In conversation with Shivangi Khedkar
Shivangi Khedkar. Does the name sound familiar? Of course, it does. I am referring to the leading lady in Star Plus’s popular serial, Mehndi Hai Rachne Waali. Shivangi who’s made a striking debut with her character Pallavi discussed with me in an exclusive conversation, her journey, her career aspirations and more. Asking her what inspired her to become an actress, Shivangi reveals, “I believe acting has the power to change people’s mindsets. By showing the parts of people’s lives that the public can’t normally see, we give the audience a chance to empathise and understand the character. It’s been my childhood dream to be an actor not because of today’s social media hype but ever since the time I was small and doing my Kathak classes, I would love the expressions in the dance and would always take part in my society and school gatherings playing an old lady or imitating some teacher or my principal. Being on stage gave me a different excitement and when I shifted to Mumbai after my engineering and I faced the camera for the first time I certainly knew I was meant for it no matter the platform, I just wanted to act and perform.” Well isn’t that certainly a heartfelt and inspiring story.
I then probed Shivangi further, asking her how her family reacted when she bagged the lead role on Mehndi Hai Rachne Waali. To which Shivangi responded, “My mother was super whelmed, whereas my Dad was like “ok, fine” etc. My dad is like me an introvert who talks less, but once the first episode aired he called up all his friends and told them about it. He now watches the show twice a day, in the morning on Hotstar and at 6.30pm on Star Plus. He calls up every day and tells me how proud he is of me and that makes me work harder towards my dream.” Shivangi adds, “Parents are a little doubtful about this industry as there is no certainty here. To be an actor is easy but to be a paid actor is very tough and that is why our parents are so doubtful and confused with this profession. But when they see the results they flaunt you and that’s the biggest achievement I believe.”
As mentioned previously, Mehndi Hai Rachne Wali marks Shivangi’s debut on Television. In discussing her most challenging scene to date on the show, Shivangi responded, “The one where Pallavi is thrown out of the house and the whole family goes against her. That scene asked for a lot of variation in the same emotion. So when you have only one emotion to play with it’s really tough to come up with a variation in the same emotion. But I was rewarded with chocolate from my co-star Ajinkya Joshi who plays my Kaka’s role in Mehndi Hai Rachne Waali. Ajinkya sir rewards us with chocolate whenever anyone of us performs well and I got one from him for that scene. So, it’s going to be my favourite scene.” As a viewer of the show myself, I can certainly vouch that Shivangi’s performances were solid in those demanding episodes.
Besides the drama, I decided to probe Shivangi on the lighter and fun aspects of her profession asking her about her funniest moments on the sets. To which she responded, There are many. We all sit together at times and imitate each other. I wait to go on set every day. It’s just so much fun to work with the team. Everybody is like a family now.” Shivangi reveals that the biggest prankster on the set is her DOP Sadanand Pallai, “He keeps tapping on my shoulder and pretends to be busy and I don’t know why, but I always fall for the same prank. These little pranks on the set keep the mood light on set.” Well that is surely funny, isn’t it folks?
As audiences, we often fail to realise that actors and the crew working on television serials, work practically daily to churn episodes as we speak. Given the limitations of Covid which presents its own set of woes, I asked Shivangi her experience of performing amidst a pandemic. To which she responded, “We take all the necessary precautions whilst shooting. But the only tough part is staying away from family. However, thanks to technology that we can do video calls and speak to our families and inquire about their health. Nonetheless, I’m glad that during this pandemic I have been given a chance to entertain people and I am definitely making the most of it.”
Whilst discussing the ability to entertain people, it is no doubt that the audiences, as well as myself, have enjoyed the dance sequences on the show. Hence, I decided to ask if the audiences can expect more dance performances in the episodes to come? To which Shivangi responded, “Yes, not so soon but there are a lot of dance performances coming up in the show.” Well isn’t that exciting folks?
Besides Mehndi Hai Rachne Wali, I asked Shivangi about her career aspirations, specifically what kind of roles would you like to play in the future? Shivangi responded, “Roles which push me to my limits. I am a fan of Marvel and DC. Wonder Women is a film that gives me goosebumps as it shows how every woman can be a superhero. I’d like to be part of something that not only inspires but brings a change in society.”
Besides the workspace, I asked Shivangi what does she enjoy doing in her spare time? To which she responded, “Free time, for now, is far-fetched as this show is a full-time commitment but yes whenever I get a day off I love to get myself pampered and just rest at home and watch movies. Also, whenever I get a couple of hours I love to visit the old city parts of Kolhapur as it’s so rich in heritage and culture and the food and hospitality of people is worth shift from Mumbai. I’m so glad to resume working after lockdown. The show is doing great and all the responses from the viewers are overwhelming.”
As I was nearing the end of the interview, I asked Shivangi if she has a fitness mantra? To which she responded, “My fitness mantra is really simple. I eat healthily and do yoga.” I also asked her what her favourite travel destination would be? To which she responded, “Right now it would be travelling to my home town, we need a break from the sets, but on a serious note it would be travelling to London.” Finally, I asked her what advice she would give to her younger self? Shivangi responded, “You are on the right path just be patient. Good things take time and you will be at the place where you deserve to be.”
As we wrapped up the interview Shivangi decided to give a message to all her fans, “Thank you for loving Pallavi so much. I never thought I will receive so much love from you all. I’m blessed to have you all. Keep showering your love and I promise to keep entertaining you all.”
Well there you go folks, that is Shivangi Khedkar for you. Keep up with UrbanAsian.com and I shall be back with another article.