'Marriage was never a pit stop after which my life would change.'
Sai Deodhar has no trouble juggles between different roles.
She acts, writes, directs and produces shows, feature films, short films and music videos.
Sai is comfortable in front of the camera and behind it.
After catapulting to fame with the television show Saara Akaash, Sai decided to give it all away to settle into matrimony with her co-star, Shakti Anand.
Then motherhood happened and the actor took a break of four years.
Today, Sai returned to work behind the camera.
In the first part of a heart-to-heart conversation with Rediff.com Contributor Sameena Razzaq, Sai says, "People were thinking that I was getting married because of something. Some even thought I was pregnant!"
Saara Akaash catapulted you to fame. You met your husband Shakti there as well. When you look back, which part of that warms your heart the most?
I was very young, perhaps still in college when Saara Akaash happened. So for me, it was magical.
I had auditioned, then I was on a set and playing the leading lady at the age of 19!
I didn't even realise what exactly was happening.
I met my husband Shakti there.
We have come a long way since.
Now when I meet people, they tell me they were in school when they used to watch my show.
At the peak of popularity, you decided to give it all away to marry Shakti. Did the thought that marriage can wait, career first, ever come to your mind?
Surprisingly, except for me, everybody had that thought. They were thinking that I was getting married because of something. Some even thought I was pregnant!
I grew up in a family where my grandparents were doctors.
My mother (Shrabani Deodhar) got married (to cinematographer Debu Deodhar) at the age of 19. She had me when she was 20. At the same time, she had a career as a film-maker.
So for me, marriage was always a part of life.
It was never a pit stop after which my life would change.
These things organically come and you flow with them.
Even when motherhood came, I was very sure that that would be the next step of my life.
Did you ever feel you were taking a risk?
I came from a family where there wasn't a lot of money, but we had plenty of love and security.
I have always been a very family person.
My family comes first. It has been my strength, and getting married was just a way of consolidating that strength so I could blossom and spread my wings.
Post marriage, Shakti continued acting while you did not. Did that bother you? Watch the answer in the video below.
Motherhood drifted you further away from the arc lights.
I tell people that these are magical years, which are going to go away just like that.
When I see kids, I feel so glad that I have lived through those moments.
I didn't take a break. I went behind the camera and produced Mujhse Kuchh Kehti... Yeh Khamoshiyaan which appeared on Star Plus.
I produced a Marathi film too.
But I made a conscious effort to work in a certain environment.
Like my daughter was not well, so this interview had to be rescheduled because I had to take her to the doctor. This is the kind of liberty I want.
I was working. but yes, I didn't do a daily soap.
I took up Udaan when my daughter was two-and-a-half-years old, but the shoot was in Film City (the studio in north east Mumbai).
I knew how many days would be required.
You can have the best of both worlds -- you can enjoy motherhood and also work.
- Part II: 'Women don't understand women'