Mahesh Bhatt introduces Avni (Arsheen Namdar), his leading lady in 'Naamkarann', which premieres tonight at 9 pm on Star Plus. We caught up with both of them for a candid chat. Why do you say Avni is your strongest character? Avni will win the hearts of people. The absence of a normal family in her life propels her to develop strength and this sets her apart from most of the kids her age. She tries to put a smile on her mother's face, masking her own yearning for a dad, in an attempt to make their family complete. What is unique about Avni's family? The trust and love that a mother-daughter share, especially when they don't have a father figure at home. And Avni uniquely calls it 'Asha and Avni ka ghar'. Do you feel the story is relevant in today's times? Why did you choose a female character to tell the narrative? The girl child is taking centrestage everywhere now. Today, a girl doesn't need a man's support to make a name for herself. Her identity is not defined by her husband or father " she is more than just her surname. This is true in Avni's story since the day she was born. So, many women will relate with her character. Why did you choose Arsheen for this role? Also, do you feel the story is apt for television audiences? In the last 43 years, I feel Arsheen has been my best discovery because she has that unusual spark and the potential to not only deliver dialogues but also soak in the emotions that come with it. I tell her that she has to be a better and a bigger actress than Alia Bhatt. Television is able to change mindsets and that's why I've chosen to tell this story. 'Naamkarann' is my most thought-provoking project with my strongest female lead.
Arsheen Namdar, the 10-year-old find of Mahesh Bhatt, shares her experience of playing the protagonist in 'Naamkarann'. What is your character about? Avni doesn't get demotivated when her father fails to visit her but instead, she makes it her strength to go ahead in life. She is her own superhero. She wants to find joy for herself and her mother.
What kind of a relationship do you share with your onscreen mother Asha (played by Barkha Bisht Sengupta)? Avni tries to help her mother Asha outgrow her sorrow and wants to create magic in every situation of her life. How was your experience working with Mahesh Bhatt? It was great. He guided me and if I have hisaashirwad , I can conquer the world. Avni is a big follower of Ganpati Bappa and I hope this Ganpati utsav is lucky for me. Abhi toh zindagi ki udaan main bahut kuch baaki hai, mushkilein baaki hai and pura aasman udna hai.