She rose to popularity as "Devki bhojai" of the hit Doordarshan series "Humrahi" in the early 1990s and since then has been active in films and television, but Himani Shivpuri says that theatre is her first love.
"Theatre offers live interaction with the audience, unlike in movies and TV serials," Himani, who will soon be seen on Zee TV's new show "Hamari Betiyoon Ka Vivaah", told IANS in an interview.
Although she has a 13-year-old association with theatre, she has not been an active performer on stage lately.
"I always keep planning to go back to theatre but I am waiting for a challenging and meaningful role. I want it to be something that has not been done before and excite me enough to do it."
In Zee TV's new series, starting April 21, Himani plays a middle-class mother whose only aim is to get her daughters married into good families.
She explained: "The story revolves around a happy family and is based on the relationship that a mother and daughter share. The story has a feel-good factor which highlights the fact that girls are in no way less than boys."
She is quite impressed with the new brigade of actors.
"It makes me very happy to see the enthusiasm that youngsters have these days to pursue acting. I wish them luck and lots of experience".
Himani had a word of caution for the young entrants in the entertainment field.
"They need to be mentally and physically strong to overcome the hectic working schedules that TV serials demand and should understand that hard work always pays in the long run," she said.
The actress, who has been part of many big banner movies like "Hum Aapke Hain Koun?" (1994), "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (1995) and "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai"(1998), was last seen in J.P. Dutta's "Umrao Jaan" (2006). She feels that "movies offer immortality".
"If your role in a movie is appreciated, it is remembered for a long time," she said.
In comparison, television as a medium offers appreciation only for a performance in a certain episode of the show, she feels. Himani was part of television shows like "India Calling", "Ghar Ek Sapna" and "Astitva".