Until Wednesday evening, the team of Mahesh Bhatt’s television show Naamkarann was in a celebratory mood after wrapping up the shoot of a mehendi sequence in the show. Little did they know that they will wake up the next morning to the sad news of their co-actor Reema Lagoo’s sudden demise due to cardiac arrest. Reema Lagoo played a pivotal role of a possessive mother – Dayawanti Mehta in the daily soap. The audience loved her character of an antagonist and even after the leap Reema Lagoo continued to impeccably portray multi shades of her character. After her shocking and saddening death, her colleagues from the industry felt that she has left a void in the Indian television and film industry. Also, the team of Naamkarann called off the shooting of the show for a day to mourn her demise.
But as they say ‘the show must go on’, the makers of Naamkarann have signed actor Ragini Shah to take Reema Lagoo’s place. Ragini who has earlier worked in shows like Diya Aur Baati Hum and Sarawastichandra will now be seen as Dayawanti Mehta.
Confirming the news, the actor told indianexpress.com, “Today is my second day of shoot. I am approaching the show as a new serial and not thinking that I have to step in someone’s shoes. Mahesh Bhatt ji and other producers are very cooperative. They have given me freedom to play the role I want to. I will bring my own sensibilities to the character. Its background will of course remain same but things like body language and style, will be different now.”
Speaking about the absence of Reema Lagoo on the sets, Ragini added, “All (co-stars) are behaving very normal because we have to work. Of course, grief will be there, especially for those who were close to her, but you have to keep that within and continue working. (My) first scene was celebratory in nature, it was a dance sequence. So, everyone did that regardless of the sorrow. Like they say, the show must go on.”
As the news about Reema Lagoo’s death broke, the producer of the show Mahesh Bhatt was deeply grieved as he recalled how he said goodbye to Reema Lagoo on phone and was wrong in thinking that they would get to meet soon. “We said goodbye to one another over the phone with a promise to meet again. Sad that did not happen.I thought we had time. I was wrong!!,” tweeted Bhatt.
We said goodbye to one another over the phone with a promise to meet again. Sad that did not happen.I thought we had time. I was wrong!! https://t.co/thuKezy4n7
— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) May 18, 2017
Apart from Mahesh Bhatt, Reema’s Naamkarann co-actor Viraf Patel aka Ashish Mehta who also happens to be Reema’s last on-screen son, penned down an emotional message for her. Though Viraf quit the show after it took a leap, he still continued to share a special bond with the veteran actor.
Reema Lagoo, 59, breathed her last on Thursday morning in Mumbai.