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Mother’s day out

Prachee Shah Pandya returns to the telly after a hiatus of one year.

tv Updated: Jan 31, 2010 18:25 IST
Rachana Dubey Rachana Dubey

Prachi ShahDid the break help?

Oh, yes! I had worked till the eighth month of my pregnancy. The make-up artistes and my costume guys did a great job. No one could tell that I was pregnant. However, I looked swollen while shooting for


, where I was playing the lead Panchi Bohra’s mother. Her name in the show was Prachi Shah, coincidentally.

Despite being a young mother, you’re again playing someone who’s 20 years older.
Actors who entered the industry with me, have either taken on reality shows or their careers have completely taken a backseat. Many are waiting for that one lead role. One has to understand that every producer now wants a fresh face for a lead. And I don’t mind playing a mother to anyone who is older or younger.

Given that you are a trained classical dancer, why didn’t you stick to just that after you became a mum?
Dance is my passion. Once, I was performing for the President of India, Pratibha Patil. She asked me to stick to just dance; she was floored with my act. Not many know that I am a sitarist and I can sing as well.

But the reason she could relate with me was because I am an actress. She had seen me on TV before. That helps, you know. If you travel outside the city, you’d find plenty of fans. In my case, they remember my character names and also my real name. That’s really rewarding.

You could have won a dance show like Nach Baliye.
You get offered only reality shows after you do one. And I don’t think I am cut for it.

Your husband, Vishwas, is into film production. Didn’t he ask you to act in any of his productions?
Not yet. (Chuckles) I’m still waiting in the wings. His partner and he have recently acquired the rights of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Amitabh Bachchan-Dharmendra movie, Chupke Chupke. He will be remaking it. Plans are on. But I’m not in a hurry, maybe two years down the line.

Does Khiana show signs of becoming an actress?
She shows every sign of becoming an artiste. If I’m gauging her rhythm correctly, she might become a classical dancer like me.

On weight loss

Apparently, you had put on 20 kilos.
I weighed close to 80 kilos on the last day of work. (Laughs) And that is actually 25 kilos heavier than my regular weight. After my daughter Khiana was born, I didn’t diet till I was feeding her.

How did you knock the weight off?
My baby was 11 months old when I started dieting and exercising. I didn’t starve myself. I eat all that I want but I follow a proper regime. For instance, I don’t consume carbs in the night. I have veggies and a bowl of curd. I go light on my dinner and healthy and heavy on my breakfast. I knocked the excess kilos in just five months with the help of my trainer. I have knocked off 20 kilos, five more to go.

How are you dealing with your child and work?
Colors is the place to be for any actor these days. I liked the concept of Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam. Monetarily, it was lucrative and it didn’t eat into my family space. I don’t work on Sundays. I get to spend enough time with Khiana and my husband. After you have a child, you have to consider certain things before taking on work. My husband and my parents, specially my mother, have been really supportive.

Other young mums

They’ve played mothers, convincingly, in most cases, to their peers on screen. Here’s a look at the young mothers of tellyland

Shweta Tiwari
Started with Kasauti Zindagi Kay

Had a one-year-old daughter Palak.

By the end of the show, after eight years, she had played a grandmother to 20-somethings, without a grey strand peeping out.

Shilpa Tulaskar
She took a year’s break and returned as a working mother of two teenagers in Ladies Special. She has a one-year-old child.

Shruti Ulfat
She took a break of more than a year because of pregnancy.

She was expected to return as Abhimanyu’s mother in Fauji 2. Since that got shelved, she’s returning as the mother of four grown-up girls in Behnein.

Gauri Tejwani
She played Gauri in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi for seven years.

She started out as a young entrepreneur and ended her innings as a grandmother on the show.

She recently became a mother of twins.

Smriti Irani
She wasn’t even married when she started out as a married young mum.

By the time she actually became a mother of two children, she had played a great grandmother and a grand saas.

Urvashi Dholakia
She was a mother of twin boys, when she debuted as a college girl in Dekh Bhai Dekh. She was only 16.

After a hiatus of a few years, she returned as Komolika on Kasautii Zindagi Kay and gave the telly vamp a sexy siren image. She retired from the show as a granny when she was barely 30.