Amandeep Sidhu: ‘Coming back to an empty house is difficult’

10 June,2024 05:51 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Letty Mariam Abraham

Identifying with her ambitious character in Badall Pe Paon Hai, Amandeep recalls the challenges she faced to pursue acting

Amandeep Sidhu

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We caught the first episode of Badall Pe Paon Hai, Amandeep Sidhu's upcoming daily soap set in Chandigarh. The story revolves around her character Bani, who dares to dream big, eager to be rich and provide for her family. Does the storyline seem run-of-the-mill? Maybe. But a few aspects took us by surprise - for starters, Bani's knack for the stock exchange. Refreshingly, the hero is not out to rescue the damsel in distress; Bani does most of the rescuing in this case. This was just the kind of show that Sidhu was looking for after making her mark with Teri Meri Ikk Jindri (2021), Choti Sarrdaarni (2022), Chashni (2023), and Saubhagyavati Bhava: Niyam Aur Shartein Laagu (2023). In conversation with mid-day, the actor reflects on her years in the television industry, the challenges and her ultimate dream.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

The show revolves around the ambitious Bani. Does Bani's passion reflect your mindset?
Bani is a small-town girl who wants to be successful and rich enough to provide the best for her family. While her family insists that she should not step beyond her status, she is determined to change her life. After clearing her 12th exams, she goes to Chandigarh and sees a new world. In that regard, she is a lot like me. After my 12th grade, I had the option to take up either a course or a job. I chose this profession because I am greedy for money. While I knew it entailed a lot of hard work and struggle, I chose acting. I was always passionate about this profession; I left my home and family for this.

A still from Badall Pe Paon Hai

What were some of the career challenges you faced?
The biggest challenge is to deal with being alone. After shooting, coming back to an empty house and eating alone is difficult considering I am attached to my family. I don't have a lot of friends here. It is still difficult for me despite being here for so many years. But I am doing it because I want to achieve things in my life. My family is extremely proud. Recently, my mom called me up and was crying while telling me that she saw my hoardings at the metro stations. She clicked pictures of the hoardings. It makes me feel good that I am doing something right and that makes them happy.

Unlike most daily soaps, one sees more realism here. Was that the director's diktat?
That was something Sargun [Mehta, producer] had told us. From day one, she instructed us to be natural. She said, ‘You have to talk the same way you talk to your mother at home.' I have used a lot of ‘yaar' in my lines, which is not something the dialogue writers write or a heroine says in a show. But that is how I am in my daily life. We are done showing typical reactions on TV. Now, we are exploring realism in daily soaps too.

Usually, a show's testing period is about two months, although the channel spokesperson tells us that at times it is two weeks. Do you worry that the show might get pulled off air if TRPs are low?
I'm not afraid for Badall Pe Paon Hai. I will be happy whether it works or not because I have learnt a lot in this short time. It has been the best show of my career. I am getting a lot of interesting opportunities, in terms of scenes, locations and the team. I have no regrets. Having said that, I'm feeling positive because the show is relatable.

TV is the only medium where women are the heroes, but it also receives flak for being regressive. Are you satisfied being part of the medium?
I am happy where I am right now. However, I do wish to try other things. In fact, before this show, I was done with TV. I didn't want to do it anymore. The stories coming my way were not appealing. But when this show came to me, I knew I wanted to take it up. I was surprised that they wanted their protagonist to be greedy. I believed [such a character] would not have takers, but I sat with Sargun and Ravi [Dubey, producer] who convinced me otherwise. It took the team almost a month to get me on board.

What is your ultimate aspiration?
I want to become a big heroine and win a National Award some day for my performance. When I go to bed after a satisfying day of work, knowing that I'm
known for my work, I believe I will be successful. Seeing myself on the 70mm screen will be [an achievement]. Am I being too greedy? I guess I am, but that is what I want.

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