What is your role in the second season of Remote Control?
I play a really strong character of the mother Baari in the Babulnath family, who has instilled the right values in her children. I can really relate to they character and that is the reason I accepted the role.
How is your role as Baarimaasi different from your role in Instant Khichdi as Hansa?
There is a world of difference between both the characters Hansa as well as Baarimaasi. Both are totally different women altogether. I did not think at all in terms of how differently I should set out to play the role of Baarimaasi after playing the role of Hansa. Though I loved playing Hansa, who is some one I know so well that it would not be difficult for me to go back to her at all, I equally love playing Baarimaasi too.
Is the story of the second season of Remote Control different now?
The story of Remote Control has now moved from its earlier backdrop of the chawl to a posh apartment. The basic structure of the show continues to remain the same though. From being a half an hour weekly, it has now become a one hour bi-weekly. Producer J.D. Majethia decided to change the backdrop because he felt that if one eats too much of gulab jamun, one will get indigestion and necessarily need some saunf. The second season of Remote Control is like saunf
Comment about the change in the TV scenario today!
TV in the initial days when the satellite channels had not yet come was very good. There were thought provoking as well as entertaining serials like Buniyaad. Udaan and Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. However, there is a vast difference between the scenario then and now as far as the serials are concerned.
In what way do you think the scenario has changed?
Unlike in the past, the audiences today have short lived memories. In today's time, you should be able to market your serials well, even if you end up making good shows. If there is dum in your shows and you also market it properly, you will get the audiences.
Do you mean to say that quantity has taken over quality?
Today it is sad but true that quality has ceased to be important. It is a question of in how much time you are able to do your work. Though at one time the weekly serials were watched with bated breath, today, people like to watch dailies.
Why do you think the second season of Karamchand fail to click with the audiences?
Karamchand was a phenomenon when it was launched for the first time two decades back with Pankaj in the title role. It was unusual and slick for its time. However its second season did not click because it did not move with the changing times. Today a Karamchand will find itself difficult to sustain when it has to compete with the likes of Superman and Spiderman. Karamchand would have been different if only it had been taken on a different level altogether, and presented with an altogether different style. How can you call it a revival when you do not set out to move with the changing times?
What was the reason that the first season of Remote Control did not reach the audience?
The first season of remote Control did not reach the audiences the way we expected it would and the major reason for that is the lack of publicity. If only the show had been given the push like our other shows, we would have certainly managed to get the chance to prove ourselves with Remote Control too, like we could with shows like Khichdi and Instant Khichdi in other channels.
What message does Remote Control set out to drive home to the viewers?
Remote Control sets out to drive home the message that though as people we tend to start changing, one should not change one's basics, whatever the situation in which you find yourself placed be. If you can do that, you will certainly derive happiness.
What do you think is the secret behind the success of serials made by J.D. Majethia?
I have always believed that if you say something entertaining, people will sit and listen. If the people like a show, its weightage becomes more so much so that they want to be a part of it. J.D Majethia knows the pulse of the viewers and hence his shows like Baa Bahu Aur Baby, Khichdi, Instant Khichdi, Sarabhai V/s Sarabhai, Jassubhen Jayantilal Ki Joint Family and last but not the least Remote Control.
What is your approach as an actress?
The new generation may identify me as Hansa of Khichdi as well as Instant Khichdi, but the average viewer still remembers that as an actress, I have a great body of work to my credit. Frankly I do not personally think about myself just as an actor. As an actress, I feel what I say to people should go across to them and sometimes feel upset if it does not.
Will you be a part of Pankaj Kapoor's film as an actor?
Pankaj's film has been delayed. Though Shahid Kapoor will act in it, I am not sure whether I will be a part of it as an actor or not. It all depends upon whether Pankaj feels that I am suitable for the character and wants to cast me in his directorial debut film.
Is it true that you do not get work because of your blunt nature?
One of the reasons that I am not given much work is because I am not happy with the television scene and also I am too blatant for comfort and voice my opinion without beating around the bush. I believe in quality. Also the fact is that since I do not have too many wants, I do not need to take up each and every offer that is danged across me.
Is Remote Control the only serial in which you are working now?
Besides Remote Control, I do not have any other serial on hand as of now. I have just completed my work in Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra's latest film Dilli 6 in which I play Sonam Kapoor's mother. Dilli 6 is an ensemble film in which Om Puri and I are playing Sonam's parents. If as an actor, my presence makes sense, I absolutely do not have any issues at all about the footage that I am given in the film.
Besides Dilli 6, do you have any other film up your sleeves?
Besides Dilli 6, I have to my credit, one more film, in which Pankaj is also acting with me. It is Bhawana Talwar's untitled film in which I am playing the challenging role of a paanwali. Bhawana had earlier made her debut with Dharam with Pankaj Kapoor in the title role.
Can you evaluate your growth as an actress?
If you ask me to look back at my career and evaluate my growth as an actress, all that I can say at the risk of sounding to be quite immodest is that I have had a lot of growth. I think I have matured and am now capable of handling characters now with much more confidence and finesse than what I had before.
Do you feel that you have not been given your dues as an actor till date?
I have absolutely no complaints about the way my career has progressed. In any case, when has an actress been given her due after a certain age? I hope that the mind-set changes, especially because the possibility of doing good cinema is there now, with the emergence of the multiplexes and the reception to cross-over cinema, even as mindless films are being churned out. It is not something which is new. In the 60's Rajendra Kumar was there, even when Dilip Kumar reigned supreme as an actor.