In Conversation with Shrenu Parikh
Shrenu Parikh is known for her strong performances, from Gulaal to Ek Bhram – Sarvagun Sampanna the actress has carved a space for herself in the industry. Whilst discussing her journey she agrees that both she and the industry have “evolved a lot”. She adds that her “understanding of the industry has evolved from the concepts to the marketing strategies, media attention and the way channels conceive shows.”
This year, Shrenu Parikh decided to venture into new territory on Hindi television, the subversion of the archetypal female lead. Although her character ‘Jahnvi Mittal/Pooja Sharma’ brought in a breath of fresh air in terms of female lead characterisations, and was critically acclaimed, somewhere it did not click with the mainstream audiences. However, the actress holds no regrets as “I picked the role for my career’s bucket list… I knew the risks involved in it.”
Despite the short run of Ek Bhram – Sarvagun Sampanna, audiences developed a strong liking for the family dynamics. Asking her about the dynamics with her fellow cast members she exclaims, “It was wonderful! It seemed like I am shooting with my family. We would not leave the sets at all till we had packed up. We used to chit chat a lot.”
Ek Bhram – Sarvagun Sampanna not only depicted the family dynamics well but truly captured the rage and frustration of Shrenu’s character Jahnvi Mittal/Pooja Sharma. At regular intervals, several scenes were encapsulating these feelings of revenge and frustration one of which was the tandav in episode 52. Shrenu reveals that the tandav was her favourite scene alongside a few others where she would play the duplicitous Jahnvi Mittal.
After playing a grey shaded character in Ek Bhram – Sarvagun Sampanna, Shrenu wishes to do “something different” from what she’s already done before. She adds that “I would love to take up web shows too.” This aligns with her versatility in choosing different roles.
When you bringing up the topic of Hindi television, Shrenu does not shy away from her expressing opinion. In a diverging perspective, Shrenu tells us her opinion on where the TV industry is heading and what are the biggest hurdles facing television in terms of evolution. Shrenu believes the audiences’ tastes are discerning, “because, on the one hand, we are going towards Netflix and Amazon Prime yet on the other hand if you show something similar like that content on TV it doesn’t work and that is the hurdle.”
The Hindi television industry has gone through a drastic change in the last couple of years as channels and production houses have begun investing in pre-production and finite serials. Shrenu agrees that if this continues “It would become convenient for actors too and the quality of work would also get better.” In discussing the daily format of Hindi serials, she vocalises that “It’s a lot to handle for us as our life gets too hectic but Indian audiences are used to watching shows daily. There it serves good for us professionally and financially. So, I’m in for it as long as I can work for 12 hours daily.”
For those that are unaware, Shrenu’s body of work is not limited to the Hindi TV industry as she has also worked in the Gujarati entertainment industry. Asking her whether there is scope for actors and creatives in that particular industry she responds, “The Gujarati industry is booming these days. Gujarati theatre is always known for its rich culture and I guess now is the time for the film industry to grow.”
Besides the hectic work front, Shrenu recently visited the US. A trip spanning 2-3 weeks, it was a much-needed break for the actress. Shrenu responds that the primary purpose was to visit her brother. When asked about her favourite moments in the US, she responds, “My favourite part of the trip was me just walking, strolling through the city by myself and discovering the place as well as meeting new people.”
Shrenu who is a fellow Gujarati is looking forward to the festive season, in particular, Navratri. For those of you that do not know, Vadodara (the actress’s home town) is known to host elaborate Navratri celebrations, one of which is the renowned United Way of Baroda which hosts an average of 30,000+ participants yearly. Since Navratri is around the corner we asked her about her plans this festive season to which she responded, “I’m Looking forward to attending the Garba in my hometown and attending a few events.”
Finally, Shrenu decided to thank all her fans, “Thank you so much for loving me unconditionally. I love you all too.”