Serial thriller

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By PRAKRITI SINGHANIA
  • Published 28.01.04
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Her triumphs are marked by the strains of ‘lika…’ resonating in the background and if looks could kill, her smouldering eyes and sensuous smile are enough to floor every man in the house. Meet Komolika, aka Urvashi Dholakia, the star vamp of the superhit Balaji soap, Kasauti Zindagi Kay, aired daily on Star Plus.

Urvashi was in town recently to charm her fans at an event organised by Star Plus at Fun City, and was gracious enough to take out some time to chat with The Good Life despite her tight schedule. Lounging about in her plush room at a city hotel, clad in basic black trousers and a sassy beige leather jacket, Urvashi looks a far cry from the over made-up, over-dressed Komolika — the only visible thing they share in common being unshakeable self-confidence.

Urvashi was six when she started acting and her first project was an advertisement for Lux with actress Revathi. Then came serials and movies as a child actress until she finally opted for serials with the popular sitcom, Dekh Bhai Dekh. Ever since then, television’s been her life. Kasauti Zindagi Kay happened to her quite by chance. “I had already done two projects for Balaji — Ghar Ek Mandir and Kabhi Sautan Kabhi Saheli and I was fed up of my Western look. I wanted to do a role that was more Indian and told Ektaa Kapoor as much. The next time I called her, she greeted me with a ‘Hi, Komolika’. On seeing my confusion, she said, ‘That’s your name for the new show Kasauti Zindagi Kay. It’s going to be the most happening show on Star Plus and you’re the new seductress on the block.’ She went on to narrate the story and described my character to me and I decided to take up the role. Obviously, I didn’t know at that time that it would attract so much hype,” smiles Urvashi, nibbling on a bar of chocolate.

Hyped or over-hyped, the fact remains that the character has become very popular and has made Urvashi a household name in no time at all. “Once I’m on the sets, my character comes naturally to me. And once I leave the sets, it’s gone. With the make-up off, Komolika disappears. That’s when I become myself,” answers Urvashi to our query of how she gets into the skin of such a difficult role.

It is this spontaneous acting that’s won her accolades from all quarters, including the Best Actor in a Negative Role title at the MTR Indian Telly awards. And it’s not just the histrionics, for the entire ‘Komolika look’, complete with heavily made-up eyes, dark lips and sexy cholis is a hit, resulting in Urvashi’s being nominated for the Most Stylish Person on Television (Female) category at the Lycra MTV Style Awards. Observes Urvashi, “TV has never been so glamourised before. And a few of us have been setting trends ever since we started doing the shows. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in a woman wanting to wear dark kajal or big bindis — it probably just boosts her confidence, which is a good thing.”

But does she ever feel she is being typecast in the scheming, money-minded, evil seductress mould? “No,” says Urvashi, “I am also acting as Archie in Kahiin to Hoga, who is obsessed with a man and is willing to do anything to get him, knowing fully well that he loves someone else. But unlike Komolika, she has loved this man since childhood, hence the obsession.”

Between playing Komolika and Archie, Urvashi is up to her neck in work and is enjoying it too much to contemplate giving it all up for marriage. “I don’t think anything is worth it. I belong to a family that is very broad-minded, that has taught me to be independent since I was a child and that’s what I have grown up to be,” she says matter-of-factly.

Urvashi believes in taking life one day at a time and is open to every kind of role that comes her way. “I’ve never thought of doing any particular type of role. Whatever I’ve done has come my way. I feel that my producers and directors have faith in my acting capabilities — whether a role is off-beat or unrealistic, they feel I can deliver. And maybe I’m not perfect, but I’ve done my level best and have lived up to their expectations. So, in the future if anything comes my way, and I think it is good, I’ll do it. I don’t have any set plans.”

Any plans of hopping onto the Bollywood bandwagon then? “Not immediately,” says Urvashi. “Offers keep coming and going. But TV takes up too much of my time. And I can call it luck, fortune or whatever, but Balaji keeps offering me different roles and with so much work on my hands, I have never had to knock on people’s doors,” she concludes. That’s Urvashi for you, smart, sure and in your face.