Remember the chubby girl who played the lead role of an orphan being raised by three bar dancers in Kammal on Zee TV, a couple of years back' That innocent girl, who made people sit up and notice her at that time, has grown up. Having played a variety of roles on television from the innocent teenager Kammal to the scheming, plotting Niharika in Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka Kirti Gaekwad Kelkar has seen it all. The only thing she regretted was that she never got to play a modern hip girl wearing Western outfits. But with India Calling on Star One, her long cherished dream seems to be coming true.
Kirti is the latest entrant in India Calling where she plays Manisha, sister of the protagonist Chandni. “My role is different and new. In the three or four years of my career I am playing a complete Western role for the first time,” says Kirti. “I think I have an innocent face and that’s the reason why Indian roles come to me. I have always worn salwar kameez, sari...”
Also called Mini Didi in the show, Manisha has an aura of mystery around her. She is confident no doubt, but is running away from something. “Manisha is a smalltown girl. But because of certain circumstances she has landed up in such a situation that she is insecure. So now she is on her own and fighting her battle,” elaborates Kirti.
Much has been said about her look in the serial, which is said to be inspired by Zeenat Aman from Hare Rama Hare Krishna. But what about her own inputs' “Frankly speaking, there are no personal inputs from my end. Everything has been decided and planned by the people who are the brains behind the show.” So is it a guest appearance' “It’s an ongoing role and will not get over so soon,” she says.
On the personal front, too, life is rocking for Kirti. Kirti is married to Sharad Kelkar who plays Nahar Singh in Saath Phere and is her costar in Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka. All the marital happiness reflects on her face and words. How does she balance personal and professional lives, since both of them have a pretty hectic lifestyle' “Yes! It sometimes happens that he comes back from his shoot at three in the morning while I have to leave at nine. But then, too, in such situations we make it a point that we have at least our morning tea together,” she tells us.
Kirti also has a theatre background, which is hardly highlighted. She has done theatre with the likes of Nadira Babbar. “Theatre has actually helped my acting. It really polishes your skills. So it’s good.” Having an experience of more than three years has she thought about films yet' “In television you get such meaty roles. You get to do a lot of things. That’s the reason why I am not contemplating films at the moment,” she says.
With big shows like Kahiin To Hoga, Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka and now India Calling, Kirti’s visibility is increasing; she must be right when she says that she doesn’t need to think about anything else right now. She prefers being the “master of one”. (Sampurn)