With an experience of modelling and a dream to make it big, Pooja Sharma had set out for the starry city of Mumbai from her home in Lajpat Nagar.
But, when she got a call to audition for the mythological character Draupadi for a TV show, she had laughed it off. “I kept procrastinating, as I never wanted to be a part of one of those over-the-top mythological shows,” says the Carmel Convent girl, adding, “My mental transition happened when I finally pushed myself for the audition, and during the look test, when I was given certain dialogues, I realised that this isn’t one of those loud mythical characters. Draupadi was a strong woman, who voiced her opinion against injustice... she was ahead of her time.”
Ask Pooja, if being from Delhi has made her more sensitive to the issue of women safety and the need to stand up against injustice, and the 23-year-old says, “Safety is an issue for women everywhere, not just Delhi. It’s about the overall mindset. I hope ­people get to take back something from the character I am portraying, and realise the need to speak up against injustice,” she adds.
Talking more about her role in the ongoing show, Mahabharat, Pooja says that she’s often asked if she’s under any pressure to portray this character, which veteran actor Roopa Ganguly had immortalised in TV’s first Mahabharata, back in the 80s. “I haven’t seen that show, as I was probably a toddler then, but I have seen Roopa mam’s acting in other shows, and she is a brilliant actress. However, I am not here to outdo anyone or compete with anyone else. I don’t want to pressurise my mind with such stuff... I believe a lighter an actor is, the higher he or she goes,” says Pooja.