Character Buildinghttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/character-building/

Character Building

People still identify me with my character Anandi in Balika Vadhu.

From Anandi to Roli and now Jhumki,Avika Gor on the many challenges of carving a new identity in the fast lane of television

Identities are crucial to television. People still identify me with my character Anandi in Balika Vadhu. They still call me by that name. So,when I got the chance to play an 18-year-old Roli on Sasural Simar Ka,I was excited and nervous.

Excited because I was getting the opportunity to essay a new character,nervous because I am a 15-year-old girl who had to play an 18-year-old married woman. It was difficult,for I had to observe how an 18-year-old girl walks,talks,stands and conducts herself. The upside is that I have never really been tensed about the characters I get to play because I love being an actor,and the challenges this profession throws up. Yes,the transition was slow,for people were so used to seeing me as Anandi.

Initially,I had my doubts whether I will be able to establish myself as Roli,but they vanished when a little girl walked up to me and asked me,“Are you Roli from Sasural Simar Ka?” I was the happiest person that day.

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The beauty of TV is the element of change. It’s a constant in this medium. How does one get the audience back Monday after Monday to watch the show? So,every Friday or Saturday,the show weaves in a twist that will make the audience visit it on following Monday. Sasural Simar Ka reached its freeze point with the sudden death of Roli and the entry of Jhumki.

Now,Jhumki is a banjaran who dances to bring up her younger brother,Buntoo. When Simar sees a striking resemblance between Roli and her,she convinces Jhumki to act as Roli. This is a new challenge for me for I have to now establish myself as Jhumki and would love people to call me by that name. Her scenes are tricky too,for she is just pretending to be Roli. I had to dance to Madhuri Dixit numbers including Mann dola re and Mera piya ghar aaya,and act as Basanti — smart,spicy and saucy. It was a complete role reversal.

More than the actors,it’s the writers,producers and programmers who are under pressure to come up with fresh ideas on a daily basis to keep the audience hooked. They have a really tough job.

Moreover,my parents are very supportive and so are the directors,who help me and don’t let me miss school,holidays or outings with friends. As for whether I want to play the older Anandi again,I would say,‘‘why not?”