Candid chat with Sambhabana Mohantey

I credit my fluent Hindi to my school days: Sambhabana Mohantey 

Odia gal Sambhabana Mohantey, who is impressing one and all with her performance as female lead in Zee TV show, Raja Beta, breaks the mould of most actors hailing from outside the Hindi belt i.e. her control over the lingua franca of the nation is perfect.

“I guess you could attribute it to my schooling years in a convent setting. As most of my friends were Hindi speakers (Marwari and Punjabi), I became very comfortable in the national lingo,” says this half Bengali half Odia beauty.

“I never knew that this would hold me in good stead down the road. I am quite adept in the accent and pronunciation.”

“The best part about playing Purva is that she is just like me. Both of us are independent thinking women who will call a spade a spade. Also, this show stands out in the sense that we have a male-dominated story, which normally does not happen on TV. I am playing the love interest of the successful gynaecologist, Vedant (Rahul Sudhir), who will do anything for his family’s sake, no wonder the title. But yes, Purva gets her screen space.”

Talking about her shift to Mumbai, she says, “After doing Odia films and music videos, I naturally wanted to expand my footprint, so national TV was the best option.”

TV and films are two different animals. Did you find it tough at first to get into the tube groove?

“As both my folks are from the TV and film industry, I am fully aware of how hotch potch the small screen can get. Cinema, on the other hand, is more organized. They are short projects and we fully know what we are doing.”

Sambhabana is having a good time on the Raja Beta set. “Rahul is a very easy-going guy, more a friend than a co-actor. At first I was a bit scared working with someone who has done shows like Twisted. Even parallel lead Fenil Umrigar has done lots of TV. But both have made me very comfortable.”

Looking ahead, she would be game for web series as they offer differentiated stories. But yes, she might not be comfortable with nudity as web seems to call for. “It is not only that my folks might not like it. I don’t think my social world view would approve me being part of love-making scenes.”

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