If you were familiar with Indian television in the ’90s, you will remember Shikha Swaroop, the actor who shot to fame with the title role in the popular costume drama, Chandrakanta. She also starred in its sequel, Return of Chandrakanta, before vanishing completely from the scene. The actor, in her forties now, is all set for a comeback with a new version of the epic Ramayan on Zee TV (it goes on air on August 12 at 11 am).
Shikha excitedly talks about her new role, saying, “Sita is the dutiful wife and daughter-in-law. It is not a very exciting role. I’m happy to be playing the most exciting role (that of Kaikeyi). During the narration, I was told that if there was no Kaikeyi, there would be no Ramayan. I didn’t know that.”
The actor, a former Miss India, says that she channelled her experience at the beauty pageant for the role: “Essaying a queen with shades of grey and an air of royalty required strong body language. I also hope to add my own charm and individuality to it.”
The first TV Ramayan (by Ramanand Sagar) continues to be iconic. Does that make her apprehensive about this new version? She says, “No. It all depends on the audiences’ mood. They suddenly get excited about something ordinary, and it becomes a hit. On the other hand, something extraordinary sometimes bore them. One can’t do anything about it. Our show will be simulcast on Doordarshan and Zee, so we hope to reach a wider audience.”