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On a Mission

Sonali Bendre Behl shares her thoughts and the challenges of being a narrator on Mission Sapne, a show that allows celebrities from various walks of life to leverage their fame for the common man’s benefit

Written by Ankita R Kanabar | Mumbai | Published: May 9, 2014 1:00:10 am
Sonali Bendre Behl Sonali Bendre Behl

Is it the cause of Mission Sapne that attracted you to be a part of it?

The cause and the motive of the show, the thought of just being there and doing something different, yet meaningful attracted me to it. It’s definitely not something that I’ve done before. In fact, I was discussing it with the channel that nobody is really making money on this. Everyone has just contributed and done their bit to touch a common man’s life, and it’s a wonderful gesture. People talk about bringing about a change and how the government should change. These are just talks and I don’t know when will the change happen, and whether I’ll be there to see it. But, right now if I’ve got the opportunity to touch some lives and do the little that we can, so it’s a big thing for me. At the end of the episode, what a common man gets may not be a fabulous amount but it’s big enough to fulfill his dreams. We’re at least giving something tangible to a person than just talking about it. That’s what made the show special to me.

How is the experience of being yourself on the show, as a narrator?

It’s actually more difficult to be yourself, especially for a private person like me. I didn’t see the monitor while we shot the show, I didn’t know what it’s looking like or I don’t know how much of myself have I exposed. When I’m playing a role, I have a mask on and I’m playing somebody else. I have lines to say, here I don’t have lines. It’s scary.

Was that also the most challenging part of the show for you?

As a narrator, I am the link between everyone. For me, the most difficult and touching moments were when I was talking to the common man, because you can’t coach them; they’re going to speak their minds. You have to set the ball rolling as it comes. It can also be challenging because how much ever you prepare yourself, when you see what a person is going through, it’s sad and shocking. You can never really be prepared for the amount of sadness and hardships that people go through.

Has Mission Sapne also been an emotional experience for you?

Yes, when you see what people are going through, you just wake up every morning and think that I don’t know what is it that I’ve done right, or what is it that my parents have done right, for the kind of life I’ve got. I just have to thank God for giving me the life he did because there’s no explanation as to why, at one point, someone can have so much, and at the other end, there are people struggling for so little.

While the show gives you a platform to connect to the common man, in general, do you think television today has a better connect with the audience than films even?

I started on television, almost 10-12 years ago, with a show for Star Plus, so I feel I’ve been on television as much as I’ve been working in films. Hence, for me, both the mediums aren’t very different. But I’ve always maintained that I love television as a medium because it reaches inside people’s homes, and connects with so many of them.

Would you be open to doing a fiction show as well?

Let’s see, I don’t know. As of now, it’s only Mission Sapne for me.

ankita.kanabar@expressindia.com

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