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Remember when Sati compelled Shiva to come dance with her? Two years after that, Sati makes a comeback to resume their dance of love on Life Ok’s Devon Ke Dev… Mahadev. “Yes, Sati returns, but only to go back to the beginning of the beginning, to a prologue of all that has been shown on Devon Ke Dev…,” says Mouni Roy, who is excited to return on the show as Sati, even if it’s only for three months. The new track traces to Bhakt Lakulesh, and Shiva’s journey in reverse, from householder to hermit.
Not quite convinced whether this is a TRP tweaking tactic — there is strong buzz about the off-screen romance of Roy and the dishy Mahadev portrayed by Mohit Raina — Roy however, blushes over her chemistry with her co-star. “The show is like a family to me,” she says.
Interestingly when she was first offered the part of Sati, she was reluctant to give her nod. “For starters, I felt mythology on Mouni Roy, was more about gaudy make-up and plastic look and appeal. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, but the way they were researching and putting together Mahadev made me take the chance,” she says. Impressed with the costumes, the overall look, the extensive storyboards and workshops, Roy signed on. “Sometimes I feel, Shiv Puran has the potential of making such a lovely contemporary drama series,” says the actor who feels Raina makes a beautiful Lord Shiva, and can slip into any role with amazing ease.
For her own part, to get into the role of Sati, Roy had to go through at least eight look tests to get it right. She breaks down Sati’s appeal for her. “She is an iron princess and an innocent girl at the same time. She was very human, and her love with Mahadev was amazing, for I consider it the first love story of the Universe,” she says.
Growing up in a middle class-family in Cooch Behar, a small town in West Bengal, Roy’s life was filled with folklore, mythology, politics and endless supply of books. A Mass Communication passout from the Jamia Milia Islamia, in Delhi, and a kathak dancer, she laughs how sometimes she finds herself like a fish out of the water — “an ugly duckling” in the world of television. “Deep down I’m a small-town girl who has it drilled in her DNA to grow up, marry, have kids, settle down. Maybe I will knock the same theory in my kids’ heads too. I’m also liberal, a political enthusiast, a bookworm, and the least bit ambitious to pull off a soap drama queen act,” she says. She prefers to go with the flow because “nothing so far has happened according to my grand plans.” In her free time she wants to pursue writing, and catch up on American sitcoms and Broadway shows. “When I’m abroad, I burn all my money on Broadway,” says the actor, who has been penning “vain poetic stuff” for long. “I want to write a script, but before that, I am planning to compile a book of short stories,” she adds. In the meantime, she is hooked to the cult TV show Sherlock. “Of course I’d want shows like these to be adapted in India too,” she hopes.
While her late father Anil Roy wanted her to pursue a career in the civil services, Roy took a detour and chose acting. “In hindsight, yes, there are plenty of things I’d do differently, but having said that, I don’t hold grudges or have regrets. I’m happiest when I run my home, work and curl up with a book,” says Roy, who is pretty active on campaigns on social media sites, the latest being working towards cleaning river Ganga. “I was approached for it, and I feel we need to do our bit, in any which way we can,” she explains.
Giving, sharing, caring — the do-gooder in her comes from her father, and Roy is carrying on the legacy. “Except when it comes to books. I’ve stopped lending them because people don’t return them or treat them properly,” she says, with a grin.