Jaya Bhattacharya: A fan pulled Smriti Irani away from me, called me a ‘gandi aurat’
TV actor Jaya Bhattacharya says that even a decade after Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, people refer to her as Payal, her on-screen name in the show.tv Updated: Jun 15, 2017 19:33 IST
Jaya Bhattacharya, who is best known for the portrayal of Payal Mehra in the popular TV soap, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, still hasn’t been able to come out of the shadow of her infamous character. It has been more than a decade since the show ended, but people still refer to her as Payal, and that’s something which annoys her at times.
“When that role made me famous, it should have been a passing phase, but it got stuck to me. People still call me Payal and I’m thankful to that, but my life didn’t start with it, so it’s not fair to end it at that. Fans have to give you that passage to get you out of a popular character and do bigger stuff. For the longest time, I was made to stay in that frame and not allowed to breathe freely,” says Jaya, who was recently seen in the film, The Wishing Tree.
Jaya, however, admits that she immensely enjoyed popularity as Payal, when the show was on air and topping TRP charts. Narrating a rather funny incident, Jaya recalls, “Once I and Smriti [Irani; actor-turned-politician] went to a café in Lokhandwala (in Mumbai). She was seven months pregnant, so I was holding her hand and giving her support. Suddenly, a lady pulled my hand away, and told Smriti, ‘Iss aurat ke sath mat jao yeh gandi aurat hai. Chhod do isse. (Don’t go with this woman, she’s a bad person).’ I couldn’t control my laughter. So you see, this hatred is their appreciation of my work. It makes me happy that I did my job well to make them believe I’m bad.”
Jaya adds that being hated was a blessing in disguise. “I’m a bit of an introvert and can’t mix with people until I find my comfort zone. So [being hated] turned out to be a boon for me. People were scared of me and didn’t really talk to me and even if they did start a conversation or make eye contact, I would lift my eyelid and they’d vanish and I’d be left giggling inside,” she laughs.
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