We live in an age of discerning viewers: Rajeshwari Sachdev

As Rajeshwari Sachdev returns with the second season of Dil Hi To Hai, the actor talks about her journey as an actor

February 15, 2019 04:03 pm | Updated 04:03 pm IST

Back on the small screen: Rajeshwari Sachdev

Back on the small screen: Rajeshwari Sachdev

National Award-winning actor Rajeshwari Sachdev was recently in Delhi as part of the promotions for second season of Dil He Toh Hai – a romantic family drama about the modern-day entrepreneurial Noon family. Rajeshwari would be reprising her role of Mamta Vijaypath Noon, the male protagonist’s stepmother, from the first season. The show had ended on Sony Entertainment Television late last year but Balaji Telefilms decided to renew it for a second season exclusively for its digital platform ALTBalaji.

Here, Rajeswari talks about her acting journey, her television stint which started quite late, and her upcoming films.

Excerpts:

What can we expect from you during the second season of Dil Hi To Hai ? How do you see the show’s transition from television to web?

Well, I am just taking it forward from what had happened in the first season. The show’s two leads were separated because of my mistake but now I want them to come together. Then things start taking care of themselves. The second season is not about us. It’s more about what’s after us. So I am not the part of the bigger plan, only a part of the idea that takes the story forward. Now that it will be exclusively on the web, I believe there would be no compulsions of trying to please everybody. On television, you are often forced to do festival specials and what not which can take the focus away from the story but when you are on the web you just need to focus on the content.

How has television evolved as a medium over the years?

I remember when we were kids the likes of Aziz Mirza and Kundan Shah used to make some amazing serials. Since they were never in hurry they shot them like films. But when satellite television came in there was a little bit of chaos as everyone wanted to do everything. But today we live in an age of discerning viewers. Now there are so many options available that you really can’t take your viewers for granted. Also, you can tell the stories that you want to and in the kind of way you want to.

OTT has become a buzz word these days. But don’t you think that a lot of the content on the web is high on cusswords and obscenity?

I think that we have been kept silent for so long owing to censorship that we are now rebelling. Having said that, regardless of how virtuous we are in a familial set up, we are a different person when we step out of our homes. And this applies to everyone. Now, as a viewer, I may not be in a position to prevent a certain type of content from getting made but I can always exercise my right and choose not to watch it. Also, I believe the content must be created keeping the genre in mind. We may get away occasionally but sooner or later everything reaches a saturation point. It’s still early days for the web but somewhere I think that self-censorship will come in and it will be from both the sides – content creator as well as the viewer. I, for example, haven’t yet watched ‘Aparahan’, which is said to have a lot of cusswords, as I have a eight-year-old kid at home. But I may watch it when I am all alone in the house.

In many of your early movies such as “Sardari Begum”, for which you also won a National Award, and “Mammo” you worked with Shyam Benegal. Tell us about your experience of working with him.

I was only 17-18 when I started working with Shyam Benegal. When at that young age you are regularly conversing with one of the most intelligent, well-read, articulate persons it rubs off on you in a way. So it becomes your world view at that point. He is a deeply opinionated man who has a point of view on everything and perhaps that’s why he can make films on so many varied topics. I think he kinds of empathises with every person, every community and so he is able to tell their story and so convincingly. Now the trouble is that once you are finished with the project you are still looking for something similar which becomes a very difficult proposition for you as an actor because such kind of work isn’t readily available. So that’s when you start making choices. You make some just to be visible while others you make because you want to do good work. Luckily, for me a lot of good films have come my way in the recent years, especially in Marathi cinema such as ‘Samhita’ and ‘Ek Sangaychay’, which released two months ago.

It’s been a long time since your first music album. Can we expect something anytime soon? Also what all acting projects do you have in the pipeline?

As of now I have no plans for an album but I do this play called “Gauhar” which involves a lot of singing. It will be here for the NSD Festival. Also, I have two films that are coming up. One is Aruna Raje’s ‘Firebrand’ about which I am not allowed to talk much. Then there is ‘Dombivli Return’ which is releasing on the 22nd of February.

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