Garima Vikrant Singh Interview: There should be a regulatory body to monitor and censor web content!
In an exclusive interview with BollywoodMDB, seasoned television actress talks about her new show and much more.
On the surface, popular character actress Garima Vikrant Singh appears very stern, but under the façade, there is a tender side which helps you ease off nervousness if you are meeting her for the first time. Known for popular soaps like Gustakh Dil and Ishq Ka Rang Safed, the popular actress is currently seen as Anaro in the Star Bharat show, Nimki Mukhiya. When I met her a couple of days back for an interaction on the sets of her show in Kamalistan Studios, she had back-to-back scenes lined up. But the actress squeezed out some time, swept into her room, and sat down for a quick chat, while her hairdressers kept doing her hair for the next scene. In an exclusive interview with BollywoodMDB, the seasoned actress opens up about a lot of things from her character in Nimki Mukhiya to her short film, The Writer, and the pros and cons of evolving digital medium in respect with Indian entertainment industry, especially the television space. Excerpts…
Q. Please, tell us something about your character in Nimki Mukhiya?
A. My character in Nimki Mukhiya is exactly like all domineering mother-in-laws in other soaps, but there are many shades to my character. As of now, Anaro is very hot-headed and authoritative, but how her character changes once Nimki becomes her daughter-in-law is something you will get to see in the coming episodes.
Q. At the moment, your character seems completely negative. Will it turn positive once Nimki becomes your bahu?
A. I don’t think so. Moreover, I feel my writer will be in a better positive to reveal how he is planning my character ahead.
Q. You have recently done a short film called The Writer. Tell us something about that.
A. The Writer is directed by my niece, Anukriti Singh. It is her first attempt at direction, so I really feel proud of her. If we don’t sit down to find faults in the movie, she has done a great job in her first endeavour.
Talking about the film, The Writer tells a very beautiful story which is written by my nephew Shantanu Pallav. It is about a man, a writer to be more precise, who steals the stories of another writer and publishes them under his name. He is earning a lot of royalty through it. One day, when he goes to meet the original writer after years, he comes to know that he has been killed. His family is living in abject poverty. When he sees his ailing mother, he feels very guilty. He comes back and decides to tell the truth to the world. It is a very compelling, thought-provoking film. I think everyone should watch it.
Q. Do you think these kinds of incidences are very common in a city like Mumbai where strugglers come from all over India and they are duped by so-called well-established writers?
A. Undoubtedly! It is very common here in Mumbai. Many aspiring writers come to Mumbai. They meet senior writers and narrate their ideas, stories to them, hoping they would help them get some work in the industry. But those seniors steal their ideas, make a few changes in the script here and there and then present them as their own. I feel this is not a new phenomenon. These things have been in the practice since very long. But no one comes to the fore to talk about such illegal, unethical practices. I wish our federations come forward and help them who have been duped. Aspiring writers also need to be very alert while sharing their ideas and stories with others.
Q. The digital medium has witnessed an exponential growth in India in the past few years. There are many renowned TV producers who are venturing into the digital space. They are creating content for the web. Do you think that this unprecedented growth of digital space may pose a serious threat to Indian television?
A. Yes! I strongly feel that TV might be pushed to the corner in years to come. See, technology is changing very rapidly all over the world, including India. The new generation is very quick to adapt to the latest technological advances. I think that in a few years down the line TV will be in our hands, in our mobile phones. And the change has already started taking place. All leading general entertainment channels are trying to attract the mobile audience. Star Plus has launched Hotstar, some other channel has Voot and so on. It is just the beginning. In the coming few years, many things are going to change. Web shows are receiving a huge response because there is an audience for them and that is why makers are investing money into making them.
Q. Do you see any problem with the web?
A. See, every coin has two sides. The main problem with the web is that anything is being served to the viewers. There is no control, no regulation. Anyone can watch anything on the web which, I feel, is not good, especially for our kids. There is a proper time and age to see and understand certain things. But you can watch any material on the web with a simple click. That needs to be controlled, I feel. There should be a body to censors web content.
Q. Do you think that producers are showing too much of explicit content just because there is no regulatory body to monitor it on the web?
A. Of course, yes! Producers who create sleazy content argue that they make what their viewers want to see. I disagree with them. If you will offer sleaze, there are people who will love to watch it. But if you create good content, people will lap it up more promptly than your sleaze. In the 80s and 90s, Doordarshan produced so many iconic shows. Those shows are still remembered by people because they had a story, not sleaze. You may make some quick bucks by serving sleaze on the platter, but the strategy cannot work in the long run.
Q. Are you open to acting in web-shows?
A. See, I am very clear about what I want to do when it comes to acting. If my character is powerful, if the story has some message for the society, I am always game for it. The medium does not matter to me. Digital is also a medium to entertain people, but the stuff shown on it should be good and pure. I cannot be part of anything that my conscience doesn’t allow.