Barkha Bisht will soon be seen playing mother to a 10-year-old protagonist, Avni in Mahesh Bhatt’s upcoming fiction series Namkarann. The show challenges the definition of a normal family, and it is this perspective that drew the actress to the show. Talking about the role, she says, “I’m playing Avni’s mother Asha, in the show. Her daughter means the world to her, and wants her to have a perfect childhood. The story is about 10-year-old Avni’s pursuit of her identity, given the circumstances she is in. The absence of a normal family in Avni’s life propels her to be strong. This sets her apart from most kids of her age. It is the absence of her father from her life that fuels her growth.”
The storyline is different from the actress’s previous projects. Mention it to Barkha and the actress smiles in agreement. She says, “This is my first stint at working in a movie-like environment for the small screen. Plus, it is a thought-provoking story for all women. Avni is the navigator of Asha’s journey and not the other way round.”
Since the story takes off from Zakhm, Mahesh Bhatt’s last movie as a director, comparisons with the protagonist of the film Pooja Bhatt are inevitable. Point that out to the actress and she gets a little pensive. “I will be compared to Pooja. That does add a little pressure. Luckily Bhatt saab has never compared me with Pooja in Zakhm or any other film. He only told me that I have to bring Barkha into Asha. He is always there to tell me if I go wrong somewhere. A lot of times, I have been pulled up for it. He also pats my back when I get it right. Recently, he told me, ‘Now you are the character and I don’t have to tell you.’ It was a great compliment,” confides Barkha.
The show will be replacing Diya Aur Bati Hum that ruled the ratings consistently for many years. When asked whether Namkarann will stand up to the reputation created by the show, the actress is quick to jump to her show’s defence. She says, “Diya Aur Bati Hum has created an iconic character, Sandhya Rathi, who became a role model for many Indian women. I hope Asha too is able to match up to the benchmark set by Sandhya.”...