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    Feb 2010


    Default Maharana Pratap became a maharana because of his mom - Rajshree Thakur

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    They say, “Behind every successful man there is a woman.” Indeed Maharana Pratap was mentored by an amazing woman- Maharani Jayawanta Bai Songara. Rajshree Thakur, who you had last seen in Saat Phere as the female lead Saloni is starring as Maharani Jayawanta Bai Songara, the head queen of Maharana Udai Singh and also the birth mother of Maharana Pratap in Sony Entertainment Television’s Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap (Contiloe Entertainment).

    On meeting Rajshree on the palatial sets of her historical series in Gujarat, the first thing that journalists asked her was why she was away from TV for such a long time. She answered in the conventional way, “After Saloni’s role in Saath Phere, I wanted to play a good character in a good show. I didn’t want to accept any role that came in my way. I was drawn to Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap as it is a historical show and I love history. Also there were family commitments which I had to adhere to which is why I had taken a break. In this sabbatical I pursued dancing and learnt how to swim.”

    In Saat Phere she had played Saloni who courageously fought to come out of the shadow of her dark complexion and undertook a journey to search for her own identity. In her current show she also plays a valiant woman. Speaking on her character she said, “Maharana Pratap became a maharana because of his mom. She had brought up her son to respect his dad. The place that Rajmata Jijabai had in Shivaji’s life, she had in his life.”

    She also informed us that Maharani Jayawanta Bai Songara was not too comfortable with the fact that her husband had multiple wives. “After getting married to her, Udai Singh had got married to 19 more wives. In the show we have shown just three queens. She never wanted her husband to practice polygamy.”

    As you have already seen on the show Rajshree is playing a very elegant queen. Talking further on her character she said, “She would carry herself with grace and dignity. She will be shown as completely positive and strong. We will show her position in the palace, how she interacted with other wives and managed the royal household in the absence of her husband. It isn’t just a mother’s role, which is why I so like this character. Historical characters are slightly louder. Nevertheless, I had to portray in a subtle way that the Maharani is a strong woman.”

    Obviously Rajshree had to work on her body language to get into this role. “This is not a social drama but a historical. To portray a historical character you have to have her mannerisms too. You have to walk and talk in the way the character demands.” As far as her dialogue is concerned, she speaks pure Hindi with some Sanskrit and Rajasthani words.

    The actress has fond memories of the first schedule of her shoot in Jaisalmer despite the scorching heat. “It was more than 45 degrees there. In the heat, loo (hot dry Westerly wind) was blowing. We shot at a palace there. It was indeed a memorable experience.”

    What is her take on the practice of jauhar (the ancient Indian Rajput Hindu tradition of honorary self-immolation of women and subsequent march of men to the battlefield)? She promptly replies, “In those days women were very beautiful. They would treat women like commodities. So, they would go for jauhar as they preferred death to dishonour.”

    We then asked of her views on the purdah system which was also followed at that time by Rajput royalty. “Once again, in those days the social milieu was such that they needed the purdah system. In the liberal society of the 21st century, the purdah system isn’t needed anymore.”

    For more updates on the show keep watching this space.



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