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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Getting in character

Kavita awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 11, 2013
First Published: 12:56 IST(11/2/2013) | Last Updated: 17:55 IST(11/2/2013)

Most of us would remember actor Urvashi Dholakia for her inimitable style as Komolika in Kasauti Zindagi Kay. From her dialogues to her make-up and even the background score — everything ensured that her character remained one-of-a-kind. Ditto with Ketaki Dave as Dakshaben, known for her long drawl and the way she’d say ‘ararara’ in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

Add to that, Surekha Sikri throwing in her punchline ‘Thari bhali hove’, as the formidable dadisa in Balika Vadhu, and more recently, Manorama mami’s (Utkarsha Naik) ‘hello hi bye-bye’ from Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon. These characters are unforgettable as their nuances and characteristics are etched in the memory of the audience forever. 

Why is it that some characters stay in our memories for long while others struggle to make a mark? 

Giving certain characters a peculiar habit, style or manner of speaking gives them an identity and is a clutter-breaker. A case in point being ACP Praduyman’s (Shivaji Satam) oft-repeated line in CID: ‘Daya darwaza tod do’. Similarly, when Bhabhoo (Neelu Waghela) from Diya Aur Baati Hum says, ‘Ek langdo ek kaani main akeli sayani’, she forges an instant connect with her audience. Makers and channels not only work towards making their shows distinct, but the characters memorable as well. Since most serials these days deal with saas-bahu plots and kitchen politics, the character-dynamics help actors stand out as relatable human beings on the small screen.

Most actors have also seen their careers take off once their on-screen character clicks with the audience for a certain peculiarity. However, working on their character is no cakewalk for actors. Naik, who played Manorama mami, was taken aback when the makers wanted her to use her famous punchline. Initially, she took comfort in the fact that the lightmen, spot boys and the other crewmembers loved the act. The amazing response from the audience, further boosted her confidence in the act.

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