At 17, marriage is the last thing on her mind. But television actress Aasiya Kazi, who is married to a man almost thrice her age in the serial Bandini, says she would agree to marry an older man in real life but only if there is a good reason to do so.
"In real life, I will marry an older man and try and adjust only if there is a strong reason to do so. If my parents ask me to marry someone much older, I would first try and know why they are doing it and take a decision accordingly," Aasiya told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
The Mumbai-based girl plays the role of Santu in NDTV Imagine's Bandini. Set in a village in Gujarat, the story of the series revolves around Santu who is forced into a marriage of convenience with an elderly man, played by seasoned actor Ronit Roy.
Though Aasiya is young, she has a strong opinion on the issue being tackled through her debut show. "As far as I have heard and I know, such marriages still take place in a lot of rural areas in our country and so it is a very real life-based story. But all I feel is that if parents do this for their vested interests, it's very wrong," she asserted.
Unlike most girls her age, who would prefer doing stylish and bubbly roles on small screen, Aasiya says she feels lucky to be playing Santu despite the fact that she has to wear saris, gold ornaments, sindoor and a bindi all the time.
"I gave auditions for this role without knowing too much about what I would be doing and got selected. When I was told about the story, it was not that I was apprehensive. In fact, I was very happy that I would get to do something new - a role that many girls of my age would not get to do. So I feel I was one of the luckier girls," she said.
"I really enjoy wearing saris for my on-screen character. It is something different from what I wear regularly. I wear a lot of jeans and dresses on day-to-day basis, but sari isn't something I wear all the time - that's what makes it fun," she added.
Bandini is from the Balaji Telefilms stable and Aasiya, who is in Class 11 and studying Arts and Humanities, says it's "more than a dream to be working with Balaji Telefilms".
"Since childhood I have loved watching mostly cartoons like 'Tom and Jerry'. I used to watch serials with my mother. She liked to watch shows like 'Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' and other such shows by Balaji Telefilms. So after being a regular watcher of Balaji shows, it's more than a dream to be working with the company," she said.
Asked how comfortable she is working with Ronit Roy, Aasiya said: "Ronit Roy is really good as a person and really good as an actor. He is very helpful. He guides me all the time - if I get stuck with a scene, he helps me in doing it right and corrects me if I am wrong," she said.
Aasiya stays in Mumbai with her family. Her father is a civil engineer and mother a homemaker.