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"I'd love doing 'Baa Bahu for ever" - Sarita Joshi

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    Sarita Joshi
    A well-known theatre personality, Sarita Joshi is also a popular television and film actress. Recently, she was awarded 'Best Actress Drama' by the IDEA Indian Television Academy Awards. Her role as Godavari Thakkar or Baa is very popular and has been widely appreciated.

    Q. How does it feel when you see 'Baa Bahu Aur Baby' getting awards for three consecutive years?
    A. As an actor, it feels good because after all this show is reaching the people and they are appreciating our efforts. I was happier getting the IDEA ITA awards because this time I got the award for 'Best Actress'. Earlier, I used to get the 'Best Baa' in Star Plus, but this is more important because a panel of jurists have decided on the winner. It is also special because I have got many awards in theatre. I have got the 'Sangeet Natya Award' in 1988 from the President. I was small at that time and was happy, but this award makes me feel that my work in television is also being acknowledged.

    Q. Should the happiness of getting the 'Best Actress Drama' award for a comedy show be more?
    A. It is nothing like that. We should not differentiate acting in terms of comedy and tragedy or negative characters. There are just good roles. According to me, there should be just two awards for actors 'Best Actor' and 'Best Actor in a Supporting Role'.

    Q. Which is your favorite character in the show?
    A. It is difficult to distinguish my favorite character, as I think the show is written so well that every character gets equal footage and importance. Whenever any character's track comes in focus, he becomes the lead actor. Among all, I think Paresh Gantara's character has a lot of shades and he gets to display different moods - sometimes he is a cheat and at other times he thinks for the family etc. I think most of other characters move on the same line like the character of Gattu, the big brother, and the father's character. Yes, Baa's character has shades because her past is also shown in the show.

    Q. You have been doing this role for the past two years. Will you be happy doing this role for two more years?
    A. I have been doing this role for three years now. Yes, I will love doing this show for whatever period it runs because it is a good show. I was doing a Gujarati show 'Santo Rangeli' which ran for nine years and the people used to recognize me by that name. I have no problem if the show runs for five or ten more years. I will be happy doing it. In fact, I will love doing it for ever.

    Q. What you think about J D Majethia and Aatish Kapadia as the producers of the show?
    A. Our relation is from the theatre days. When they had started their career in theatre I did two-three shows and we are friends from that time and not through 'Baa Bahu aur Baby'. If they offer me a role and say it is a good character then I will blindly accept that role without even asking for the details. They are such good and creative people that I would always love to work with them.

    Q. Is this show popular because it is different from the regular 'saas-Bahu' shows?
    A. It is because the show is very natural and simple in its approach. The story of the show is very close to people's life and they relate to it. The values are very good in the show and it does not look like a work of fiction. Moreover, it is interesting and every parent will want that their children watch this show. Even after two years of the show the excitement of watching it has not died and people still don't want to miss any episode of 'Baa Bahu aur Baby'.

    Q. You are known as a popular theatre artist. Which of your roles is your favorite and will your live audience be able to see you soon?
    A. I have done many roles that are my favorites. I can't name them. But recently, I did 'Sakubai' in Hindi which was directed by Nadira Zaheer Babbar of Ekjute Theatre group and a Gujarati play 'Masala Mami'. I love doing theatre, but I like to concentrate on one work at a time. I am not one of those who keep juggling different things at the same time. A theatre performance requires one to one-and-a-half months' preparation. However, if I get a good script and feel that I should do that role, then I will definitely do it. Then I will try and take out time for that theatre show.

    Q. Your role in 'Guru' was appreciated very much. Are you working in any film now?
    A. The role in 'Guru' was strong in spite of its small length and when filmmakers like Mani Ratnam offer you a role you accept it without even thinking. As for films, I will do if something interesting comes my way. As of now, talks are going on, but nothing has been finalized.

    Q. Which other projects are we going to see you in?
    A. For television I am happy doing 'Baa Bahu aur Baby'. I had received a few offers, but I did not like the characters. If anything interesting comes my way I will definitely do that.

    Q. What changes have you noticed in your career in television?
    A. The changes that I have seen is that now we can't survive without television. It has now moved from our drawing rooms to the bedrooms. Previously there was only Doordarshan and the quality of programs were of very high quality, but now with the growing number of channels, the quality of programming has degraded. Most of the shows look the same. I hope the quality improves; otherwise the audiences are going to get bored.

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