There are some personalities who command a certain degree of respect and reverence, thanks to their enigmatic and awe inspiring aura. In the clutter cramped Indian television space, where everyday a new pop up hankers for attention and adulation, being part of the regular milieu, it takes some effort and sustained perseverance to stand out, be a beacon for those who chase the arc lights. We are talking about Divyanka Tripathi, the leading lady of Indian television, who, via her hypnotic smile and emphatic courteous demeanour, has won the hearts of millions of her fans all across the globe.
Playing Ishita in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, she has won accolades of critics and fans alike, and her recent triumph at Nach Baliye, hand-in-hand with hubby dear, actor par excellence Vivak Dahiya, has given a definite fillip to her career chart.
In an exclusive chat with IndianWikiMedia, Divyanka talks her heart out in a rare in depth interview. Excerpts:
Talking about Yeh Hai Mohabbatein…how satisfied or saturated are you with the role at the moment?
Thankfully YHM is ever-evolving. It hasn’t let me reach that saturation point yet. I get to play so many variations in the character and in the story. I get to play many interesting and challenging roles each day; so I am enjoying the role even now and that’s the best part of the show. Ishita is a modern woman and she works, manages her family, relationships etc, thus keeping the show still in the real zone. It’s almost been 5 years and what a beautiful journey it has been.
We are not yet planning for a baby and I really don’t know about the afterwards, as we have not really thought about it. Whenever happens, I will decide when we are in the moment
Your two biggest shows till date have been Dulhann and Yeh Hai Mohabbatein. How do you think these two shows have paved the path to success for you?
Definitely these two shows have given me a lot of success and fame. Banoo Main Teri Dulhann helped me train and grow as a professional. I have been working since childhood; I have done drama, plays and telefilms in my home town and being part of television was totally different for me. Daily soaps have shaped me into what I am today; so I know how to deal with such pressures. After Dulhann, I did two comedy shows which were not so popular; but I am really thankful that I got a chance to work in the genre of comedy. This comedy experience changed me completely. I became more spontaneous, more open to challenges as comedy is not so easy. YHM is like a benchmark now, so whatever I do next should be even better than this experience.
What / who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
My biggest inspiration is my family. All my family members have inspired me in different ways, especially my father who wanted me to be a part of NCC. He motivated me to choose this path, so I took on adventure activities. I am always thankful to him for this. He taught me how to communicate with others, read books, newspapers to gain more knowledge about what’s happening around us. My mom has faced so many challenges in life that whenever I see her I feel that even I should face such challenges in life. In fact, she’s still learning Bharatnatyam at this age. My sister also taught me many things and she has been a support system during my struggling days. My younger brother is a pilot; he has worked hard in his life. Also I have been learning so many things from Vivek. So yes my family really inspires me to work more.
Divyanka, you have come a long way indeed…Your thoughts on the journey…
Yes, a very long journey indeed. It has been a beautiful journey for me, especially the recent success in Nach Baliye. We did not know how far we will reach when we had started this journey. After 4-5 episodes we actually felt that we should give our best no matter what and the rest is history. We really enjoyed this ride, we were so involved in the show. There was this excitement level where we had to learn a new dance style, new song etc and so each day was interesting and we wanted more of it and finally all got over one day…
I am not perfect all the time, nor sweet. This is the way I have been brought up and what my parents have taught me. I can’t be rude or hurt anyone
Nach has been a rather roller coaster ride. You were accused of winning it based on popularity and not dancing skills. How did you deal with such negative conjectures?
Everybody knows that it’s a popularity based show, and selections are being done on the basis of public votes. I don’t understand why it is being treated as a sin and I don’t think it’s wrong and no one can ever buy audience or force them to vote for us. It’s all decided by Janta Janardhan. And for the people who are pointing at us, let me tell you that the format of the show is fashioned in such a way. So how is it wrong? I think in most of the reality shows, the voting system exists and the winner is decided by the highest number of votes. We are thankful to our fans who supported me and Vivek throughout this journey. I really respect all my co-contestants because everyone has worked equally hard.
