SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY
After a hiatus of five years, Ketki Dave returns to "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" in the popular role of Dakshaben.
When Ketki Dave walked out of her role as Dakshaben in the popular soap, "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" on Star Plus, a pall of gloom enveloped her fans. It also required Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms to promptly think up a master stroke to level the loss. The producers had to `send' off Daksha `abroad' to justify her exit from the yarn.But that was a good five years ago. And this week, ironing out her differences with the production house, Ketki is back in the soap, doing, what else but her trademark ara ra ra... Re-entering the daily in a grand style, she is shown being spotted by the Viraani family speeding to the harbour in a yacht with her husband, Prajakta by her side. She has a new look now to defend her phoren-returned status though some things have not changed. Like her mismatched jewellery, her being clued in about all the latest happenings in the family, and of course, her humorous talking style.Says Ketki, "I am as happy as the viewers about returning to the soap. To be honest, I loved her frankness. Daksha can tell anything to anyone and yet people would not mind. In my real life, I am humorous and naughty but conscious enough as to what not to say to whom." She says she has been getting feelers from Balaji Telefilms to return to the soap. "But I took time. I had left it because of professional differences, because of mental stress. My kids were small then and I didn't want my family to be affected because of me. And now things are better," explains Ketki." And "viewers also wanted me to return," she says, adding, "Also, Daksha's character is important in the soap as she is the comic relief."Though Ketki left the show in 2002, Daksha's character has surely added to her profile a new talent, comedy, which even spilled to her endorsements in her signature style, ara ra ra. Many in the industry sat up and watched. Says Ketki, "I am now typecast as a `Daksha' type in the industry. It has always happened to an actor when a particular character that he/she enacts becomes popular." The actress says she doesn't mind, but what surprises her is, "There was once a time when I was doing only serious roles in plays and many directors would doubt my capability to do a comic role." However, she adds, "I still look forward to doing serious roles."
Gujarati playSide by side with "Kyunki... ", Ketki is doing a Gujarati play, "Mummi 20 Ni Dikri 40 Ni" which launches her 20-year-old daughter, Riddhi Dave in the theatre world."I am doing only one serial right now besides my play because I am open to the idea of doing movies," says Ketki. Starting with character roles in "Kissi Se Na Kehna" in the '80s, she has done films like "Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya", "Love at Times Square" and "Kal Ho Naa Ho", etc. but has largely been spotted in little-known low-budget films like "Maa... Where Are You" with Seema Biswas and Parikshit Sahani. Her latest release is "Love in Japan" early this month with Rajpal Yadav, Yukta Mookhey and Shakti Kapoor as co-stars. "I am doing a role in `Hullo Hum Lallan Bol Rahe Hai'. It has Rajpal Yadav," adds Ketki rather feebly, very well giving away the desire that she indeed wants to break away from the mode.