Candid chat with Tasneem Sheikh

Popular K- series brigade (Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi) actress, Tasneem Sheikh, who had returned to the small screen after an eight year sabbatical with &TV show, Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi, will next be seen in a Gujarati film. “I am playing the main negative daughter-in-law in the Gujju remake of the hit Nana Patekar-led Marathi film, Natsamrat (directed by Mahesh Manjrekar). The plot revolves around the unravelling of a well-known theatre personality, due to generation gap, ego and other family issues. It will release this month end.”

Tasneem, who is also seriously considering another Hindi film, admits that she does not know much about the working of this western Indian regional film word. “The main reason for saying yes to this Jhamu Sugandh production was that my dear departed mother was a Gujarati, and this was my way of paying obeisance to her. Also, the set up was great, and the story had already made waves in neighbouring Maharashtra.”

“Although I knew Gujarati, I had some issues with pronouncing the words correctly; but director, Jayant Gilatar, and Gujarati superstar, Siddharth Randeria, who essays the title role, helped me on my way.”

Ask her about Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi, and she says, “I really enjoyed coming back after 8 years. The unit had become like family.”

But it did not rate well? “Unfortunately, a great subject of widow remarriage got wasted in the 7.30 pm time slot, for it was too early for women audiences to tune in. Had we come on air around super primetime (8.30 onward), maybe things would have been different.”

“All in all, I have no regrets, for this project gave me the confidence that I can work again along with family responsibilities. I give full credit to producer, Nivedita Basu, (had worked together in Balaji), who virtually forced me to come back. She graciously allowed me to work only up to 7 pm.”

Looking ahead, she is open to any kind of interesting work on TV as well, “If they are ready to accept my above condition. Being an old-school actor, I don’t waste time any which ways.”

She has no qualms about doing bold web series, as long as only the dialogues are explicit.

In closing, Tasneem wishes that makers could cast her in her positive roles again, like she had done in Kkusum and Gharana. “This typecasting is an issue, but, having said that, playing negative (Kumkum) gives you much more to do in terms of shades, as opposed to vanilla positive. The makers believe that I can pull off the strongest antagonist avatars to the T.”

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