Anil Merani speaks to Jaishree Soni on Ek Safar Aisa Bhi.. Kabhi Socha Na Tha.
This show is being touted as your debut but haven’t we seen you on TV before?
I had accepted Ek Safar.. before any other. But it took its time coming. So, in the interim, I appeared in an episode of Rajkumar Aryaan. I also played Rita, a bubbly character, in the Pogo weekly show, Sunaina. But, Ek Safar.. is my first big ticket on the small screen.
Tell us something about your character, Ganga?
She’s a God-fearing florist in a village and life isn’t a bed of roses for her. It takes a complicated twist when she saves Manav, a rich guy attempting suicide, from drowning. He loses his memory and Ganga helps him through the dark phase.
Since life changes so dramatically for my character, the show came to be titled..Kabhi Socha Na Tha.
It sounds a lot like the 1980s film, Henna.
No, don’t draw such comparisons. I’m told that Manav may never get his memory back.. which wasn’t the case with Rishi Kapoor in Henna.
Can the show be billed a thriller then?
It’s more a love story. The thrill though lies in the challenges Ganga faces in her efforts to establish Manav’s identity. She’s troubled by the village folk, she then forcibly marries Manav to make their relationship socially acceptable. She’s his only link to the world. Their story starts with compassion and ends with love.
What’s the USP of the show ?
Well, it has thrill, romance and drama.. but no saas bahu elements.
Don’t these genres sell on their own without needing to be combined in one particular soap?
They do. And ultimately, we are all working towards getting the TRPs. If they don’t come in, tracks are reworked accordingly. I hope we don’t have to resort to that because our story is high on emotional content. I’d appreciate if we went off air rather than go off track.
Ganga seems like a serious character.. and Rita was fun-loving. Whom is Jaishree like in real life?
I’m like any other girl.. serious and fun-loving.. depends on the occasion.
Which shows do you like to watch?
Family dramas don’t appeal. I stick to the news channels. It’s upsetting but the audience doesn’t want anything else but family dramas. Having said that, I don’t blame the women who watch such shows.. it’s their social conditioning.
Did you always want to be an actress?
I came down to Mumbai from Jaipur after completing my graduation. I auditioned and was selected for this show. I’ve chosen to be part of the media because I have a certain agenda in mind. This show goes with that. I will quit after I get what I want. And before you ask, I don’t want to divulge my reasons for being here.. it’s too early.
I have a passion for dance. I would love to participate in a dance reality show if I got the chance. Quite a few actresses detest such shows, but I love them.