Small screen audiences love to hate her as the dominating Dadisa of the Balika Vadhu serial, but now veteran actress Surekha Sikri will be seen in a new avatar - as the host of reality show Maa Exchange, which she promises will be different from other such shows.
"However, Maa Exchange is different. It's got real situations and you will not see unnecessary things in it. It's different from other reality show," Sikri told IANS.
"It's a very brave thing to go to someone else's house and live there for so many days. You really have to be committed. I'm not so brave in this situation," she added.Surekha as host will sum up the episodes and weave them into one. Maa Exchange, which begins Jan 12 on Sony, will have two mothers from different families swap for 10 days.
She also said she would'nt participate in the show. "I don't think I can participate in any of the reality shows as a contestant. Personally, it doesn't appeal to me. All the drama and the talk that people do on it, I'm not game for that," she said.
Though she had expressed her thoughts, Sikri was quick to defend the reality show.
"This is the first time I'm hosting a show. I find it interesting because it's different and I can say what is in my heart, my own opinions. There are no written dialogues. This time on the show, I'm myself and not a character," she explained.
Is she trying to change her image on the small screen with the show?
"It's not that. I just liked the concept of the show. It's very real, nothing scripted. Real families, real houses and real people. So that's why I took it up," revealed Surekha.
An alumni of the National School of Drama (NSD) 1968 batch, Surekha has won the National Film Award for best supporting actress twice, for her roles in Tamas in 1988 and "Mammo" in 1995.
She also made her presence felt in films like Sardari Begum, Sarfarosh, Zubeidaa, Raincoat and Humko Deewana Kar Gaye among others.
But she has been away from the silver screen for many years now. Asked for the reason, the actress said: "I've been really tied up with Balika Vadhu for the past three years and I had to decline all the film offers that came during that time. But I don't regret. Commitment is commitment, which I can't break for other things."
So which is her favourite medium since she's been a part of theatre, films and television?
"My first love is acting, whatever the medium. I'm trained in theatre and I love that too, but I haven't had the time to return to it for the longest time. You need proper time and dedication for theatre, which I've not been able to give," said Surekha who was earlier seen as a single mother in the hit soap Banegi Apni Baat.