Farida Dadi on being part of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: It’s an honour to be in such good company

Actress Farida Dadi, who plays the role of Neela Amma in Rajan Shahi’s Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, says that it’s a complete honour to be part of the project. The actress shares a deep bond with Rajan and remembers working with him before.

“My last show was Balaji’s Appnapan – Badalte Rishton Ka Bandhan on Sony TV and my landmark show was Rakhi which was directed by Pawan Kumar and Milie which was directed by Rajan Shahi on Star Plus. It was a very popular show. Rajan and I had a great time working together. It used to be like, if I had packed up earlier, I would not go home. After the complete packup, we used to go out to eat. There was a bonding that we shared. I always wanted to work with Rajan and whenever my show would get over, I used to message him, saying ‘I’m free’. Earlier, when Yeh Rishta was starting, that was almost 15 years ago, I was busy with something that’s why I couldn’t take up dadi’s role. But when the casting director called me this time, I said I must do it. And it’s an honour to be in such good company!” she says.

Ask her what prompted her to take the part, and she says, “First of all, it’s an honour to be a part of such a successful show. Secondly, it’s a show of my old director, his company, and thirdly, I was sure that since he has offered me something, it must be something good. I have been shooting for a while now with them, and my character is of a neighbour from Kasouli who makes jam along with Akshara. I’m sure it was developed very nicely. But the recent episodes which I watched were very touching.”

Talking about prepping for the role, she says, “Since we are working round the clock, it’s very difficult for us to follow the show. We are continuously coming back home at 11:00pm at night and then getting up early and going again. We cannot even watch our shows properly. It’s a challenge. I used to do Crime Patrol because you get to play different characters. I used to get charged up with the new character that I was going to play. So, the same things apply for serials as well. It’s a totally different character, different look, different way of talking that gives me a real prep that I must really take up the project.”

The show has been doing really well, says Farida, adding, “As an audience, I feel that the recent episodes have been very touching, emotional and I’m sure that the public must have enjoyed them. It’s been 15 years, it’s an achievement for the production house, the director, the writer, the artists, everybody. Artists are the ones who execute it but the main star of the show is the writer and hats off to them! It’s still the No 2 show for the channel!”

However, it hasn’t been a cakewalk, she says, “There’s always pressure when you enter a show midway and it takes time for the character to build. How are people going to react to the character, was something that I always wondered. It’s a popular show that gives you goosebumps. You pray to God that everything should go fine. And the director Romesh, who is the director for Anupamaa also, is so fantastic. Working with No 1 directors has been so good. I’ve been lucky to work with them right from the time I was child, also like Gurudutt, Mehboob Khan,and all,” she ends.