“Some people are born talented, some work hard for it, but ultimately what counts is how you fared when the show ended, when the curtain dropped”.
This is something that I have said before in our segment titled “An Actor Par Excellence” but here neither is the show ending nor is the curtain dropping and I sincerely wish that it never does ever, because when the clock strikes 10:00 PM (IST) and the episode comes to an ends this is what you eventually wish for “For the show to never end” while there are several reasons that contribute to the above, the main reason is however the portrayal of one of the most amazingly written characters on Indian Television by this wonderful actress.
Yes I am talking about none other than the gorgeous Shraddha Arya and her portrayal of Pakhi Rathore in Life OK’s popular and most loved drama Tumhari Pakhi. Having read the English Translation of Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay’s Naba Bidhan (The New Arrangement) and having seen Shraddha’s portrayal of Lakshmi in Shashi-Sumeet Mittal’s Main Laksmi Tere Aangan Ki, it made me wonder how Shraddha will pull of this particular character? But hats off to this superbly talented actress because there is no way anybody else could have breathed life into the character of Pakhi Rathore like she does. The role of Pakhi is tailor made for Shraddha and when she brightens up the screen with her presence you know that she is the “Jaan” (Life) of the show.
Though Pakhi is a fictional character, she comes across as REAL. She is modern yet traditional and cultured, she is simple but strong, she is smart, intelligent, sensible yet sensitive which a rare combination to come across especially in the world of fiction as there is a set idea/notion about how Hindi soap female leads should be. And it’s even more challenging for an actor to break free from that norm and come across as a breath of fresh air, something that Shraddha has managed to achieve with great ease through her hardwork.
Shraddha definitely is one of the most talented actors we have today and there are no words to describe her portrayal Pakhi. When I tuned into Life OK at 9:30 PM on 11th November 2013 never did I expect to come across a Modern Indian Contemporary Woman that too on Indian Television. Yes it was shocking indeed because Indian Viewers as such are not used to seeing such female leads; and here Pakhi was not just the lead she was the central protagonist. While it’s true that a huge credit goes to the creative team and writers for sketching the character of Pakhi, one can’t deny the truth that had it not been for Shraddha’s flawless portrayal viewers would not have fallen in love with and adored Pakhi the way we do today.
Ever since the show went on air, we have come across different facets of Pakhi’s character and the way Shraddha manages to catch the nerve of the character and portray them sometimes strongly and sometimes subtly simply leaves you in awe. However the recent happenings in the show and Shraddha’s performance in this phase was beyond superlative. While there is no denying that the actress has been delivering amazing performance one after the other right from the start (Of the Show); the week that went by saw Shraddha give her finest most powerful performance ever.
Right from the moment she (Read Pakhi) comes to know of Anshuman’s flight crash a scene that depicted her worst fears, to finding out that Anshuman never boarded the flight but was in Shimla itself a scene that depicted confusion but also announced the start of the cracks in her small happy world, to her finding out that Anshuman had lied to her, to finding about Tanya and Anshuman - depicting how she was living in a world that never even existed, to deciding to leave Anshuman for his happiness in the most dignified manner to putting up the drama of the manipulative small town gold-digger, humiliating herself in that half choked voice showcasing the beauty of selfless love to eventually learning the truth but dealing it in her own way…..Pakhi’s journey from love to heartbreak to betrayal was heart touching and heart wrenching and Shraddha left no stones unturned in turning this to a performance of a life time.
Shraddha’s portrayal undoubtedly managed to touch a chord with the viewers and fans of the show because even if reel, it was relatable. It was like she infused a new soul into Pakhi. There was nothing unrealistic about the whole thing no over the top drama, no long speeches, no melodrama nothing that you usually expect from the lead of a Hindi Soap under the circumstances that was shown happened here.
They say that “The face is the mirror of the Soul” and Sharaddha beautifully managed to bring this aspect into her character. Her expressions were Bang On!!!!What was once a pleasant, happy face was replaced with that of a gloomy one. She tried hard to not show it but like they say when you have a pure heart (which Pakhi does) even the slightest change reflects on your face and glistens in your eyes. Pakhi was doing everything for Anshuman, for his happiness and she was doing it with all her heart but the pain that was tearing her apart from within was clearly seen on her face, one could easily palpate her feeling through the screen. Shraddha Take a Bow!!!! Her expressions were simply mind-blowing and if I were to cite an example the most effective one had to be when Anshuman requests Pakhi for a Pic with him and she manages to smile but eventually walks away saying “Main toh tasveer mein bhi aapke sath achi nahi lagti” WOW!!!!
A good actor is one who outshines him/herself every time she delivers a performance, and Sharddha Arya has proved that she is not just good, but a phenomenal actor with Tumhari Pakhi. It’s not every actor’s cup of tea to make the audience connect with a fictional character that he or she plays some miserably fail at it whereas some manage to touch a chord deep within the audience. Shraddha however falls in the latter category as she is definitely one of the few, who has managed make that connection.
As a writer, as an analyst I’m thankful to the Makers and CV’s for bringing out such a feel good, realistic character to our TV screens and extremely happy that Shraddha Arya is doing it….trust me nobody could have done a better Job.
Author: Vijitha Rajan