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‘I miss the lights and camera’

The TV-watching world still knows her as Pupe from the STAR Jalsha mega Gaaner Oparey. Perhaps that’s why actress Mimi Chakraborty doesn’t want to take up any offer unless there is enough in it for her. A t2 chat with Mimi, better known as Pupe, on life after Gaaner Oparey…

Do you miss Gaaner Oparey?

Yes, a lot. I had started shooting for Gaaner Oparey exactly a year ago. I miss those days badly; getting up early in the morning and going to the sets. I miss the lights and camera, the hustle and bustle on the sets.

How has the show changed your life?

It didn’t change me as a person much, I am still the same. But yes, now I can’t walk on the streets carefree like I used to because people recognise me and come up to me to talk. I love travelling in autos but I can’t do that now; I miss auto rides. I loved tucking into phuchkas in a crowded marketplace near my home (Netajinagar); I give that a miss too. After Gaaner Oparey got over, I went to my ancestral home in Jalpaiguri, but I couldn’t stay there more than three days!

Why?

Because every evening there would be guests at home. They would want to see Pupe (her character from Gaaner Oparey) in person. My cousins would get their friends over to our place to meet me. There would be people waiting outside my house from early morning and they would urge my grandmother to get me to the balcony so that they could catch a glimpse of me. I found all this very odd. I wasn’t at all comfortable. I was very embarrassed because that’s my home and these people have seen me grow up in front of their eyes. So I came back.

Do you still get compliments for being Pupe?

Yes, I do. It is such a heady feeling each time. It’s nice that even after two months people remember the serial.... Rituparno Ghosh was there on the first day of the shoot. We were supposed to have a cut midway through the action, but he let it roll and we took the entire sequence at one go. When the shot was over, he came and hugged me. He said that he didn’t allow a cut because he didn’t want to disturb my flow; the shot was perfect. Coming from him, that was a huge moment for me.

Are you in touch with your Gaaner Oparey co-actors?

Yes, definitely. I am in touch with Arjun and Gaurav (Chakrabarty), also Tintin (Indrasish) and Anindita (Bose). We go to each other’s places for adda and also chat a lot over phone. All of us regularly check the Gaaner Oparey community on Facebook, and would you believe it, we still get comments about our characters there! It’s great fun to check it everyday.

So, what keeps you busy now?

While Gaaner Oparey was on, I used to end up shooting 18-20 hours a day. Now I have lots of time. Now I don’t miss my afternoon naps! I hit the gym in the morning and surf the Net a lot. I also do some painting at home.

Any offers for mega serials?

There are a few, but unless they are very good I don’t want to do anything either on TV or in films.

No wish to act opposite Jeet or Dev?

I don’t mind being part of a Dev or a Jeet film but they should not only be their films. It should also be Mimi’s film.

Have you finished your graduation?

Yes, I have just appeared for my final exams and I want to do my masters but that depends on my results.

Highlights

DoB: February 11.

Sun sign: Aquarius.

Studies: Appeared for her final exams from Ashutosh College with English (hons).

TV career: Acted in the serial Champion on Aakash Bangla before Gaaner Oparey happened.

Inspiration: Her mother (Tapashi Chakraborty).

Favourite actress: Kajol and Rani Mukerji.

Dream role: “Would love to play a physically challenged character someday.”

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