Sushmita Sen and Ankur Bhatia
Painting has been Ankur Bhatia's big love, second only to acting. But in the past few years, the actor says he hardly found the time to pursue it. He recently rediscovered his passion, and painted a portrait of his Aarya and Taali co-star Sushmita Sen. "I have been into painting since I was a child. But now, because of [hectic] shoot schedules and other commitments, it gets difficult to paint. I had promised Sushmita that I would [make] a Roman-style painting, but didn't get the chance," says Bhatia.
The actor made good on his promise after he watched Taali, the biographical drama that sees Sen step into the shoes of transgender activist Gauri Sawant. In the Ravi Jadhav-directed series, Bhatia played a gay character Navin, who is the protagonist's ally. He says, "When I saw Taali, I was suddenly so inspired and happy that I decided to paint a portrait of her." The actor gifted the creation to Sen last week. Her reaction, he says, was of absolute joy. "When she saw it, she was pleasantly surprised and loved it."
In the past three years, the duo have collaborated on two intense dramas. However, the mood on the set was always vibrant, and Bhatia credits Sen for it. Describing her as his favourite co-actor, he says, "I feel a sense of honour to work with her. The audience's feedback is also heartwarming as people love watching us on screen together."