Rakshanda Khan in conversation.

It is wrong to compare desi fantasies with international ones, as budgets are poles apart: Rakshanda Khan

The graceful and dignified Rakshanda Khan is very excited to be part of Colors and Balaji Telefilms’ show, Naagin 3.

Says Rakshanda, “It is a matter of great pride to be associated with such a strong and popular franchise. I have never seen so much love and craze for a show.”

Talking about the concept, she states, “Naagin 3 is again a female snake revenge story. The ten victims are a part of the Sehgal clan. I play Sumitra, the wife of Andy Sehgal (Chetan Hansraj), who had cheated on her. Yet she decides to stay on, to prevent a public scene. She also accepts her husband’s illegitimate child.”

Rakshanda, who was first noticed as the sexy Mallika in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, has no qualms about playing the mother of an adult kid. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do; this is how the TV industry anyways functions. In keeping tune with her mother character, the character does not have a very glamorous avatar as well. She is a homemaker.”

Here, Rakshanda Khan, who has done several shows such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kya Haadsa Kya Haqeeqat and Kasamh, says, “This is the first time that I have said yes to a project without knowing the ending; we have only been told about the basic graph. The cast is going ahead on the belief and confidence of the producers and the channel. We know how important this to them; plus, Balaji is like home to me.”

Will Naagin work again? “Snake stories have always worked in India. It is our mythology and folk lore. It is sad that people compare our CG to international shows, who have much bigger budgets than we can even dream of. The correct thing would be to accept that the level of Indian CG has gone up several notches. My 3.5-year-old daughter loves the snakes; this means we are making the right moves.”

Her last TV outing was again a fantasy– Brahmarakshas on Zee.

Point out that the ratings of Naagin 2 were half of the first season, and she says, “Well, it would be unfair to expect us to reach a TRP of 6, when even the best shows do not go beyond 3.5.”

Here she adds about shooting schedules, “Unlike other dailies, Naagin 3 has a good enough bank, so we don’t need to be in a hurry.”

Are you not worried that if ratings don’t come, the story will change, leading things to go haywire? “No, I don’t think that will happen, for Ekta will still follow her vision; she is very clear about the plot and characterization.”

In closing, Rakshanda accepts that Naagin 3 is not really following the seasonal template. “As compared to season 1 and 2, we not only have a fresh cast, but even the story line is different. We have just used the title. Seasonal formats have not really worked in India. Ironically, many things that we like in the West fall flat when tried back home.”

All the best, Rakshanda!!

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