Vaishnavi Mahant on her new show ‘Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai’, the possibility of ‘Shaktimaan 2’ and much more!
Shaktimaan fame actress Vaishnavi Mahant in conversation with BollywoodMDB.
We're going to assume you know who Vaishnavi Mahant is, but if you need a quick refresher here it is: she played the firebrand reporter, Geeta Vishwas, in one of Indian television’s most iconic shows, Shaktimaan. If you are a 90s kid, chances are there that you very vividly remember watching Shaktimaan on lazy Sunday afternoons. Every main character from the show was unique and iconic but, apart from Shaktimaan, the one who stole all the thunder was Geeta Vishwas, a character played fabulously by Vaishnavi. Since Shaktimaan went off air, the actress has appeared in a number of shows but the audience still remembers her as Geeta Vishwas. The talented actress will next be seen in Shashi Sumeet Productions’ newly launched show Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai. BollywoodMDB reporter, Mohnish Singh, met the seasoned actress at the curtain raiser of the show and had an engaging conversation with her about her show, the return of Shaktimaan and much more.
Talking about her character in the show, Vaishnavi said, “I am playing a character called Vishakha on the show. She is a woman of the 80s and 90s. She has a backstory. She is a modern, high society woman, very poised and graceful but, at the same time, she has a little grey shade to herself wherein she is a little bit of a woman who is also selfish. She thinks about herself. She has been married twice. Her first husband passed away, so she married the second time. She has a son with whom she has a big communication gap.”
The actress said that after a long time she has got an opportunity to play a real and relatable character. “The character which I am playing is very real. It is very real and relatable. It’s not the kind of sugary mother which we have been seeing for years and years. Vishakha is different. Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai being a retro show, it is a very progressive character. She is a woman of today.”
Vaishnavi started her career in the mid-90s and went on to be part of many successful shows later on. Since her new show is based in the 90s, it must be very special for her. “This show is really special for me. It just hit me today. While we were in midst of everything, I just hit me that this is where I come from. This is my era. Till now I was taking it as another show that I am doing, an interesting show. Today it hit me that how much I am relating to this whole show, as a character, in terms of music, in terms of presentation and all. It is taking me back where I began.”
In the show, Vaishnavi plays a mother who does not share a very cordial relationship with her son. When asked if the gap between her and her son will bridge in the future, she said, “You will see that from the start there will be this friction. It is not going to be all sweet and sugary things. There is going to be a friction, but there are also going to be layers. That is what makes this character very interesting. I look forward to playing it in spite of the fact that the character is not very long in terms of days in a week. You may not see me every day of the week. But wherever you will see me you will look forward to seeing the character again, because it will always bring in some spice and something different into the show. She will keep coming and going. In a week, you might see me twice because this character is based somewhere else and keeps coming back to her home. Why I like this character is because it has given me an opportunity to do something different on television, which is very rare.”
The 90s was the decade of great music, entertaining films and cool trends. People would not spend hours on social media platforms, they had close friends to spend time with; they had the company of good books and comics. Almost everyone has some or the other favorite things associated with that time. When asked what she liked most about the 90s, she said, “There are many things I liked about the 90s and also many things which I didn’t like about the 90s. What I like about the 90s was innocence. There used to be a bit of an innocence in people compared to today. I disagree with some youngsters who think that the 90s was very regressive. 90s was not regressive. Some of the actresses were so bold back then that they appeared on magazine covers wearing things which actresses won’t wear today. They won’t even think of it. I remember one of the kids saying that during those times people were not bold. I think girls were really bold those days. I was not that bold though. But, of course, I also wore clothes which could be termed bold even today.”
Vaishnavi felt people would respect their elders a lot back then. “Yes, we were more respectful towards our parents. We wouldn’t open our mouth in front of them. We were more focused because we did not have social media to get indulged into. We were more focused on our work. We respected our elders. Talking about the industry, we respected our fraternity, our directors, and our producers. We respected the entire cast and crew whether they were good or not. The position they held demanded our respect. We never took our work lightly. We knew we had to work hard and that it’s not going to be an easy cakewalk. These days, there is a difference. There is a shift. Things are coming very easily for the youngsters so they take it very lightly. Somehow they feel they are cleverer than the directors and producers.”
Since long there have been talks about Shaktimaan 2. When I tried to glean more information on the same from Vaishnavi and asked her if she would like to be part of the show, she said, “Of course. Whenever there will be Shaktimaan 2, I will be part of the show. I too keep listening about its part two, but let’s see when it happens,” she signs off.