Paridhi Sharma is back on television playing the titular role in Maa Vaishno Devi.
Excerpts from the conversation:
You are replacing Puja Banerjee as Maa Vaishno Devi. What was your first reaction when the show came to you?
I was actually very happy. The role is very close to my heart. I had decided to not shoot for a couple of months due to the coronavirus scare. However, when this came my way, I was excited and instantly said a yes. As for replacement, she moved out for personal reasons, so there is actually no story. Also, the kind of person I am, I don’t compare or compete. So there was no pressure or second thoughts in my mind.
Was having a young kid at home also a reason for you not keen to get back to work?
Absolutely. I was in my hometown during the lockdown and decided to leave my son there when I came back to resume work. He will join me by the end of the month. It’s safer there and he has the entire family to look after him. As a working mother, you have to make such tough decisions. I was even concerned about myself but was assured by the channel and production house that everything will be taken care of. I am thankful to my husband and family, who have been such a support. Without them, it would have been impossible to carry on.
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Coming back to mythological shows, the heavy dialogues and costumes can be taxing sometimes.
I think it’s a huge responsibility on my shoulders as there is a lot of expectation. Also, she is a devi, and there is high regard for her, and so I have to be careful. Honestly, I actually enjoy these kinds of roles, as I love speaking Hindi. And you don’t get to speak its purest form so often. I also enjoy being part of projects that can depict our culture, tradition and language. So from that perspective, I am actually having fun.
The audience usually starts relating to an actor as the God they play on screen. Are you worried about the same?
I think times have changed. After playing a queen in Jodhaa Akbar, I did a social drama (Patiala Babes) and they heartily accepted me in the same. The audience now understands that every character is different. Personally, I love playing these royal characters, and if they start relating me to Maa Vaishno Devi. I would take it as a compliment.
In your career, you have done selective work but your fans continue to shower you with so much love. What do you feel has helped maintain that connect?
I really don’t know. I can just be grateful to God about it. They stood by me even when I took a sabbatical after my child was born. I feel lucky and can never thank them enough for their love.
Can you tell us how the lockdown was for you?
I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I got to spend time with my family after a very long time. We were all together. Also, since I had time, I launched a YouTube channel and that would be just another way to connect to my fans and also be productive. I believe in trying my hands at different things. I also have interest in writing, and launched my production house too.
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