The last couple of weeks have been a learning experience for actress Trina Saha. She has been shooting for special episodes from her home for the immensely popular Star Jalsha show Khorkuto. She has also stepped out with husband Neel Bhattacharya and a few friends to feed street dwellers and help the needy. A candid chat with Trina...
What was your first reaction when you got to know that you’ll be shooting special episodes from home for Khorkuto?
Last year I was not shooting for a mega serial when the lockdown happened. But Neel had an experience of shooting from home last year. So he had that added advantage... he knew how things worked. It was a blessing in disguise... I got married this year to him and he really helped me with the shoot-from-home thing. I got really lucky! Anyway, we love to shoot videos. So that also quite helped us.
How did you start preparing for it?
There was no preparation as such since we were told how to do something, what to do. I was sceptical about the look since we were not doing make-up or hair. But it had to be done. So the love of the people helped us to go on with the episodes, which we shot from home without having the other facilities which we generally have.
How was the shooting experience? How challenging was it?
It was very different. We were shooting alone with no one in front of us (to give cues or to look in a specific direction so that it seems that she is having a conversation with someone; when it is a group scene it becomes all the more challenging)... we have always shot with so many people around us on the sets... before big professional cameras, directors, cinematographers, with lights. It does become a little challenging but everything has a first time. So we accepted and embraced it. It was better this way. There’s no point in cribbing about it. Whatever is happening is happening for the best... at least the show is going on and people are being entertained. We have to overcome the challenges.
What is your takeaway from the experience?
My takeaway is that we should always be prepared for all the uncertainties in life. No one knows what will happen tomorrow. We have to accept the present in the way it is and get on with it.
The members of My Sky Foundation Sourced by the correspondent
Do you feel this is the way forward for serials?
Not at all. It is extremely challenging for us to shoot like this... and it is also very sad for all the technicians and other people who cannot be a part of this and are not shooting with us. I don’t think this mode of work can continue for very long. At the same time, the situation is such that I have to say this is the safest way of shooting and doing our work. I just hope and pray we can go back to our normal lives and to the normal way we used to go about our work. The situation has become a lot stable than before.
Why do you feel Khorkuto has resonated with so many people?
It has resonated with so many people because it is a joint family drama... the fun, the emotions of joint families are very difficult to find in nuclear families.
Congratulations for winning so many awards for playing Gungun, who is such an endearing, warm character, in Khorkuto. How special is the character for you?
Gungun is very, very special to me. I was somewhat like Gungun at her age. Not only me, many girls are like her only. So Gungun’s traits are very relatable.
Trina and friends distribute food and masks Sourced by the correspondent
How do awards motivate you?
Everyone loves to get awards and receive appreciation. We work so hard, so at the end of the day it is like a reward for us. It is a recognition of the hard work and effort we put in to entertain the audience.
You are part of a foundation called My Sky Foundation. How did it start off?
Covid, the pandemic, lockdown, then Amphan... we did not know how to process it all, and what to do. It was very new to all of us. Survival had become the only focus then. When the second wave came this year, we saw how it was affecting more people. People were dying... there was scarcity of food, beds... people were losing their jobs. Yaas left many people homeless. Mishaps were happening around all of us. We are very blessed that we have a roof over our heads... we have our families... so we decided to do something for the people who need our help the most right now. And as Neel says, it is like a chain. And in this way we can overcome this situation by helping each other. My Sky Foundation has seven of us... friends... and of course there are other people too. The seven of us one day sat down and thought of doing this with whatever little we have... in our own way. We are trying to help people... and we are also asking others to help... they can also come and collaborate with us, in whatever way they want... and be a part of My Sky Foundation. It is an open foundation where everyone can join hands to help the needy right now. Recently we decided to go to a few locations... where people need food the most. We went to Kumartuli first to feed people... there were street dwellers, rickshaw-walhas... the next time we were in Hazra. We fed around 280 people there. Yes, we can’t help everyone all at once, but we are trying in our own little way. We just hope that there are more people coming forward to be with us and help others.
Post-marriage both of you had been shooting constantly. How are the two of you spending time at home?
Yes, we got to spend some quality time together at home... we are also shooting for each other. We are working together, exercising and watching shows together. We are getting to know each other more and discovering new things about each other every day as husband and wife.