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Old 01-14-2009, 09:59 PM   #1
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Default Shilpa Ka Dill Mill Gaya!!



Itís not even been a year since Shilpa Anand started working in her first serial Dill Mill Gayye and she has already become one of the most sought-after actresses on TV. She has won the hearts of television viewers with her remarkable portrayal of the sweet and innocent Dr. Riddhima Gupta. But meet her and youíll know the real Shilpa is a far cry from that. She is moody; she loves partying and owns the cutest toy poodle in the world.

Born and brought up in Africa, Shilpa was a software developer before she became an actor. It was only when she came down to Mumbai a few years back did she realise that she had finally found her true calling in the entertainment industry. And who better to guide her than her own sister Sakshi Shivanand, who is a famous Tollywood actress.

Not many know that Shilpa was seen in a Hindi film Iqraar-By Chance before Dill Mill Gayye happened. The film didnít do too well but the real pyaar ka iqraar has already happened in Shilpaís life. She is said to be dating Parikshit Sial, who works for a shipping company. We met up with this talented actress over a cup of coffee where she spoke about everything from her work and her aspirations, to the man of her dreams.

ST: So how did it all start for her?

SA: Well, I have lived most of my life in Africa, after which I went to the States and then came here to Mumbai. I was working with a company as a software developer initially. But I got a couple of offers to do a few South movies, as my sister was already a well-known actress there. So to see what itís like, I took them up and did a few South films. After doing a few films I started feeling a little lost down there, as it wasnít my language. Thatís why I wanted to shoot in Mumbai and probably do something in Hindi. So I did a lot of advertisements after which ĎIqraar-By Chanceí and then consequently, Dill Mill Gayye happened.Ē

ST: Was it a conscious decision for her to shift from movies to television because her debut film bombed at the box-office?

SA: No, I never plan anything in life. I just go with the flow and if I like what comes my way, I take it up. I am not the kind of person who would go running from door-to-door for work and to be honest, the offers that were coming my way after IqraarÖ were mostly all B-grade films, which obviously wonít leave a mark. During the same time I got offered Dill Mill Gayye and I took it up because I felt it would be better than taking up a B-grade film. Plus, today, television has got a huge reach.

ST: Television is one of the fastest growing mediums and has a huge reach. We heard it was her boyfriend Parikshit who encouraged her to do TV.

SA: Yes, he was the one who told me to take up television when I was getting the weird film offers. He felt that if I was not happy with the kind of film offers I was getting, then I should take up television. He encouraged me to do this when I was in two minds about taking up TV. And now look, I am pretty happy.

ST: So how easy was it for her to adjust on the show considering it was her first TV assignment?

SA: As far as the co-stars and all are concerned, it has been brilliant. But itís not very easy dealing with the executive producers and schedulers. I donít know what class they come from or what their background is or maybe itís just the TV industry, but they donít understand that actors need time to breathe and relax.

If our shot is at 12 then theyíll call us at 11 and make us wait. The producers and the production house are great but they canít keep looking into all of this. Thatís the only problem I have had with adjusting so far; everything else is good and I really enjoy playing Riddhima.

ST: What was the first thing that attracted her to her boyfriend (Parikshit)?

SA: He is a go-getter and is very ambitious. He is also very articulate and very smart. I guess it were all these qualities that I really liked in him. Then we also had very similar thinking and similar backgrounds. Another thing that I really liked about him was that like me, he also feels a girl should do something in life. Even though he can more than take care of me, he is very encouraging about me working.

ST: Tell us something about your love story.

SA: We met eight years back in a gym. It was a normal day for me when he came up to me and started a conversation. He told me he had seen me somewhere and I told him he must have seen me at some nightclub, after which I got back to working out. He again came up and spoke to me, only this time he directly asked me out for a cup of coffee.

I told him off a couple of times because I had come to the gym to work out but he was very persistent and said things like, you can work out every day but you donít make a friend every day. After that, I thought I should just go because anyway, I was a new member at the gym and this way I would get to know a few people here. So we went for coffee after which we followed along and then became pretty thick friends.

ST: So how did Cupid eventually strike?

