changed. Hence we have to keeping shooting, irrespective of any problems that befalls us.
Reporter and Author: Anil Merani