TV STAR DISCUSSES HER POPULAR DRAMA SERIAL, DREAM ROLE AND DEEP DESIRE TO DO WELL
AYESHA SINGH always wanted to be an entertainer, but didn’t know that she wanted to act, how to go about it or the various possibilities. Being from a family with no media exposure, she was encouraged by her parents to be academically strong, so there would always be a solid back-up, and picked law.
After graduation, Ayesha was drawn towards acting and took time to find out everything about the industry, from auditioning and the craft to its inner workings. The inspired leap from law to acting led towards landing a lead role in Star Plus drama serial Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin, which has become a huge global success since it premiered in October 2020. The show has clocked up more than 400 episodes and won the gifted actress universal praise.
Eastern Eye caught up with the hot-right-now star to discuss her Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin success, future hopes, rapidly growing fan base, inspirations, dancing and something not many know about her.
You moved successfully from law to acting. What advice would you give others wanting to do a career switch? Only do a career switch when you are sure. Give the idea thought and draw a correct path. Have a strong back-up, so you don’t put yourself in a do or die situation. Think through the process that will lead up to your final career, whatever that may be. So, it’s about framing a path for yourself, keeping your situation, circumstances, passion, and timeline in mind. I will never say, do what others tell you, but be open to good advice from trusted people with experience in the industry you want to switch to and the job you are doing, but also those close to you not from the fields. Talk to people who care for you. Take advice or suggestions and pick the best options, to carve your path.
Did you imagine Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin would become so popular? I never thought it would become so very popular or will not work. I did not go either way. I just focused on making best of the opportunity I’d been given. I tried to enjoy the process and journey. I was and am still very excited. Acting is like being a kid in the toyshop or in that factory where toys are made. So, it’s very thrilling for me even now and was definitely back then also.
Why do you think the show is so loved? I don’t think there is any particular reason the show has worked or is being loved by everybody. I think the show coming together is thanks to all those associated with the project making it with a positive attitude. It was about positive and hardworking people coming together and making it. We all put love into making each episode and bringing it on-screen, be it creativity, production, sound, cinematography, direction, performances, writing and others. It’s not just done out of duty, but out of love. We launched in lockdown, and everybody got an opportunity after a long time to do something.
It seems the entire team has a strong bond? Yes definitely, all the people working on set as a team are very together. Everybody is very positive and has a very good approach towards life. There is definitely a lot of pressure on everybody to deliver everything on time. Even under that pressure we try to be positive and happy. Sometimes, we laugh about the situation. It being made with a lot of love and positivity reflects across to the audience. I think our audience is very kind and generous to have loved the show and appreciated our efforts.
What has been your favourite moment of working on this show? There have been a lot of favourite moments while shooting, like my first scene with Sanjay Narvekar sir was amazing. My scene with Siddharth Bodke, who played the villain Jagtap, was brilliant. My scenes with Virat, whether we are sharing affection, friendship or expressing differences. All the scenes have undercurrents. My scenes with other cast members are very dear to me and reflect different bonds, from opposing someone to being on the same page.
Would you agree your character Sai is a feminist icon and do you consider yourself a feminist too? Actually, I’m not sure if Sai is a feminist because she in general stands for right, irrespective of the gender and believes in doing the right thing. For that she goes against all odds, her family or whoever is near and dear to her. She will stand for whatever is right. Personally, I would stand up for the right thing irrespective of gender. I believe in being just and fair, regardless. I think that is a sign of feminism because a true feminist believes in equality between genders. So, the situation should be justified and fair for both genders. As a person, nobody should go through anything wrong or unfair. I’m not sure if that’s a feminist trait, but Sai and I believe in doing the right thing.
There is a constant debate on whether the character Virat is good or bad. What is your opinion about this? I believe in our show all the characters are situational, like how human beings are. Everybody has a good core. Usually, people are nice and it’s situations that mould them, and they take decisions, both good and bad, accordingly. Likewise, I think Virat is a good person. It’s the situation and decisions that sometimes don’t go well or are not what somebody would expect. But that is the case with all our characters. For example, Kaku is also a good person, but some people could find her orthodox, believing in old rituals, a little uptight or rude, but some might side with her for keeping traditions alive. Sometimes she can surprise you, like there have been scenes where she does like Sai. They are very human people, who take right and wrong decisions. But basically, everybody is nice in the family, including Virat.