Being a Star Plus actor, did it help through the journey in terms of treatment?
Every artist was treated equally and I was not given any special treatment. In fact, other artists would get more time for rehearsals and I only had 4-5 hrs and with the injury I had, dancing was a big task. I never had the time to rest and do my physiotherapy. Sometimes we had to skip our meals because of shortage of timing for rehearsals.
Tell us about the journey of being a non dancer to excelling in it?
We both were not aware of the fact the limit to which we could perform. Also in the start we did very basic dance styles and to learn that we took 20-25 days. Later on the pressure increased and we had to learn and perform new dance styles in a week and as the competition increased, all other couples were performing some amazing dance styles and in between I had a back injury. But after that my comeback was absolutely amazing because when I saw Vivek giving his 200% wherein he had to dance for both in my absence, I decided that I will give my best. That was when we both tried almost everything which was difficult for us. We enjoyed facing these challenges. So it’s been an amazing journey; for me, the dance journey has just started and I am in love with it. A big thank you to all.
Now that you and Vivek have lifted the Nach trophy, who do you consider the better dancer between you two?
Earlier I used to think that I am the better dancer but I was wrong. Now Vivek is a much much better dancer than me. His energy, his style and the way he performs – it’s just amazing. During rehearsals he took it very easy but on the performance day, he just took it to another level and seriously no one can match his energy level.
We are thankful to our fans who supported me and Vivek throughout the Nach Baliye journey. I really respect all my co-contestants because everyone has worked equally hard
Take us through the most memorable Nach moment…
The most memorable moment besides winning the trophy has to be when Vivek read out the letter to me. Men in today’s day and age are not so expressive when it comes to writing letters, but when I read that letter I fell in love with him all over again. He keeps giving me such cute little surprises and that’s the best thing about Vivek. It takes lots of guts to express feelings on National Television.
Divyanka is sweet to all…How can one be so perfect all the time? So what is it that makes you angry? What’s your vice?
I am not perfect all the time, nor sweet. This is the way I have been brought up and what my parents have taught me. I can’t be rude or hurt anyone because it will be in my mind throughout. So I try not to hurt anyone or do anything wrong because I don’t like to be negative. I do get angry sometimes when it comes to professional matters; I don’t like people wasting any artists’ time because they have so much to do and it’s not right to take anyone’s work lightly.
What is the biggest lesson that this industry over the years has taught you?
The biggest lesson I have learnt over a period of time is to have lots of patience and to be focused. These two things are important when you are working in an industry like ours. Patience because you undergo a lot of testing – there are times when you have too much to do. So I personally feel patience is the key which keeps your confidence level always up. Secondly, focus because there are 100 things happening around you which might distract your attention from work and that can eventually create problems in your work. But you must keep yourself away from all these things which lead to distraction and hence focus is important.
How has the relationship between you and Vivek evolved post being co-contestants in Nach?
Well, we know each other a lot better now! There was a stage where we were on the verge of fighting, but now we know how to solve issues. Now we know how to tackle problems! No relation in this world is perfect and there are ups and downs always. A couple always has to put in their best efforts to work on it. And a perfect marriage is like achieving a goal and you have to put in all the hard work and it happens when both of you equally put in effort. Furthermore, loving each other and accepting each other’s flaws makes our relationship all the more stronger and more beautiful. That’s what we both have learnt during this phase.
The biggest lesson I have learnt over a period of time is to have lots of patience and to be focused. These two things are important when you are working in an industry like ours
How ambitious are you?
I am ambitious only to the extent that whatever I take up, I do it in the best manner possible. Of course, I have got certain responsibilities which I have to fulfill. I believe in one thing that is to ‘Do good Deeds only’. So that’s my only ambition, apart from that I had never thought that I would earn so much or will work in films. I never set future goals.
Will Divyanka go the family way soon? Will you work post or during motherhood?
We are not yet planning for a baby and I really don’t know about the afterwards, as we have not really thought about it. Whenever happens, I will decide when we are in the moment.