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Pratima in Ashwini’s shoes?

Uttaran’s Naani to play Ganga Ki Dheej’s Mahamai now.

tv Updated: Feb 16, 2011 14:16 IST
Rachana Dubey

In the next few episodes, Mahamai, played by Ashwini Kalsekar, will fall off a cliff to her death on the 10 pm prime time show, Ganga Ki Dheej, on Sahara One. News is that Pratima Kanan, who plays the vicious Naani in the 10 pm daily soap Uttaran on Colors, will be replacing the actor as the villainous Kaliganj village priestess.

When asked, Kanan confirms her entry, adding, “I’m not replacing anyone. When the producers approached me for the part of Mahamai, I had told them that even though I like the character, I am not willing to replace a talented colleague because the audience has a certain connection with the actor. I was then assured that the character I would eventually play is not the actual Mahamai, but an imposter.”

The promos have just hit TV, where Kanan appears on the cliff from where Kalsekar’s character tumbles off. “I will switch between Mahamai, the village’s evil priestess and my actual character who dances to the tunes of Dada Bhai, played by Kabir Bedi. He plants me in the village to maintain societal control. This should be able to increase the audience’s interest levels because no one will realise that Mahamai is dead and has been replaced overnight by another woman,” states the actor, who has changed the look of her new character.

Now, she doesn’t wear jata (long hair) and haldi-chandan (religious marks) on her forehead, instead letting her hair down, paired with large red teeka. Kanan starts shooting for her character from today. It’s learnt that Kalsekar had to be replaced following date hassles, as she was expected to start filming one of her prime south Indian projects towards the end of the month. Rumours also have it that she may return to the show as her original character a few months later. When asked, she says that the crew and the creative team have stuck to the actual storyboard and hence, have shown her character dying.

“My south project was always confirmed, and there were no date hassles between the project and the show,” adds Kalsekar. “I’ve shot the show with major slip-disc problems. If I had to quit, that would have been a better reason. I’ve shot my death scene with bandages on. And if everything continues to go as per the storyline, I might come back but I can’t divulge details now.”