Jennifer Mistry Bansiwal, who plays the Parsi lady, Roshan bhabhi, in iconic SAB TV show, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, actually speaks very good Hindi in real life, unlike her on-screen character, who converses with a Parsi twang.
“Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, my national language diction is quite good. But yes, I have to speak broken Hindi as per my character’s brief. Many fans who meet me off sets are pleasantly surprised at my fluent Hindi.”
Jennifer, who took a pregnancy break before returning, attributes the continuing success of Taarak Mehta to its simple, relatable scripts. “Since we all actors (for example, even Babita/Munmun is Bengali in real life) are playing our respective real-life communities, we are in a better position to suggest inputs. “Last but not the least, we all are positive and we strive to ensure that nothing we do should hurt anybody’s sentiments.”
When asked what separates Tarak, which is now in its eleventh year, from other myriad daily TV stuff, she says, “While I don’t want to comment on what others do or don’t do, I will just say that they seem to be focused a lot on getting ratings and success; while our endeavour is to just get a smile on your face. Life anyway is full of stress.”
Although, like any true actor, Jennifer wouldn’t mind trying something else, “But our date issues don’t allow us to take up any other long-winding assignments. So we are told not to take up any other TV roles. Short TVCs are fine. The biggest stumbling block is that our schedules are always decided at the eleventh hour, and my 15 days are anyway blocked with Neela Telefilms.”
“Till about three years back, we were locked in an exclusive contract; but not anymore, as we trust each other, and who would want to leave such a brand as well.”