The best advice actress Barkha Bisht received from director Mahesh Bhatt for her new show Naamkarann is to “not do anything to interest people, rather do everything to touch people’s hearts”. Naamkarann, which premiered a few days back, is already getting rave reviews for its bold storyline and real characters.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt chose this subject to debut on television direction because of its uniqueness. Though Barkha, who plays the protagonist Asha, refused to call the show inspired from Bhatt’s National Award-winning film Zakhm, she did say the two shows are similar because both the dramas are close to Bhatt’s life. She added that Asha is nowhere close to what Pooja Bhatt played in the film.
“It is not really an adaptation of Zakhm. It is definitely inspired from Bhatt Saab’s life. That’s why the similarity or the comparison. My character is very different from what Pooja did onscreen. In fact I was specifically told not to try to be like her or any other actor. This Asha’s character is what Bhatt Sir has created. I’m not emulating anyone”.
Naamkarann also stars Reema Lagoo and Sayantani Ghosh. Barkha added, “You know in television it is more about quantity than quality. But Mr. Bhatt is somebody who’s trying to maintain the quality of television which we lack. His approach is very different.”
Naamkarann is the story about a woman who has a child outside wedlock and how she fights all odds to bring the little girl up, tagged “illegitimate” throughout. In an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, Barkha explained why the show is different. “I think for the first time on television, the protagonist of a show is doing something completely against the norm of society. I’m with a man whom I’m not married to. So I’m doing everything that a regular television heroine does not do. All the characters are very real. There is no typical negative character on the show like any other show has. There are people who have shades of grey in them but they are all real people.”
The shows promo received enough attention for showing intimate scenes between Barkha and male lead Viraf Patel. The makers shot a song sequence, a recreated version of “Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo” and crooned by Arijit Singh. And as much as the melodious track was loved by all, many eyebrows which were raised at its picturisation. But Barkha begs to differ. She feels Indian television audience is ready to accept intense love onscreen.
“I think the Indian audience is open to a lot more now than they were before. I think intimacy or intense love is something that always works onscreen. Intimacy is something every woman desires, every middle-class woman desires and wants out of her life. So I think to see something like that onscreen only makes them a little more dreamy about it. That’s what catches the pulse of the audience. It is an extremely beautiful song we have shot and we have shot very aesthetically and made it look extremely sensuous and I’m pretty proud of it.”
Barkha was all praise for her little co-star Arsheen, who plays her onscreen daughter. She says, “She is extremely professional and passionate about her acting. And if you have seen any episode you’d know what a brilliant performer she is. She does bring her child-like entertainment on the sets. We have a great rapport and it shows on screen.”
Barkha, who is married to actor Indraneil Sengupta, is eagerly waiting to do a show with him. She says her husband inspires her and she would want to learn so much more from him on the sets. So will Naamkarann give her a career high? “This is definitely going to be a high in my career irrespective how the show is going to do. But it will definitely make me proud. It will be critically acclaimed for sure because I know the kind of performance and effort I’m putting in. So I know I’ll definitely will be appreciated for it. That’s how I look at it and I want people to look at me in a different light now. They should think this is what she can also do.”
All she wants her fans is to take time and absorb the show, so that even they can feel what the entire team of Naamkarann is feeling. She has gone completely de-glam for her role and she is happy to show a different side of her acting prowess. We wish her and the team good luck!