When Deepika Singh cleared the auditions for the role of Sandhya in Star Plus’ daily soap Diya Aur Baati Hum in 2011, little did she realise that her simple-yet-powerful character would have a lasting impact on her audience. In the show, Sandhya, who aspires to become an IPS officer, was married to a sweet shop owner due to circumstances, but her husband’s support helped her fulfil her dream. The popularity of Singh’s character became evident when the show held the first position in TRP ratings for a while and won the Star Parivaar Awards in 2012 and 2013 for the Favourite Bahu title.
But the Delhi girl says that she never thought of becoming an actor. “I never watched television as a child. But deep down in my heart, I was attracted to glamour. After finishing my MBA, I started to think seriously about my future. I knew I could not pursue a nine to five job. I left my family’s business because I realised my passion lay in acting,” she says.
Later her friends, who were working in advertising and event companies forwarded her pictures, and she appeared for several auditions including one for the show in Delhi. Years after Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii aired in 2000, the character of Sandhya was a world opposite to those of Tulsi and Parvati. “My character is not like the image that comes to the mind of a typical bahu. She does not know how to cook and how to take care of a home. She stands for truth. The acceptance of my character only shows how Indian mentality is changing,” says Singh, adding, “Sandhya dreams of establishing herself in a male-dominated society. I feel lucky for being able to play such a versatile character.” The actor was also part of Star Plus’ public service message against rape.
Initially, Singh’s parents were not supportive of her plans to move to Mumbai in 2011 and pursue acting. “They thought the success rate here was zero. When I told my parents that I wanted to shift to Mumbai, they said I will be wasting two years of my life. They did not want to see me losing. I always topped in school. But when my dad saw my first episode, he said, ‘This field is made for you, where you have given your 100 per cent,’” she says.
In real life, Singh is excited by her recent marriage to her show’s director, Rohit Raj Goyal. “The best part is that he completely understands my professional life and gives me space,” she says.