Marital distress of a policewoman: In conversation with Rasika Dugal

Rasika Dugal discusses her latest show, Delhi Crime season 2, and why she believes that the personal-professional conflict her character faces is relevant across the country

author_img Ram Venkat Srikar Published :  07th September 2022 09:54 PM   |   Published :   |  07th September 2022 09:54 PM
A still of Rasika Dugal from Delhi Crime

A still of Rasika Dugal from Delhi Crime

Rasika Dugal, who plays IPS officer Neeti Singh in both seasons of Delhi Crime, vividly remembers reading the script of Season 1 for the first time. “I had no doubts that I wanted to be a part of a project, and this doesn’t happen easily for me. I knew immediately that my story would be told well.” The acclaim and accolades that came the first season’s way augmented the excitement for the second season—both for fans and Rasika herself. The second season might not surpass the strength and humanness of the original, but it isn’t flat either, and so, it does dodge the infamous ‘curse of the second season’. Rasika makes it clear that both seasons shouldn’t be pitted against one another. “They are both different. Season 2 is more of a crime drama, but I am happy that the new season retains the basic quality of the characters established in the first installment and carries it forward.”

Rasika shares that the second season allowed the actors an opportunity to explore their characters further. “We were familiar with our characters and the script allowed us to map their growth and transformation. I think the show excels at making the viewer privy to the life of the police. Viewers are allowed to closely observe how humour thrives even in urgent and desperate situations, and how even the most confident authorities have vulnerable cores.”

The actor believes that in such web content, the writer has more control over the character than the actor. “I try to understand the root of the character’s decision or behaviour. I will never say that a character shouldn’t behave in a particular way. I believe a person can react in any way to any situation. People surprise you all the time. So, characters should also be able to surprise you in a given story.”

While the obstacles faced by Neeti mostly emerged from her profession earlier, in the new season, balancing her personal and professional lives is her biggest challenge. Rasika was able to connect to this conflict strongly. “It was a lovely subplot to explore, especially because I had a wonderful co-actor in Aakash Dahiya. We tried to graph Neethi and Devinder’s journey throughout the season, as she remains conflicted between her profession and her husband. Women in our country bear the brunt of this all the time; it is heart-wrenching and all of us have seen it growing up and continue to experience it every day.”

Rasika, who has found immense success in the streaming space, has characters being written for her now, and has come a long way from her debut in 2007. “There are days when I feel extremely proud of the quality of work I do,” Rasika says, before posting a rhetorical question. “Am I completely secure? No. I don’t think that’s possible, right? There will always be something that you aspire to achieve, and situations don’t always pander to your aspirations. There are times when I feel I am not getting the kind of scripts that my heart truly desires. And there have been some wishes that have miraculously come true. For instance, I have been a huge fan of sports dramas that tell underdog stories; these are stories that every middle-class person like myself wants to hear. I have always enjoyed the genre and the universe conspired to send a sports drama series my way! So, I believe that if you really yearn for something, you will have to wait, but it will happen!”