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Kishwar Merchant says that double meaning jokes were enjoyed at Hansraj college

Television actor Kishwar Merchant, who performed in Delhi last weekend, says she likes the Capital’s receptive audiences.

tv Updated: May 22, 2018 19:50 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Kishwar Merchant,Hansraj College,Karim's
Television actor Kishwar Merchant says theatre helps break the monotony that seeps in her life. (PHOTO: Instagram/kishwersmerchant)

Actor Kishwar Merchant’s various character portrayals in her acting career spanning 18 years are sufficient to prove her mettle. But, it’s difficult to believe that she was once fearful of performing on the stage. “I used to get scared thinking dialogue bhool gayi toh (what if I forget the dialogues)? But then one day, one of my friends was doing a play and her husband was directing it. She called me to offer a character and I said I can’t do it. Then, they insisted and I played a double role — of a rural woman and a chic woman. So, after saying no to theatre for very long, I finally did a play which was the most difficult one of my life,” says Merchant.

In the Capital recently to be part of Felicity Theatre’s upcoming Hindi play titled Wrong Number, the actor sounded elated at the idea of performing for a receptive audience. She explains, “The last time when we performed in Delhi, it was at Hansraj College. It was exciting that we performed in Shah Rukh (Khan)’s college, and the response was really good even though it had a few double meaning jokes. We did two shows in Kanpur before performing in Delhi, but those jokes were not understood in Kanpur. So, it was amazing to get that response in Hansraj, and we really found the audience reaction to be motivating and inspiring.”

Actors Avtar Gill and Kishwar Merchant in a scene from the play Wrong Number.

Having been part of popular TV shows such as Hip Hip Hurray and even reality show Bigg Boss 9, Merchant makes it a point to continue doing theatre. “It’s been almost 12 years now since I acted in the first play. And I keep going back to theatre because I want a change from my regular routine. We [actors] definitely need a change; that’s why when a play is offered, and I like the role, I just take it up because it keeps me motivated to do the work that I’m doing. Otherwise, it gets so monotonous.”

Travelling to Delhi, however, has another perk. “When in Mumbai, I really miss Karim’s because I love it! I’m a Muslim toh I can completely understand ki wahan ka khana kitna achcha hai. I really miss that place a lot. Especially the Nalli Nihari,” says Merchant, adding: “There was this one time when I had come for a play, and I remember how we went after the play to eat and wahan par Nihari thi hi nahi (The Nihari wasn’t available at that point). But, they specially got it made for me when I said mai itni dur se ayi hun ye khane ke liye (I have come from far to specially eat this dish) and you are actually telling me that I’m not going to get it! Sometimes we have perks of being an actor.”

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First Published: May 22, 2018 19:50 IST