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Back after the Break

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By: Sneha Hazarika
Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Today for TV actors, the day to day grind has become a way of life. They are so much into fame and minting money that a breather is out of question. It's like, 'make hay while the sun shines'. Post 2000, after the daily soap phenomenon hit the marquee; this has been the general view of all and sundry. But senior actors like Renuka Shahane, Kitu Gidwani and Milind Gunaji have dared to go on hibernation and then planned a bounce back with substantial roles. So what is it that initiates breaks and comebacks?

"After my marriage I preferred to be a house wife so that I could take care of my kids. Even during this break, I got many calls for shows but I refused as family was my top priority. I have been getting calls from Sandeep Sickand, former creative head of Balaji, who asked me to join them long time ago. But I was just too caught up. I utilised my time well by doing the satisfying job of writing a script on an unique subject. I completed it just a week before getting a call from Diya and Tony for their show Jeete Hain Jiske Liye. So I guess without going to the farm house, I got the fruits," says Renuka Shahane who ecstatically terms her break as quite fruitful.

There have been actors like Amar Upadhyay and Nausheen Ali Sardar, who took breaks to try out their luck in films. But the skilled Renuka, who has films like Hum Apke Hain Kaun to her credit, has no such plans. "No. It was purely preference to family. I was waiting for my younger son to grow up. To concentrate only on films was not the reason at all, as TV has given me a lot in comparison to films," she says confidently.

On the other hand, Milind Gunaji, now seen in 'Kulvaddhu' and 'Saas Bahu' hunk Yash Tonk like to balance TV and films and take breaks to fit in their filmi commitments. "I did 'Asambhav' and 'Elaan', was also shooting for N.Chandra's Breaking News," says Milind. "Actually it is a commitment. It is hard to manage time for other projects when you are involved and committed somewhere."

"I was working in two films 'Kis Kis Se Pyaar Karoon' and Sohail Khan's Team. But I did shoot at times for the Star afternoon daily Kesar," adds Yash.

Kitu Gidwani, the original television diva too doesn't consider her absence as a complete break. "I was not completely on break. I worked on and off in Kashsish and K Street. And moves were on, which is why I am in a show like Kulvaddhu now," she says in her usual carefree tone.

Even daily soap specialists like Neha Bamb, Iqbal Khan and Cezanne have planned breaks to unwind. But longer breaks seem to be a complete no no. Neha Bamb is returning a few months after 'Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai' got over, in Zee's ambitious 'Maayka'. There is a buzz that Iqbal and Cezzane were bored with their work in Balaji, hence they quit, but have been signed by Sandiip Sickand to star in big Sony shows soon."

Seems some where or the other, insecurity is involved. No one wants to be out of work for long. Are there chances of some adverse effects being out of touch for so long? Plus is the same energy level still there? "Insecurity! Not at all. If your hopes are high, you make yourself secure anyhow. But I am not a psychiatrist to tell you whether I would be able to do the current things with the same energy level," Kitu defends her decision of taking break.

Her Kulvaddhu co star Gunaji agrees with her. "I never get insecure because I am not only from the acting field. I am a mechanical engineer also. I have written six books that are launched in the market. In addition to this, I had two travel shows too. So my side earnings never made me scared of any financial crisis. For an artist, energy never varies with situation. And for those it varies, they should concentrate on their acting," he says candidly.

However, in spite of being a seasoned actress, Renuka Sahane is a little apprehensive and gets far more logical. "Perhaps yes. Earlier I was only doing weekly shows, but now daily soaps are here and they must need more energy. I must tell you that I hate habits. But as far as my work is concerned, I am sure that I definitely do it with double the energy," she quips. Maybe her many years break has turned her slightly skeptical. However, all will be fine if the show utilizes her great talent well, unlike what happened with another veteran actress Pallavi Joshi in her comeback serial with Balaji, Kehna Hain Kuch Mujhko.

Even the much junior, but experienced actresses like Firdaus Dadi, Poonam Nirula, Shital Thakker and Smita Bansal couldn't really flare up the screen after their long breaks. Currently, they are reduced to the position of mere character artistes.

Maybe that's why Yash Tonk too believes that short breaks are more useful and can't make an actor rusty. "In fact you can see me with more energy in Karam Apna Apna. But to be honest, now I am tired of television. I want to do more films," he says.

To sum up, it's natural for the day to day grind to make things monotonous for actors. Maybe breaks can always help to rejuvenate them and better things, only of course for those who don't want to be mechanical and are willing to take one.

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