I was not haunted, stalked or injured in Austria – Drashti Dhami

Drashti reveals few of her experiences in Austria.

Drashti Dhami will soon be seen on the television screens on Star Plus with Balaji’s next, Pardes Mein Hai Hai Mera Dil. We sat down with her and in a candid interview, she revealed to us about her experience of shooting in Austria, working with Arjun and Laksh Lalwani, and also about her expectations from the show.
How did Pardes Mein Hai Mera Dil happen?

I got a call from Balaji and then I met them. Amidst the whole hustle and bustle, they told me that the shoot was to happen in Austria for the first 45 days. As exciting as it was, 45 days is too long a time to stay away. Everything happened in a span of one week. I got a call, I met them, then even came a time when we did not know whether it was happening or not. But everything fell into place on the 20th and they were like we have to start shooting from the 24th.

You sport short hair in the promo and now you sport long hair. What is going to be your final look?
It was just to give a fresher and newer look, to just make it look different and advertising. It was just an experimental look, meant only for the promo.

What is Naina all about?
Naina is a middle class girl whose life revolves around her mother and she takes care of her. She has a brother, but he lives in Innsbruck. So he is not around physically, to help her. Naina’s mother is her life and in real life also, my mother is my whole and soul. She is always with her mother, taking care of her, so her mother finally takes a call that Naina should go and live for her own happiness. That’s when Naina goes to Innsbruck and there begins her journey of how she overcome the problems that she’s had and the need for someone.
How similar or different is Drashti to Naina?

Similar in a lot of ways when it comes to coming from a middle class family, taking care of her mother; and different in terms of taking over responsibilities which I share with my brother and not like Naina, who does it alone. We are like a good happy family, but its just that for me, I relate to it because me and my brother are very obsessed with our mom. So we are always like watching her, telling her things. So yeah! As a family bond, I relate to Naina. Further, I think I would be in a better position to answer much later because I’ve just started shooting bits and pieces. I really relate to the family side of it. Besides that, Naina is very very strong, all thanks to the hurdles that have come across her way. And so is Drashti.

What is the whole concept of the show?
In simple words, the main focus of the show is how two different, selfless, dejected people who have never achieved what they wanted in life come across each other and how under certain circumstances, they are put together into a puddle, where we feel that we are so wrong for each other but ultimately, become so right for each other. We both are the most dejected people on earth and how we both come together and make the best of life is the story of Pardes Mein Hai Mera Dil.

You have played cute and bubbly characters before. What was your reaction when you were briefed about playing a mature character.
I guess it’s a good thing. I took up Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani as it was a period drama and I wanted to do something different. So I was all game for it. And again, when I was told to play another character, I was totally game for it. And honestly, you can’t say no because it’s like Balaji, Star Plus, and going to Austria. So you do not want anything else.

You’ve been a part of Dill Mill Gayye, Geet and now Pardes… do you feel that there is a vast difference between the content then and content now?
I feel that our audience has started accepting a lot of different stories but at the same time, there are a lot of different shows that are doing really well because our audience still likes watching the saas-bahu dramas. This is just our approach to make it look different. For example, every scene that I’ve done till now, I never felt it was illogical. With every scene, I feel like I am getting deeper as Naina.

You are working with Balaji for the first time. What do you have to say about that?
I am working with Balaji for the very first time, so I did not know their working pattern, but I think I got along really well with everyone. In Innsbruck, we’ve become like a big family. There was no director or actor or any other designation. Everyone would help everyone. So I think it is a very good production house to work with.
How has it been working with Arjun and the whole team?

Laksh is a mad boy. He is really sweet. Arjun, I know since a really long time as we’ve had a lot of common friends. So working with them is awesome. I love working with Alok Narula, who plays my brother Rajiv as well. My core people, who I really get along well are Laksh, Alok, and Aditi who plays Sanjana. I’ve hung out with these three people in my free time in Innsbruck, so we’ve gotten really close.

Too much happened in Austria with you? Arjun even mentioned that he too experienced something spooky.
I have told this to everyone that before quoting anything, please get it approved by me. Because it says Drashti says, but clearly, I haven’t said anything. They haven’t even written that close sources say, it’s directly Drashti says, and I am like when did I say that. Forget I said it, I was like when did this even happen? All of that was a prank. There was no doll following me. There was no stalker behind me, I didn’t sprain my leg and I did not even lose my phone. From day 1, till the last day, I never even changed my room. And even if Arjun did, I didn’t experience anything. If I did, I would be demented by now on the sets.

What was Neeraj’s reaction when you told him about going to Austria?
Oh My God! We both were trying to figure out how to make things work. He was planning to come down to Austria as well. So, we decided that he will come towards the end of the trip. But the plan did not work out so we had to drop it. Plus, we had already had taken a holiday for 25 days in Europe, before I started shooting. And I regret that he could not join me. I have cried every single day that I wanted to be back home.

What does Neeraj say about the show? Who compliments you more in your family?
He is very happy with the rushes that he has seen. And as he knows what happens, so he is pretty impressed. In fact, I sent the latest promo to my father-in-law and he is like ‘mast lagg rahi hai’. My in-laws are very supportive. My husband very rarely comments on my performance. Everyone missed me when I was away shooting, but my father in law missed me to an altogether new level.

What expectations do you have from the show?
All I am expecting is that our hard work pays off. A lot of people have put in a lot of effort and money on the show. Please watch it and please share your experience and feedback with us. Thanks for all the love that you’ve given me all along. I hope it continues and I am really excited about the show. I am saying this not because I am on the show, but I am genuinely excited about the show as I felt like I am getting better with every scene I did previously.

Pardes Mein Hai Mera Dil premieres on the 7th of November on Star Plus.

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