Aishwarya Sakhuja: Comparisons have never bothered me

Star Plus’ Yeh Hai Chahatein was launched a week ago and has received a positive response.

Sargun Kaur and Abrar Qazi play the protagonists, with Aishwarya Sakhuja playing a slightly greyer shade. In a chat with Pinkvilla, Aishwarya opened up on bagging the role, playing a grey character for the first time, the stigma around single mothers and more.

Here are a few excerpts.

How has your journey been overall? Highs and lows… and now finally being able to take up a different character?

It’s been a roller coaster. It has not been easy and has tested my patience to another level. There have been times when I am like I want to leave Mumbai and settle in a small city but I guess when the acting bug bites you, it is for a lifetime. I am still around and trying to find different characters. This would be the first negative character that I will be doing. You know the makers, Balaji, are fantastic storytellers. They justify every character, storyline, track. When you are entering a Balaji show, you know your efforts are paying off as an actor.

But are you apprehensive of the comparisons that will be perhaps made? Anita Hassanandani played Shagun very effectively.

No. Comparisons have never bothered me. Had they bothered me, I don’t think I would have lasted for so long in the industry because no matter what you do, you will be compared to other actors on different shows, different mediums. You will be compared to your own shows you did in past. So, it doesn’t bother me. Now, negative is no longer soon as a negative character. It has become an important part of the narrative. Balaji’s antagonist is different and has more to do than other shows. The masala comes from the antagonist. All these years, I have stuck to playing a positive lead, so this is exciting. It is going to be challenging and I am ready for it.

Yeh Hai Chahatein essentially wants to break the societal preconceived notion about single mothers. Do you think we as a country are yet to become sensitive about it?

I can speak from personal experience. When I lost my mom, my father was left alone with two kids, and then eventually we got him married to my now stepmother, who also had her own kids. So, speaking from her experience, she tells me that it was so difficult for her to find a stable relationship because she is a single mother. She is not even in India; she is in Australia. So, imagine if they find it difficult there, then imagine what must be happening here. Love shuv goes out of the window; it is all about practicality later on. Because eventually when you find a partner who comes with their own set of baggage, then love is sided, then you have to evaluate a lot of other things, if you will be compatible with the child and vice versa.

Do TRPs matter to you? Do you feel the pressure?

As an actor, I think my work is to worry about my craft. TRP is not my business. I need to know that I am doing a good job with the character that I have been given. I work for myself because I love the job; I am not here to impress the audience. I think I worry only about my job. I am being paid to act and I do that. If the show works, great; if it doesn’t, I don’t worry so much.

Way to go, Aishwarya!

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