Decoding Popular TV Antagonists: 'I received death threats for playing Nidhi Chhabra in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein,' says Pavitra Punia
The second segment of Decoding Popular TV Antagonists features Pavitra Punia. The actress has been one of the most popular adversaries of Indian television. Be it the classy and cruel Nidhi Chhabra of Yeh Hai Mohabbatein or the menacing Timnasa of Baal Veer Returns, Pavitra has excelled in every role she has chosen to do. Talking to us, Pavitra revealed that shedding the image of an antagonist was the toughest as she received death threats for her character Nidhi in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein.
Excerpts from the interview:
Mostly on Indian television, antagonists are women. Do you feel society still considers women 'evil'?
Everybody has chachis, buas and mausis who always gossip. The makers of the first TV show must have experienced this at home. It is not because society considers women evil. Men of the house are the breadwinners, women are called homemakers because they take care of the family like nobody else. Aapko family mein kitne aise mard milte honge joh chugliyan karte hai? Bohot kam. Men don’t gossip the way women do. These are natural human instincts that we incorporate in our shows.
It is tough to shed the image of the onscreen character you play. Is it true?
Of course, it is very tough. We get all sorts of threats. I received death threats for playing Nidhi Chhabra in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein. I would receive messages from people saying you are making Ishita and Raman's (Divyanka Tripathi and Karan Patel) lives hell. I would cry in front of the team and was about to leave the show for the sake of my life. We have to go through such things and it is very traumatic. I couldn't even roll down the window of my car. When you get into the skin of a character, people start hating you. But at the same time, you realise the character is a hit.
In Bigg Boss 14, you came across as a warm, kind and grounded person which was completely opposite to your on-screen image. People got to see who the real Pavitra Punia is. It must be expected from you to show a vampish side but it didn’t happen. Do you think that’s the reason you got voted out early?
I don't know why I got voted out and I don't want to know. I’m happy in my life after Bigg Boss 14. I spent around 8 weeks in the show. Maine joh aadhi ladayi vaha jeeti thi, use jeetne ke baad logon ne yeh dekha ki main asliyat mein kaun hu. I don't know whether people liked it or not, but all I know is I was my real self in Bigg Boss 14 and survived on my own merit. I wanted to see myself in the top 5 but I don’t want to talk about why I got evicted.
Pavitra Punia Yeh Hai Mohabbatein
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