TEJA Devkar is a familiar name in the Marathi entertainment industry, with many popular dailies and films to her credit. She has a dance background and is well-versed with classical dancing. She became an actor without any background or a lineage and is now a leading name on the marquee. Now comes her most challenging role in the ETV Marathi emotional show MaayLek, which went on air on August 9. We caught up with Teja for a freewheeling interview about her new show. Some excerpts.
What is your role in MaayLek?
It’s one of the most difficult roles I have ever portrayed and has me from a span of a young sixteen-year-old girl to a fifty five-year-old mother. The name of the character is Radha, who is full of life and hope at sixteen, but goes through a lot of emotional trauma after she becomes a mother at twenty three. When her daughter Irawati grows up and has major differences with her mother, she stands up to her mother in the court of law. Basically it’s the story of a mother-daughter relationship. I took up this role because it was a big challenge for me.
Was it difficult for you to portray the role?
Yes, definitely. I am too young to act as a fifty five-year-old, but with the help of the director Mandar Deosthali, we worked on the look and the dialogue delivery, which is very varied from a young teenager to an elderly woman. We tried to keep the make up minimal and very subtle and the make up person has done a great job. I studied the roles of Nargis in Mother India and Ranjana’s role in Are Sansar Sansar, which had a similar graph and I picked up certain nuances from these two classical portrayals as these two senior artistes were also young when they performed these two roles.
How is the atmosphere on the sets?
It’s great and very much like a family. We enjoy working and I vibe well with all the other artistes like Prarthana Behre, Subodh Bhave, Milind Gunaji, Astad Kale, etc. The producers of the show are a big corporate like UTV and they have given the cast and crew whatever they wished.
Films or TV for you?
Both are extremely interesting. Films are a short memory because after the small shoot schedules everyone gets distant, but in television you are in touch with others for a long period of time and the bonding on the sets is much stronger. Today, I have more than 25 films to my credit with hits like Oxygen, Navra Mazha Navsacha, etc and many TV shows. My mother, who is a famous producer, is my role model and inspiration and I have imbibed some of her strong qualities in MaayLek.
Are you a writer and a poet like her?
No (laughs uproariously). I can’t even think of writing like her. But I am doing my MA from Pune University.
Right now I will be concentrating on MaayLek and have a show on Sahyadri as well. My film Chal Dhar Pakad will release soon. It’s about a women kabbadi team in a rural setting.
Any plans of getting into Hindi?
I have done a few shows on DD and Star, but since I am doing well in Marathi I am satisfied. I believe in quality work rather than quantity.