After entertaining audience for seven years, Saath Nibhaana Saathiya will be back with its second season tonight. While Devoleena Bhattacharjee, Rupal Patel and Mohammad Nazim will reprise the roles of Gopi, Kokilaben and Ahem, respectively, fresh faces Harsh Nagar and Sneha Jain will play the new leads.
Rupal, who played the powerful character of Kokila Modi in Saath Nibhaana Saathiya, is quite popular among meme creators. A recent rap video featuring her dialogues even went viral. In an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, the actor spoke about the sequel, playing Kokila again and the show being termed as regressive.
Excerpts from the conversation:
What was your first reaction to the idea of Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2?
I was super excited. The show made history and Kokila is such an iconic character. The best thing is that we are coming back on public demand. The audience loved us and missed us, and here we are to entertain them again.
Initially it was said that you will not be part of the show. How did things work out?
Honestly, when I denied being part of it, there was nothing confirmed about the show. Once the makers decided to go ahead, they called me as Kokila is an important pillar of Saathiya. As I was already doing Yeh Rishtey Hai Pyaar Ke, I had some hesitation. However, the makers and channel were very supportive. They worked on the schedule and accommodated both shows.
Did it take time to become Kokila again on shoot or was it an instant change?
Very honestly since I was shooting for another show, I did not get time to think about it much. However, the day I received my call time for Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2, I had butterflies in my stomach. I couldn’t sleep the night before the shoot. When I wore the costume and got ready, I was all the more nervous, and didn’t even eat or drink anything. It’s been three years since I played the character. However, as soon as the director said action, I delivered my dialogue ‘Jai Shree Krishna’, and everything miraculously seemed so normal. It was like I never left the character.
There is quite a lot of curiosity about Kokila and Gopi in Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2. Is it a cameo or full fledged roles?
They are both very significant parts of the show. Since we are coming after a while, there will also be a lot of twists and interesting characters to take the story forward. We don’t want viewers to feel that we are giving them the same show. While there will be many changes, it will also be equally entertaining.
While it was a very popular show, times have changed. Now with audience hooked to more digital and international content, do you feel a show like Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2 will be able to engage them?
I am very confident that the audience will love the sequel as well. Honestly, it was their love that got us back. Also, we live in a competitive world, so I am sure the makers will do their best to match up to the expectations of the audience.
Many in the audience though feel that the serial and its sequel seem quite regressive.
I believe that if you have to show something in terms of modernity, there has to be a base. The graph of growth is really important. In Saathiya, we had an uneducated girl, who has no knowledge of life and society, being mentored by her mother in law. If we showed her very smart from day one, we couldn’t have taken the story ahead. This girl who washed a laptop is sent to a school, trained to handle business and get over that ‘bechari’ image. I feel that was so progressive. We might not talk about it openly but there are still many in our society who stop their bahus from working or wearing certain clothes. We present such stories and showcase the journey from wrong to right. And to create it dramatically and in an entertaining way, one does take certain cinematic liberty.
Lastly, do you feel the viral video featuring you would also work in favour of Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2?
Absolutely, and I think it is one of the reasons that the makers realised how popular the show is even now. I feel it was God’s blessing that during the lockdown, my character got a new lease of life. I really want to show my gratitude to the audience, the makers, Star Plus and of course Yashraj Mukhate, who created that video. After all of this, I feel more responsible towards Kokila and Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2.
Starting October 19, Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2 will air Monday-Friday at 9 pm.
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