'I have never craved for Indian food like I did on this trip,' says Asha Negi about shooting in Australia for Khwabon Ke Parindey
Television actress Asha Negi, who became a household name post her outing as Purvi Deshmukh in Pavitra Rishta has been making headlines for professional and personal reasons. She was talk of the town first for her break up with co-star Ritvik Dhanjani after dating for over six years, and then for her web series Baarish with Sharman Joshi. After battling depression post her break up, the actress devoted herself to work and forayed into the digital platform. She went on to do two seasons of Baarish, and Abhay 2, this was followed by Ludo that released last year. And now the actress is being appreciated for her show Khwabon Ke Parindey that released on June 14 on Voot. In the show, she is on a trip with three other friends and what unfolds is the story. The show features Asha in a completely different avatar. She isn’t that perfect daughter or daughter-in-law. She isn’t someone who is fighting for her right to be respected in a big fat family. In the series she is a strong-headed girl guided by her own ambitions and ideas.
“I wanted to change my image and experiment with different characters. It was like a breath of a fresh air for me to play a different role and for the audience to see a new side of me. I enjoy when a series is time bound and gets over after a few episodes. I also love travelling and the show was shot in Australia. It was an opportunity to explore another country,” says Asha. The show features beautiful and tranquil locations of Port Fairy and Melbourne in Australia.
Since the shooting happened during the pandemic, the access to locations was limited. “But it was a great experience. We shot in the most basic way,” reveals Asha. During her time in Australia what surprised her most was working hours of local technicians. “They are strict with timings but it's not the same in India. In Australia, they don’t work more than eight hours. I have worked for 56 hours continuously,” she says. Ask if Indian industry needs to adapt this from the west, she says it can’t work in India, “But if I become a producer or director I will surely put this in practice for my team.”
While she enjoyed shooting in the scenic island nation, Asha craved for Indian food. “I have never craved for Indian food like I did on this trip. I used to get snappy. Once, we were at some place and we were least expecting an Indian food joint but we found one run by a South Indian family. It was the most delicious food I ever had,” she recalls. She also reminisces her encounter with Kangaroos, who she calls suicidal. “They just jump in front of your car and commit suicide. As much as you want to see them, you don’t want to see them die,” says the actress who has another experience to share.
Asha who often gets mobbed at public places in India, says it wasn’t any different in Australia either. “We were in a club and there were people who would like first try and notice and then come to me and say, we saw you in this show and that. It’s the most beautiful feeling when people recognise you outside of your country,” says the actress. Despite the hectic schedule, the craving for Indian food and getting mobbed, the actress confesses she had a great time shooting and exploring whatever little she could in the Land Down Under.
Apart from travelling for work, Asha says she loves travelling on her own, particularly with her friend actor Karan Vahi who is known for hosting the music reality show Indian Idol. “Karan and I are the best travel companions. We both like to do the same things,” she enthuses.
When asked if TV shows have evolved in terms of representing women over the years, she says it’s the same. “People want to watch the same kind of characters and shows so such shows will be made. In fact actors are happy doing the same thing for a long time, but for me it was mundane and I wanted to experiment with my roles,” she offers.
It has been over a decade since Asha made her debut with the dance reality show Nach Baliye followed by Pavitra Rishta in which she played the protagonist, and now she realises that the younger her was more naïve. “I have more clarity of what kind of work I want to do. If I compare myself from the one I was earlier and my ideas of career, I feel I was lost. Now I am clear about my professional and personal choices. And Khwabon Ke Parindey is one such choice,” she says. Ask if she would choose between TV and OTT, her response is both. “I am happy doing series on OTT. There is a lot of stuff coming up on OTT and there is a creative satisfaction. But I don’t mind doing TV as well, though I don’t have patience to keep on doing the same thing for years. On OTT you can explore more characters,” she says in conclusion.