Gautam Hegde talks to Chitrapama Banerjee on her new role as an offscreeen and on-screen mother...
Where did you vanish after Kamini Damini three years ago?
After playing Hema Malini’s cunning bahu in the soap, I got married and had a baby girl.
Weren’t you itching to face the camera again?
Not really. (Smiles) Being a mother is such a special feeling.
Tell me about your daughter..
She’s just one-and-a-half years old, but you should see the twinkle in her eyes when she sees the promos of my new show Maa.
As she grows up, she might feel bad on seeing her mum crying on TV.
Yes, but she’ll also realise that it is just a show.
All right.. so what’s Maa all about?
It’s about a loving mother.. who turns into a tigress when she realises that her three children are in danger.
Sounds like Khoon Bhari Maang. Are you going to be fed to the crocs?
(Laughs) No, no, there are no similarities. And with the new coastal security and animal protection acts, it’s not easy to shoot something like that, is it?
A sacrificial mother.. will we see the proverbial Nirupa Roy working as a mason and fainting at a construction site?
(Frowns) No, the show has far more real situations that mothers will be able to relate to.
How much have you cried on the show so far?
Lots. Indian women go through so many difficulties. And they have tears of grief and tears of joy. So there are bound to be such scenes.
Do you use glycerine?
Sometimes. Otherwise tears come naturally.
Have you used this ability to get things from your husband and saas?
No, I just have to ask them if I want something.
When you were on a break for three years, was there any role you longed for?
I loved Sindoora from Banoo Main Teri Dulhan. I love playing negative characters.
Have things changed during the break you took?
(Laughs) No, I played the lead in Thodisi Bewafai and now I’m playing the lead again.
Who is your favourite Maa on TV?
(Thinks hard) The actress who played Mona Singh’s mother (Surinder Kaur) in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin.
Who said the line ‘Main tumhare bachhe ki aaa bannewali hoon’?
Don’t they all say that?
Anything you’d like to tell your mum?
Today, I can relate to her much more because I’m a mother myself.