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    Feb 2010


    Default Despite being sad, enjoy life... that is comedy: Disha Vakani

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    Maybe nobody can say ‘Tappu ka Pappa’ with a guffaw better than Disha Vakani who plays Daya Jethalal Gada on SAB TV’s Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah (Neela Telefilms). She plays the dear wife of Jethalal (Dilip Joshi) and loving mother of Tappu (Bhavya Gandhi). Excerpts from the interview she exclusively gave to us…

    What has been your most memorable moment while acting in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah?
    We had gone over to the residence of columnist and journalist Taarak Mehta on whose column Duniya Na Oondha Chashmah our show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is based. It was his birthday and we did a ceremonious cake cutting.

    During the celebrations, a radiant smile was playing on his face. We felt happy on seeing him joyful. A writer from our team was there. He remarked that a writer who lives to see how popular he has become is very lucky. Many people get posthumous fame. Taarakji is alive and keeping well by God’s grace. He is thoroughly enjoying his success.

    The day we completed 1000 episodes was also very memorable for us.

    You say ‘Tappu ke Pappa’ in a uniquely comic way. Did you practice to get the hang of it?
    It is a custom in Gujarati families that the wife should not call her husband by his first name. It is believed that if she does so, her husband’s life span will be cut short. This is why she addresses him as the father of her child. Or she will call him by enquiring, “Are you listening?”
    I did not have to practice how to say, “Tappu ka Pappa.” My co-star Dilip Joshi had helped me a lot on how to get into the skin of the character.

    You are from theatre background. Does theatre experience help in being a better TV actor?
    A theatre background surely helps to groom one into a better TV actor. Stage experience teaches one the nuances of finer acting. Dilip Joshi is a senior personality from theatre too. Mandar Chandwadkar who plays the role of Bhide is also from theatre. In fact there are quite a few theatre personalities in our show.

    In future how do you see comedy evolving on Indian television?
    They say that laughter is the best medicine. Everyone loves to laugh especially at the end of the day after a hard day’s work. That is how they can relax. This is the importance of comedy. All people love SAB TV. Comedy is surely here to stay.

    Your serial reaches out very well to those living in middle class Cooperative Housing Societies….
    Indeed they can identify very well with our show. Every age group and gender can draw a parallel to a character of their age and gender in our series. They feel as if they are seeing themselves in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah.

    What qualities should a good comedian have?
    He should have a good sense of comic timing and know how to improvise.

    How would you define comedy?
    I feel that canned laughter does not necessarily make a show a comedy. Rather, the viewer should laugh spontaneously on seeing the show.

    Taarak Mehta in our show in a way reminds me of Charlie Chaplin who had said, “I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.” The scene in Gold Rush in which Chaplin boils and eats a shoe is very touching and poignant though it is a comedy. Despite being sad, enjoy life- that is comedy.

    Who are your favourite comedians?
    There are many. I have great respect for Dilip Joshiji. Charlie Chaplin is my icon. Sanjeev Kumar is an amazing personality who can do both comedy and serious roles. Then there is Paresh Rawalji and Boman Irani.

    What kind of shows will you never do?
    I would like to stay away from tear jerker shows. My eyes start aching while doing rona dhona scenes. Before doing Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, I had done a drama series. Its concluding scene was a crying scene. Executing that scene had exhausted me. After that I made up my mind that I would never do sad shows. If the story is exceptionally good, I may go for it nevertheless.

    What are your hobbies?
    I love to rest, travel with my family, read, swim and watch plays.



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