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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Supriya Pilgaonkar: Janani has a very positive and progressive storyline

Supriya Pilgaonkar talks about her latest project Janani, working on a new channel and changes in terms of child-parent relationship.

Written by Sana Farzeen | Mumbai |
Updated: March 1, 2021 6:47:57 pm
supriya pilgaonkarSupriya Pilgaonkar shouldered- Janani will air on Ishara, a new GEC. (Photo: PR Handout)

Acclaimed actor Supriya Pilgaonkar is all set to return to the small screens with the hard-hitting show, Janani. The daily show will present the journey of Savita, whose life tosses a curveball at her when she loses her husband. Her sons, who are unwilling to look after her, come up with a novel idea where she has to stay with each of them for a couple of months, on rotational basis. As she hops from one home to another, Savita rediscovers herself and walks on the path of becoming an independent successful woman.

In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Supriya Pilgaonkar talks about her new project, comparisons with Baghban and elderly care in India. The show will begin on March 1 on a new channel, Ishara.

Excerpts from the conversation…

What is Janani all about?

As the name suggests, Janani means mother, the one who gives birth. When the offer came to me, the title struck a chord with me, and somewhere nudged me to take the show up. Also, in today’s world, rather than just a principle one, it is actually a lead role. And such strong parts rarely come one’s way. The show will project how Savita brings a change in her life after she loses her husband, and has to travel the country to be with her sons. The journey is going to be very interesting and even I am looking forward to see how she changes herself. As an actor, it would be really fun to portray a different graph and emotions.

Given the storyline, one may draw a similarity with Baghban.

The film basically portrayed the journey of parents who get separated. While on papers it might sound similar, Janani is about a single mother, who is set to change her life. It’s a very positive and progressive story. Once you watch it, you will realise it’s completely different.

 

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A post shared by ISHARA CHANNEL (@isharachannel)

 

Do you feel fortunate that even at this age, you are getting to play a lead role?

Absolutely, you don’t even get such author-backed supporting roles. This is why I jumped on to it so that I could create a memorable character, something I would be proud of years later. It’s not a run-of-the-mill story and that makes it really exciting for me. Given it’s a new channel, they wanted to try out something different. The trend in programming is also changing, and people are accepting newer concepts.

But is there any fear of being on a new channel with a comparatively lesser reach? Every actor would want maximum people to watch their work.

Honestly, I am at the stage of life and career where I don’t worry about how many people are seeing my work. I can only work honestly and hope that people like it. At the end of the day, every project has its own fate. As for me, I take these opportunities positively. When NDTV launched, people loved Radha Ki Betiyan, because it was a novel concept. Even Sasural Genda Phool was loved for being different. I actually like working with new channels or makers as they want to go all out trying something different. I think people who enjoy watching something different will tune in, and if we manage to impress them with the content, they will be hooked on to it.

According to you, how much has the parent-children relationship changed with time?

It has definitely changed but I think every family has a different story. The pace of the change is very individualistic. From how I look at it, I have not let go of a lot of things from my past generation. Most of the practices remain the same. We haven’t changed for the sake of it, and even with my daughter Shriya, the change has been minimal. I feel proud that rather than asking us to follow her speed, she has let us all grow in our own pace. And what’s most beautiful is that apart from us, she also wants to be connected with her grandparents. And thus I think, it’s all a very personal change, and it’s beautiful how humans mould themselves into various relationships with time.

 

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A post shared by ISHARA CHANNEL (@isharachannel)

 

Talking about pace, you also followed your own speed in your career, focusing more on quality than quantity. Was that a conscious thought?

Very frankly, I did not plan it out. However, given I am also a homemaker, I had a long checklist before I take up something. And then there have been many projects that I watch and wish I was cast in. But you can’t keep pondering about such things. I realised that one has to just keep doing a good job and people will come to you when they have something suitable. Also, there are so many wonderful actors and not everyone has got their due. So I am sure, if I don’t get something good, it will go to someone deserving.

There is a certain expectation when you are a face of a project. Does that add pressure for you?

I am amazed, amused and extremely grateful. I sometimes cannot fathom how I get so much love. But I have always taken all the appreciation with a pinch of salt. As an actor, I am most comfortable when I am led by a good team of writers and director. When you have a strong base, you can go on to add colours to it. I think it’s always a team effort.

Lastly, given you all are shooting amid many restrictions and SOPs, does it curb creativity?

Honestly, as actors, since you are not wearing masks, you tend to forget it’s a different world. I think everyone on set does take a lot of precaution and are getting used to the new normal. As for me, I have been obsessively washing my hands otherwise also, so there’s not much of a difference.

Janani will air Monday-Friday at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm on Ishara.

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