You call yourself a non-dancer but the response to #SaiRat dances, you are a part of, are always phenomenal. Is it time to start accepting dance is a new skill of yours? (Laughs) It’s really kind of people to like the dance performances and it has a lot to do with Neil sir because he pulls off my part as well. I used to love dancing as a kid, but somehow couldn’t pursue it. But definitely, I enjoy dancing. Neil sir is a fabulous dancer and really pulls off the performance and makes it manageable for me. He guides me and I have to match his energy. I would still not say that it’s a new skill of mine. I haven’t made a ritual to practise it every day and am not learning it. Whenever there is sequence, we get choreographers in and perform. Maybe in future I would actually go ahead and learn dancing as a skill because it’s really fun.
What are your passions away from work? Apart from acting and everything around it, I like writing. Whenever I have time from my acting, I try to write short stories. I would love to write a novel someday. I like reading poetry and would like to write poems, but I’m not very good at it. Apart from acting, writing is something I’m drawn to.
Tell us something not many people know about you? People might not know that I would like to explore the world by cruising on a ship. In my free time, I watch a lot of cruising videos and keep a tab on cruises globally. I look at travel vloggers and their journeys on different cruise lines. I love everything about it. Also, cruising is something I look forward to doing when I have time.
What kind of advice would you give to your younger self? I would advise my younger self to start off on acting a little earlier than I did because that would have bought me more time to learn new skills. If I knew acting would be something I’d make my career in, I would have wanted to start earlier and hone my skills. I would advise myself to start earlier, along with my studies, to work on different aspects. I always side on being strong academically, as it gives a different perspective on how you look at life and the journey towards your ultimate goal. It plays a very important role and makes you stronger. I would have loved to go to National School Of Drama or New York film Academy.
How do you deal with negativity? I ignore negativity and that’s about it. I don’t give it a thought. I’m usually surrounded with a lot of happy-go-lucky kind of people, with my family and friends, so I laugh it out. I don’t pay attention to it. I pay attention to constructive criticism, but with negativity, ignorance is bliss.
Have you made a new year’s resolution? (Laughs) Absolutely not! I have, through my experiences over the years, decided that I’m not going to make any resolution because it absolutely does not work. You can’t even complete January! In January, your resolution and everything around it just fades away. That used to happen with me, so back in college I decided no resolutions are happening. The day you don’t like something, just don’t do it. I have not made any resolutions and vlook forward to not making any.
Do you have a dream role? Not as such! I’ve always dreamt of working with brilliant directors, filmmakers, and writers, with good content and performance-orientated roles. The idea is not for a particular dream role, but exploring, being versatile and doing various characters. Do everything possible! There are a whole variety of people in the world, and you can play any. That’s the best part of being an actor. You have so much available. So, I would want to play a lot of characters and there’s no one dream role. My dream is to work with great filmmakers, be global someday and grow as an artist, including crossing language barriers.
How much do your fans mean to you? My fans mean the world to me because whatever I have and whatever I will have will be because of them. Whether they like my work or not, I respect both perspectives. I have immense respect for my fans. I have a lot of gratitude towards my fans for being there for me and standing strong, in spite of all the odds. I love them a lot and they mean the world to me.
What inspires you? Good content, good filmmakers and great artists inspire me. Good work basically inspires me to be part of such projects, to have the capability to justify such projects. And dream of such projects! Globally so much great work is being done across so many portals and even our audiences are so accepting nowadays of new content. There is so much you can do and so many places you can be, which is very inspiring. These things inspire and encourage you. You can dream that you will work with such filmmakers, beautiful writers, and great actors. So, brilliant projects and new forms of storytelling show me there are more possibilities than you know to explore.