In conversation with Barkha Bisht Sengupta

Barkha Bisht Sengupta, who has been around for many years, is now all set to essay a negative character for the first time, in Star Bharat thriller, Kaal Bhairav Rahasya 2. “At first I said no, but later acquiesced after reading the well-written script. One of the main reasons for saying yes was that this being a limited series, even if things go horrible wrong, it will still be over in the stipulated 103 episodes.”

Aso, Barkha, unlike other TV vamps, will not resort to normal negative clichés. “Your portrayal should be good enough to show the character’s evilness. I wonder why actors do the same. Luckily for me, our makers (Ravindra Gautam) did not want me to go down that road either.”

Given that the show is based on the age-old concept of faith vs superstition, we asked Barkha about her personal religious funda, to which she replied, “Although a non-ritualistic person, I don’t preach to others, preferring to go by the maxim of non-interference in matters of individualistic faith. Having said that, it does rankle when you see powerful folks exploiting lay people’s core religious beliefs for narrow personal and political gains.”

When asked as to what keeps her going, Barkha, who started way back in 2005, with Pyaar Ke Do Naam: Ek Raadha, Ek Shyaam, attributes it to luck, hard work, dedication, and yes, certain human decencies. “I always make it a point to be polite with my staff and set hands. Sadly, many in our trade get away with looking down at them for they are not in a position to give it back. They will only be sweet to the producers and powers that be, for that is in their self-interest. On the other hand, I believe that a man is judged by how he deals with those who are below him in position. Let me be clear; I am not trying to put myself above anyone, just making a practical point.”

Barkha, who has recently moved to web acting/production with friend, Karan Mehra (Couple of Mistakes), is ready to do more digital stuff, “As they have much more relevant themes; and who watches TV these days, anyways.”

She takes the current rampant sex, violence and abuse as a natural desi attempt to take advantage of the lack of censorship. “The West had crossed this boundary years ago; we are merely playing catch-up.”

Here Barkha rejects the general notion that sex is primarily for male consumption. “Times have changed. Women not only like to watch adult content, but are even ready to play such roles with élan. Take Radhika Apte for example, who is all over the web.”

However, Barkha herself would not do very bold scenes, “As I am not courageous enough. Also, had this trend occurred when I was in my twenties or not married with kids, it might have been a different ball game.”

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