Roles on and off screen

telly star

Roles on and off screen

At 35, the pretty Barkha Bisht Sengupta is a force to reckon with in the telly world. She blazed forth as the genteel, emotional girl in the Rajshri Production, Pyaar Ke Do Naam: Ek Raadha, Ek Shyaam a few years ago, and has since acted in innumerable soaps and anchored shows galore.

“I am best remembered for Pyaar Ke... because it virtually put me on the map as soon as it aired,” she confesses with a soft smile. Followed Doli Saja Ke, Kasautii Zindagi Ke, Kavyanjali... and there has been no looking back since.

Barkha comes from an Army background and has travelled extensively across India with her parents. The first to foray into the world of acting, and zealously so, she has now taken a well-deserved, much-overdue break from soaps for a couple of months to spend time with her little one, Meira, “who will turn four this year.” “In Hebrew, Meira means ‘one who brings light’. Our daughter has brought light into our lives,” adds Barkha.

And how has motherhood been treating her? “Fabulously,” she enthuses. “It’s an indescribable, sometimes-difficult-yet-enriching experience. Till a few months ago, I worked round the clock like a super-mom to spend time only with Meira, giving no time for myself or for my husband (telly actor Indraneil Sengupta).

Then Indraneil explained to me gently and firmly that since I am a working mom, it’s not humanly possible for me to do everything, and that Meira would learn to adjust. Now I am in a happier space. I am wiser, more at peace as I feel that I am like any other working mother. I let Meira be.” Honest words packed with pearls of wisdom.

She turns more honest when she adds, “I love my profession but I hope my daughter pursues some other vocation. I feel acting is not the most ‘settled’ line of work as there are difficult work hours involved. It’s especially difficult for a woman as she needs to balance her professional life and family commitments.”

Is that the reason why she is not pursuing films anymore, after playing Kesar in  Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela? “Not really, I have never pursued films with a vengeance. This film simply fell into my lap, it was great fun and a fabulous learning experience.

I sailed through the audition and it gave me a great canvas to work on. The film did give me a fair amount of visibility on the silver screen, but I am happy with the recognition and the space television gives me. I am a household name owing to the serials I feature in and the shows I anchor. I have enjoyed playing the compere in Comedy Circus Ke Ajoobe and the chatty anchor in Popkorn News, on Zoom,” she explains.

Barkha has just wrapped up a project for Sony TV and is readying to take off to Dehradun with little Meira to meet her folks.

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