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SRAVASTI DASGUPTA
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Chat The actor, known for her comic roles in television talks about her foray into films

Taking it as it comesSucheta Khanna
Taking it as it comesSucheta Khanna

It’s raining sequels for Sucheta Khanna. The actor, popularly known as Indumati from Sab TV’s Lapataganj , falls into the remote category of actors who successfully balance a raging career on TV and a foray into filmdom. While Lapataganj returns for a second season this month, she is also in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. In a telephonic interview, the actor who made comic female protagonists popular on television talks to us about Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 , television and more. Excerpts:

You have been a consistent part of the “Yamla Pagla Deewana” franchise. Tell us a little about your role in the second movie and how the character has changed from the first one.

In the first movie I played a simple Punjabi girl, Poli, whose sole aim in life was to get married and go to Canada, whereas in the second movie I play a comic villain, Babli, to Johnny Lever’s Bunty. In this movie we try different getups to kill Sunny Deol but to no avail, especially because the moment my character sees him she falls in love with him. The only similarity is that in both movies the love, unfortunately, remains one-sided.

You have always stayed away from conventional women portrayals, both on film and television. Has there been any conscious effort to break the norm?

Not at all! I have never planned anything and I always go by instinct. Though times are changing now, the convention is that a heroine should only be in the 16 to 24 age bracket. I would love to do roles that are available to actors in Hollywood, where their films are not time and age-bound. But we are moving forward now, and I want to be part of this change and take up roles that are author-backed and character-oriented. In that respect, there has been some effort but largely it has always been about my instinct.

Since you have been mostly associated with comedy on film and television, do you think the scope for women comedians is now increasing in the country and do you think that there are perceptions about you making a big leap from a lesser-known channel?

Yes, times are changing, but the fact remains that not many women choose comedy as a genre for the simple reason that comedy is not an easy craft. Whether it is films or television, comedy is all about technicality, timing and grasping the little nuances.

But in television, one’s performance tends to be a little louder, a lot of gestures, dramatic expressions, widening one’s eyes, etc.

The big screen itself is so encompassing, that there it all becomes about subtlety. As it is there is so much competition in our field, so I am personally quite happy with the little competition that I have in my genre as it enables me to not tax myself too much.

The fact that I am associated with a smaller channel does not hinder me in any way because, I see the channel as a parent. Like a child is unfazed by the financial condition of the parents, it is the same for me, and I like to do my bit in taking the channel to higher echelons.

SRAVASTI DASGUPTA

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