The Telegraph
Monday , March 4 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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She’s television’s most loved bahu and beti. But tonight, you will see a new Anandi. Toral Rasputra will step into the shoes of the child-woman in TRP topper Balika Vadhu (8pm on Colors), replacing Jamshedpur girl Pratyusha Banerjee who became Anandi in 2010. t2 caught up with Toral on her big break.

Playing Anandi

It’s the biggest show on television and Anandi is a character that strikes a chord in viewers from age six to 60. It’s a dream come true for me. I am sure I will be able to do justice to the role since I have been watching Balika Vadhu religiously for years now and know Anandi inside-out.

What Pratyusha had told t2: It feels great to be such an important part of the most-watched show on television. I just hope that I am able to make a place in the audience’s hearts as Anandi.

The pressure of stepping into Pratyusha’s shoes

Oh, there is huge pressure! The character is very popular and people have seen Pratyusha take Anandi to a different level. To accept me as Anandi might take some time for the audience, but I am sure eventually I will be liked.

What Pratyusha had told t2 about the job pressure: I don’t feel the pressure at all. Maybe that’s because I have managed to very quickly get into the skin of the character. Yes, there is a lot of responsibility to be as effective and popular as Avika (Gor, who was the child Anandi), but I don’t think audience acceptance will be a problem.

Identifying with Anandi

I am just like Anandi! I am a homebody and a total introvert. I love keeping to myself and I have a certain simplicity just like Anandi.

What Pratyusha had told t2: My god, Anandi is so shy. Pratyusha is not anything like that. I am an extrovert who likes to go out with friends and chill. But Anandi is a romantic and so is Pratyusha.

On playing Anandi differently

I won’t really do anything different consciously because it’s still the same character; only the face has changed. But given the hardships she’s been through, Anandi is a lot more mature now.

What Pratyusha had told t2: With a five-year leap, Anandi is now more mature and also far more shy than she was as a child. Also, my Anandi is a lot more romantic.

Toral as Anandi

Relatively fresh face on TV

Will give show a new spin with Anandi’s relationship with second husband Shiv taking a new turn.

Both Pratyusha and Avika are synonymous with Anandi.

At 21, Pratyusha is closer to Anandi’s screen age than Toral, who is 26.

Raghu reporter

Okay, now this is bit of a Rip Van Winkle situation. +2 in fact. You guys wouldn’t know of a film called Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, would you? Nah, most of you weren’t born then. 1991. It was when I met this spoilt little rich kid with a fetish for leaving watermelon seeds on her face. Well she wasn’t exactly Claudette Colbert but I was no Clark Gable either. Still it happened one night.

Baaees saal baad, my Pooja is now directing pornstars! And not even for porn films. My director has become “a reformed plagiarist” and now only copies foreign language films. My father-in-law now paints half his face green and appears in Hollywood films. And they don’t use Sanu’s nose no more.

Yes, everything has changed in these two decades in Bolly. Cue for Raghu Jaitley to put on his Captain cap again and make a comeback.

Of sorts. Of the juicy sorts. Of the sorts you like to slurp up these days. Now, if you remember me from my film, I am not always, you know, completely honest about my stories. Not that I make things up. Not always at least. But I love spinning my own little yarns around what reaches my radar. A little colour has never harmed anyone. Ask Chi Chi!

So sit back, relax and enjoy the read!

Just don’t tell ’em Raghu Jaitley told you.

Dil bole Harappa

Poor Duggu! The other day, at the premiere of his friend Gattu’s Kai Po Che!, he could hardly watch the film. Ashu was busy narrating the second half of his script from across the aisle. Huh? Okay, a quick recap. Ashutosh Gowariker has a new love story set in the Mohenjo-daro-Harappa era and wants Hrithik Roshan to play the lead. But Akbar went takhliya even before Ashu could finish reading the first half! And thereafter the director has been chasing Hrithik everywhere. Period pause, Ashu!

Hungry kya?

Talking of Gattu, our very own Ben Affleck — Abhishek Kapoor — the man’s obviously the toast of tinseltown with all the acclaim and applause for Kai Po Che!. But he is not really a chai-toast man. If my khabru is to be believed, Gattu’s personal food bill ran up to Rs 78 lakh during the shooting of Kai Po Che!. While the shooting used to take place in Porbandar, Sabarmati, Vadnagar and Diu, food used to go from the Taj kitchens in Mumbai for Gattu. Eat that!

Shaadi ke side effects!

One person who’s been eating less these days is Bidya Bagchi. Thank god for that! Those of us who had seen the new Mrs SRK — Siddharth Roy Kapur, yaar — at the award functions lapping up her Kahaani trophies must have been shocked to see her in Jayalalithaa mode. But Vidya Balan’s getting into shape for Saket Chaudhary’s Shaadi Ke Side Effects by giving up on oil, eating small meals every couple of hours and thoda gym-shym. Come on, she can’t look like Farhan’s Amma, no?

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