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Konkona Sensharma: Smart, powerful women are all at receiving end

Updated on: 20 October,2023 06:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

From revisiting a ’90s novel to studying toxic behaviour patterns, Konkona on bringing strength and vulnerability to her domestic-violence survivor act in Mumbai Diaries 2

Konkona Sensharma: Smart, powerful women are all at receiving end

Konkona Sensharma

Mumbai Diaries’ second season shows many aspects, from the rigour demanded of doctors, to the devastation that was brought on by the 2005 Mumbai floods. But when we meet Konkona Sensharma, our conversation is centred on the show’s most urgent topic—domestic abuse. Sensharma’s Chitra seems to have almost healed from her abusive marriage. Yet, when faced with her perpetrator again, she begins to break. “This time, we dove deep into Chitra’s anxiety and panic attacks. It’s well-researched and well-written,” begins the actor. 

She walked into the role with the painful knowledge that women across strata face domestic violence. “It’s heartbreaking how common it is. Women who are smart, powerful, well-placed are all capable of being at the receiving end of it. Even toxic relationships are cycles that are hard to get out of. I have worked closely with women who have been through it. There are common patterns.”

A still from Mumbai Diaries 2A still from Mumbai Diaries 2

Sensharma’s The Rapist explores the subject of sexual violence too. But a glaring factor separates the two. “There, we delve into the rapist and the survivor. This is different because it’s not a stranger. Here is a man she trusted and loved.” To understand the intricacies better, the actor referred to Roddy Doyle’s book, The Woman Who Walked into Doors. “It reflects this complex equation, where you are in love with the man, but battling abuse at his hands. It helped me navigate this character.” 
Bringing such a subject to screen, though necessary, is not easy. It helped that she had long-time collaborator Parambrata Chatterjee playing her husband. “We have worked closely in so many films that there is an existing bond. I was comfortable working with him.” This comfort also helped them cut off from their characters. 

“During the shoot, we both were obsessed with ghost stories. You have to learn to be neutral so you can you hold the character’s pain.” The Amazon Prime Video series also depicts how Chitra has a younger suitor in Satyajeet Dubey’s character Ahaan. What does she think of the track? “It was cute. There is hope for women who come out of toxic relationships.”

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