If there was one character who stole Komolika’s (Urvashi Dholakia) thunder in Kasautii Zindagii Kay, it was Aparna Basu (Geetanjali Tikekar). Aparna’s drastic transformation -- from a quiet and naive bahu to the most dreaded vamp -- left fans of the TV soap shell-shocked. However, the role won Geetanjali immense recognition and she went on to do shows like Karam Apnaa Apnaa, Tere Liye, Adaalat and Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?...Ek Baar Phir.
After a one-year break, the actress is back again, with Sony show Ek Duje Ke Vaaste. SpotboyE.com caught up with Geetanjali for an exclusive chat. Here’s how the conversation went...
Your character (Nirmala) in Ek Duje Ke Vaaste has gone off-track in just a few months. Why so?
The track is focusing on the lead protagonists’ lives. Right now, I am not required in show, so I am just chilling.
As an artiste, you are being underutilised. Have you complained in this regard?
Underutilisation of actors is almost a trend now. Many artistes are dissatisfied and I don’t want to be one of them. I have been lucky, because I am respected for my work. My team (EDKV) has placed me on a pedestal and I am sure they won’t let me down. (Geetanjali’s character will make a comeback in the show very soon).
Image Source: instagram/geetanjalitikekar
Your character (Aparna) in Kasautii... was immensely popular. Do people still call you by that name?
Yes, that’s my claim to fame. Kasautii was my 4th show, but the outings before that didn’t give me any recognition. That one murder scene (of Aparna killing male lead Anurag) changed the whole course of the show. Maybe that’s why people remember me.
So, you owe it to Kasautii...?
Whatever I am is because of Balaji Telefilms, and I am indebted to them forever. Hats off to Ekta, she saw the spark in me. When Kasautii happened, TV was at its best phase. I don’t think it will be repeated. There were TV shows and there were Balaji shows. There were artistes and there were Balaji artistes. I am privileged that I was part of that K-boom.
Image Source: india-forums
Didn’t you ever feel the desire to be a popular bahu or play a bold and feisty role?
I never wanted to be a popular bahu. I did play one (Aparna), but her change was so drastic that it overshadowed all her niceness. For me, being bold is being brave. I think I did it by playing Aparna. I could have said ‘No’ to that character, but it was a risk worth taking. Also, in an insecure profession like acting, you need to be bold to not do any show. And I have done that, too.
There was a time when TV vamps like Komolika created a lasting impression. They were literally dreaded. Why are there no such names today?
They were stylised. A lot of effort were put into their characters -- their mannerisms, dialogues, attire... But trends have changed now.
Let’s talk some personal stuff now. How is married life with Sikandar Kharbanda?
Sikander and I have been married for 8 years, but we have known each other for 12-13 years. It’s like I am married to my best friend. He knows when I need space and respects it. We also have the same friends. I feel I have a roomie and not a husband.
Image Source: instagram/geetanjalitikekar
You have a son, Shaurya. Are you enjoying motherhood?
Motherhood is very challenging, because you have created a person, whom you want to be perfect. The kid emulates what he sees around, so you need to talk, act, respond, and behave consciously. Shaurya is 7 and not hyperactive -- he loves to paint and is a sorted kid.
Who is the stricter parent?
I, of course! Sikandar and his family are typical Delhiites who do not scold their kids. Bahut laad-pyaar se rakhte hai. But I am from Pune and my parents have brought me up with extreme concentration. So I am constantly breathing down Shaurya’s neck.
You are more popular than Sikandar. Have insecurities ever crept in?
Never. Sikandar is the reason I am working. There have been times when I have felt like leaving TV. But he pushes me to hear scripts and all the characters I have played so far is because of him. My husband is more proud of my achievements than I am. That keeps our romance alive, too.
How has TV changed over the years?
There are so many channels, people and shows happening all around...it’s a crowd. There is more quantity and less of quality. Viewers have been divided, with even music channels and news channels airing shows. There was a time when the entire neighbourhood would tune into one show. But it’s not like that anymore. I am a little disheartened and am just trying to maintain some quality in my work.
Finally, how has your journey been so far?
The pace of my journey has been decided by me. Between two shows, I make a conscious effort to take a break of 8-9 months. I am not in a hurry. I have done very few shows only to maintain quality.
Thumbnail Image Source: instagram/geetanjalitikekar