Gauri Pradhan: If Kyunki... gets a sequel, I'll be a part of it
The actress, who rose to fame with shows like Kutumb and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, discusses work ahead of her acting comeback.
Gauri Pradhan Tejwani will be making a comeback on television with a new serial titled Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi on Colors.
The actress, who was a part of hit TV soaps like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kutumb, took a five-and-a-half-year break after having twins, son Neevan and daughter Katya, in 2009.
The actress talks to Rajul Hegde about television, kids and other things of interest.
What brings you back to television?
Offers from television and films never stopped even after my twins were born. But I had decided not to work till my kids turned four.
Balaji Telefilms is like my second home. I felt at ease because of the familiarity with the production house and also the easy work timings.
I think it was meant to happen.
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Image: Gauri Pradhan
'I have had my share of the limelight in the last 10 years'
Why did you decide to make a comeback on television in a mother's role?
There are 15-16-year-old boys and girls straight out of college who are becoming actors, so what do you expect?
I am 15 years older than them. I got an offer to play a main lead in another show which was again playing the mother's role to a slightly younger kid. I was mentally prepared for this.
I played a mother in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.
I have had my share of the limelight in the last 10 years. I have experienced the craze, fame, popularity, money and adulation.
At the moment, all I need is to find a good role, work at my own pace and spend time with my kids and husband.
Can you relate to your character Falguni in Meri Aashiqui?
Falguni is a strong-headed and practical woman like me.
I was known to be a big snob because I wouldn't talk to anyone.
Ekta Kapoor still tells me that when she came on the sets of my first show (Kutumb) everybody stood up, but I sat reading a book. I had never met her before.
She used to narrate this incident to everybody. It's just that I am reserved. I don't do it intentionally.
Now too, I am talking so much only because I don't have a choice. My husband Hiten (Tejwani) made me promise that I will take every single call of a journalist while I am working on the show (grins).
Image: Gauri Pradhan with husband Hiten Tejwani
'Eventually, I want to settle down in Spain with my family and teach in a university'
What else kept you busy besides taking care of the kids?
I am learning Spanish. I want to pursue a master's degree in the language.
Eventually, I want to settle down in Spain with my family and teach in a university.
I love doing porcelain painting. I have had a couple of exhibitions with fellow students and will have another in October.
I enjoy doing up houses as a hobby. I've designed a friend's house, not in the professional capacity though.
Currently I am working on another friend's home. I can't keep re-doing mine every year, so this is the best way to pursue my hobby.
I am doing it for someone in Dubai professionally but haven't started yet.
Do you see any change in television in the last five years?
I expected a lot of changes but there hasn't been much. Everyone wants to be an actor, and competition is stiff.
It may have become a little more organised than before but I like it the way it is.
Image: Gauri Pradhan with husband Hiten Tejwani
'My kids aren't allowed to watch television'
Television has become bolder now. Would you be comfortable doing bold scenes?
If the story demands it, then why not? I am not comfortable, but I am okay if others do it.
I remember when I did a rape scene in Kyunki... I wore a polo neck, full-sleeved T-shirt and told Ekta that I will not even wear sleeveless.
Ekta still tells me that I am the only one who can do it (smiles). If you are comfortable, do it or else don't.
Are your kids aware that you and your husband are actors?
They aren't allowed to watch TV, not even cartoon shows. They are too young to watch television.
But they do know what their father does. They have watched an episode of Pavitra Rishta and I will show them one of mine too.
Once, I took them to the sets of Hiten's show for them to understand what shooting is.
I am a Hitler of a mother and they are disciplined.
When I was getting ready for the press conference, my kids and their best friend kept staring at me because this is all new to them. They are so excited. One day I am planning to take them onto the sets with their friends.
Image: Gauri Pradhan with daughter Katya
'Jhalak is the only show I would like to do if I get a chance'
What keeps them busy, since they aren't allowed to watch television?
I know it's tough when kids don't watch television. They play tennis, swim, play the keyboard. They have been learning Chinese in school for the last two years and I teach them Spanish.
They love to read but they can't so they want me to read. Actually they can sit the entire day and listen to me read.
They are a little shy by nature but slowly they are opening up.
They are smart for their age and I think this generation is like that.
Do you cook?
I love to bake. My kids love fish so I cook once in a while but I don't like to cook on a daily basis.
In recent times, have you liked or followed any show on television?
I haven't been much of a TV person since my childhood. I have watched bits and pieces of the dance reality show Jhalak Dhikhhlaa Jaa.
That is the only show I would like to do if I get a chance.
I don’t have many friends from the industry. Riva Babbar and Ritu Chaudhry are my friends from the industry.
I went for (actor) Rakshanda Khan’s sangeet. We are not in regular touch but we are there for each other.
Most of my close friends are not from the industry.
Image: A still from Jhalak Dhikhhla Jaa
'I wasn't very close to Smriti Irani'
Are you in touch with your Kyunki... costar Smriti Irani?
No, I was not very close to her.
We both took part in the Miss India contest and worked together in Kyunki...
We were cordial with each other. It's really commendable where she has reached today.
What did Hiten have to say about you getting back to television? He is doing a film, isn't he?
Hiten is very excited. He always told me to get back to work.
Somehow Hiten has not got his due. He has been busy and so couldn't concentrate on movies.
Now since I have started working, it's the right time for him to concentrate on films.
Image: Smriti Irani in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
'Don't really know if the Kyunki... sequel will happen
Apparently, you were not comfortable playing the on-screen wife of actor Muni Jha and he was replaced.
I felt bad, but I couldn't help it. He played my father in one of my earlier shows.
That was really uncomfortable and I told the makers that they could replace me if they wanted to, but somehow they managed.
There were reports of a sequel to Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Have you been approached for it?
Yes. If it happens, I will be a part of it.
But I don't know whether it will happen after Smriti has become the HRD minister.
Image: Hiten Tejwani and Gauri Pradhan