Shivya Pathania: Enjoying my freedom here
Happy to shift to Umbergaon for Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush shoot, Shivya Pathania on bringing Sita's story to TV
After a long journey to the Maharashtra-Gujarat border, we catch up with Shivya Pathania on the set of Sidharth Kumar Tewary’s Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush. Taking a break from her shoot, she sits down for a quick chat about playing Sita, moving base from Mumbai and playing a deity she has admired since childhood.
Edited excerpts from the interview.
The show had a grand launch in Ayodhya. How was the experience?
It was my first visit to Ayodhya. Since I am religious, playing the role of Sita [is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity]. I had only had a fleeting glance at Sarayu river. So, before leaving Ayodhya, I went there and prayed on the banks of the holy river.
Are you a Ram-Sita bhakt?
Not really. As a kid, I shared my grievances with my father and he would tell me, ‘The world didn’t even spare Sita, you are only human. So, don’t worry about things.’ That’s where my connect with Sita began. This is not mythology, it’s our history. Ram and Sita are considered gods not only because they were the reincarnation of Lakshmi and Vishnu, but also because their qualities cannot be replicated.
How do you play a goddess, especially when you are a believer?
When Sidharth Tewary [producer] offered me the role, I immediately said yes. It was much later that I sat down to figure out how to play Sita and understand the responsibility that comes with the role. Playing Sita has taught me a lot in life. She had so much empathy and was a mother figure to everyone in her kingdom. I wish I can imbibe that quality.
Was it difficult to shift base to Umbergaon?
When you get to do what you love, nothing else matters. In Mumbai, there would be so many distractions, but living here keeps me away from them. After the day’s shoot, I go home and unwind by reading or pampering myself. I also prepare for the next day’s shoot. The shift has disciplined me; I get to concentrate only on my work and character. It’s up to me whether I view the situation as freedom or loneliness. So, I am enjoying my freedom here.
Do you go back to Mumbai when you get a break?
I do. I leave at night after wrapping up my shoot and come back [a day later]. So, those small desires of catching up with friends and chilling are fulfilled.
Most actors refuse to play a mother at such a young age. Wasn’t it a risk to essay one so early on in your career?
I never had second thoughts about playing mother to Luv and Kush because I was getting the opportunity to play Sita. This is the first time I am playing a mother on screen. I was being offered roles where I would play my age, but playing a goddess was not an opportunity to let go. I think I look prettier now. There have been so many young actors who did mythological shows and didn’t get typecast. Stereotypes don’t last long, and the change can only be brought from within.
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