Small screen wonder

Telly talk

The show is predictable. But people still love watching it. Perhaps because it reinforces the belief in all of us that nothing is impossible.

We are talking about the popular show Diya Aur Baati, where after getting married to a halwai (confectioner), a housewife makes her dream of becoming an IPS officer come true. Deepika Singh, the actress who plays the housewife-turned-IPS officer Sandhya, as a result, has become one of the most popular faces on the small screen.
There can be endless discussions on whether the credit should go to the production house Shashi-Sumeet Mittal, or the writers, or the powerful portrayal. However, for newcomer Deepika, this show has been a magical start.

But how did she join the world of entertainment? The Delhi girl comes from a business family with no background in acting. “I always wanted to be a businesswoman. I helped my dad with his garment shop at Karol Bagh. But I had friends who were into modelling and I used to accompany them to auditions. I guess that is how it all started,” she remembers. “Before I realised what I was doing, I had bagged a couple of advertisements. But then, I also wanted to study more and enrolled for an MBA. I dedicated two hours to it every day. Yet, I felt the void within me. That is when I realised that I should try acting as my profession. I went for an audition and got shortlisted for this show and came to Mumbai,” says the pretty actress.

When she arrived in Mumbai, she had no clue that she was to play the lead role. “The fact that I had bagged the lead role was something I learnt only after two months,” says the actress. Didn’t her family object to a career in acting? “My family is quite open-minded, but I think every parent is hesitant when their daughter is about to step into the world of glamour. But after watching me on television, my father said, ‘You are the best at what you are doing’,” says Deepika.

Does she relate to her onscreen character Sandhya? Deepika gives it a thought before responding, “I am an extrovert and tomboyish, unlike Sandhya. And I am not as mild as her either. I cannot sit quietly and tolerate the tantrums of my mother-in-law. What is similar between us is that I am as patient as Sandhya, and I am never in a hurry. Sandhya is a small town girl who wants to become an IPS officer. I too used to be studious.” 

And how has life changed after Diya Aur Baati? “It has definitely changed for the better. Initially, the sudden recognition that I got was scary. Stardom was new to me. But after being in the television industry for more than two years, I have learnt to handle it. Earlier, I would feel odd if someone complimented me, but now I talk to my fans and reciprocate their good wishes. I enjoy it when people ask me for my autograph. I am better off financially too. I have my own house in Mumbai, which is a big thing. I wear better clothes, but I can’t travel by public transport because I am a known face now. But what I like most about my role is the popularity that Sandhya has garnered.”

When asked if she is interested in the kind of natural transition to films, the actress says, “Not till the show is on. Diya Aur Bati gave me everything. Till the time the show continues, I will not leave it. Films can wait for me.”

How does Deepika unwind herself? “I am a loner. Whenever I get some time off, I go shopping. That relaxes me a lot. I love watching films too.” Currently, Diya Aur Baati is number one on Indian television and the young actress has one more reason to be happy.  

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