SA: We knew each other pretty well as we were good friends and there was always something between us. The only thing bothering me was that he was sailing all the time and I didnít know if it would really work out because he would keep coming and going. We were constantly on and off but then three to four years back, we officially started seeing each other because we felt that was right. And today, we are in a completely committed relationship.

ST: Considering he is not from this industry, there must be some insecurity on his side.

SA: Itís been a long time now that we are together. We know each other so well and we know the kind of commitment we have towards one another, so I donít think there are any insecurities. We are very sure of each other and we trust each other a lot. Though now he feels he advised me wrongly by telling me to work on TV because it is very stressful. I have to work round the clock and donít have much time for our relationship but itís just a phase and there is a lot of understanding between us, so he knows that it will pass.

ST: He has, without doubt, given her the right advice because she has become one of the most popular actresses in no time. How does that make her feel?

SA: I donít really know much about being popular because Iím shooting constantly, but I am sure it feels good. I have a lot of kiddie fan-following and that feels great because children express their feelings more freely than elders. Kids, teenage groups and elders Ė everyone can watch this show. Itís a fun show and itís nice when youíre complimented on your work.

ST: A lot of actresses are discreet about their relationships because they feel it would affect their careers. How does she feel about that?

SA: Well, I never really go out of my way to talk about my relationship as I have been very busy working and all but I donít think it will affect my career in any way. Itís very silly. How can being in a relationship affect your career in any way? Itís a personal choice and has nothing to do with oneís professional life.

ST: In this industry, there are bound to be link-ups as one is working round the clock. How does Parikshit react to the various rumours?

SA: See, people may write whatever but he knows what the truth is. And if something gets written about me seeing anyone, he asks me about it because it is something one would ask. And I would probably get a misprint like that rectified. Other than that, we wouldnít have any major issues. We would just have a small talk on it.

ST: Since sheís so open about her love life, what are the chances of her and Parikshit taking part in a reality show like Nach Baliye together?

SA: He will kill me even if I suggest something like that. Heíll tell me no ways, are you mad? Heíll never do something like that and I canít even imagine him doing it actually.

ST: Her character in Dill Mill Gayye is very different from the conventional saas-bahu ones that are mostly seen on TV today. So will she stick to fun roles like these or she would take up the clichťd ones?

SA: I would absolutely take up new and different roles. I donít know about the passť ones. In the future, if I like a role and it is a very substantial one, I will definitely take it up. The main thing for me is the subject. If that is good, then I have no qualms doing any character or working with anyone as a matter of fact. But I would love to do a saas-bahu show if it is truly entertaining. I would love to do something like a Tu Tu Main Main.

ST: Television in India is considered regressive to a great extent. Is she happy with its current state or does she think it will change?

SA: At the end of the day, one has to make a show that is going to be accepted by the audience. Luckily, even though Dill Mill Gayye is very different, it has been accepted. Similarly, there was Hum Paanch, Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin etc. and all these shows were accepted too, but one canít change the fact that the saas-bahu shows will always have their audience.

ST: Like everyone else, movies seem to be on the anvil and Shilpa is ready to chase her dreams.

SA: I really want to work in some good Hindi films. As far as films down South are concerned, I will only do them if I get paid a lot of money. Iíd probably go there and do maybe one movie a year. Doing a movie there means staying away from home and friends for a really long time. I was getting bored and missing Mumbai and thatís why I wouldnít really want to do movies there.

ST: So whatís next on the cards for Shilpa?

SA: Television is quite exhausting and hats off to all the TV artistes, because itís amazing how they work. In the near future, I will be doing TV but yes, eventually, I would want to work in movies. I am just keeping my fingers crossed, as I want to do good work and I am just hoping for the best.

ST: Is marriage on the cards anytime soon for her? When is she planning to settle down? And is Parikshit the man or is she still looking?

SA: Marriage definitely wonít happen so soon because I have an elder sister and even Parikshit has one. So both of us have decided that weíll let them get married first and then settle down. Plus we are always together so we know weíll take a little time for marriage. But he is most definitely my man.

-- k k rai
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