'I had tears in my eyes when I heard the script of Udaan'
'My family understands the value of this comeback. My husband Shakti Anand tells me that if I don’t fulfill my dreams, how will our daughter fulfill hers?' Sai Deodhar tells Rajul Hegde.
She plays a mother, Kasturi, in the serial that deals with the issue of bonded labour. Chakor (Spandan Chaturvedi) is a free-spirited seven year old girl, who gets sold to the village zamindar, by her poverty-stricken family.
The serial is conceptualised by director Mahesh Bhatt.
“I had taken a break from acting after my daughter’s birth, and now I am back to reel life to play a mother’s role,” Sai says. “Gurudev Bhalla (the producer of Udaan) was director of Saara Akaash (the show that made Sai a household name). He had promised that whenever he makes his own show, he will cast me in it. I was not keen to do a show but when he narrated the script of Udaan, I had tears in my eyes.”
“I can relate to my onscreen and off screen role. Had I been offered this role four years ago, I wouldn’t have reacted the same way.
“Sometimes it becomes very difficult for me to detach myself from the onscreen role. I would see my daughter in every child and get carried away,” she added.
The film is set in rural Uttar Pradesh, where bonded labour still exists.
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Image: Sai Deodhar in Udaan
'I find it hypocritical when TV actors say that they don't watch Indian shows'
"The look is something I haven't tried before. We didn't work on any particular dialect but there are a few Bhojpuri words," she says.
Her family is comfortable with her acting. “My family understands the value of this comeback. My husband Shakti Anand and my mother are instrumental in getting me back to work.
“Shakti tells me that if I don’t fulfill my dreams, how will our daughter fulfill hers? In my absence, my mother and Shakti manage our daughter. If one of them was reluctant, it wouldn't have been possible for me to take up work," she added.
Her daughter has started going to nursery school and stays at her grandmother’s place. In the evening, she returns home.
Television hasn’t changed much in the past one decade, she says.
“My parents (father Debu Deodhar, a cinematographer and mother Shrabani Deodhar, a National award winning Marathi director and the current programming head of Star Pravah) made shows like Kachhi Dhoop and Lifeline in the 1980s and 1990s. The new shows like Yudh and 24 are reinventing the same formula. Basically, the scripting of the shows is done like a film. It’s an old concept in a new package,” she says.
Does she follow any show on television?
“Yes. If you ask me about my favourite show, I would be biased and say Maharana Pratap because my husband is in it. I also follow Balika Vadhu, 24, Yudh and Tarak Mehta. I am content doing television and have no urge to do films.
“I find it hypocritical when TV actors say that they don’t watch Indian shows. Why look down on the medium that has made you a star, or given you an opportunity to become an actor? Why ask others to watch your show when you don’t watch it yourself? It is horrible to be so unthankful,” she says.
Sai is now preparing for the release of her Marathi film Sata Lota Pan Sagla Khota, which she has co-produced.
Image: Spandan Chaturvedi as Chakor and Tasheen Shah as Imli