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My career has been full of exciting challenges: Rama Vij

Monday, November 06, 2017
By Raju Vernekar

Veteran yet evergreen, charming TV and film actress Rama Vij, has been a well-known face on Doordarshan with many TV serials to her credit. She shot to fame in her pivotal role of a charming teacher Maria in highly praised serial 'Nukkad' which aired on DD in the 1980s. She has also worked in various Hindi and Punjabi movies. Besides, she is also an excellent car-driver and frequently participates in adventurous car rallies. Bubbly and zesty, Rama Vij, spoke exclusively to The Afternoon D&C. Excerpts:

What has been your academic background?
I am an FTII (Pune) graduate. I was one among 12 girls chosen out of thousands of candidates.

How did you begin your acting career?
After my debut with the film 'Pal Do Pal Ka Saath' (1978), I did many movies including 'Aarambh', 'Veerana', 'Joshilay', 'Prem Quaidi', 'Lava', 'Zakhmi Insaan’', 'Taxi Taxi' and 'Hawayein' (2012). But, TV soaps have been much more helpful in boosting my career.

Can you elaborate on your TV assignments?
The list of my popular TV serials include: Far Pavilions (1984), Nukkad (1986), Vikram Aur Betaal (1988), Intezaar, Manoranjan, Himalaya Darshan, Rishte, Circus and Zindagi, Misaal, Sabko Khabar Hai Sabko Pata Hai, Sanjha Chulha and Chunni.

What was this iconic retro TV serial 'Nukkad' all about?
'Nukkad' dealt with the struggle of lower income group people, trying to make a living in harsh social and economic climate in cities. They live together at the local street corner (Nukkad) and every evening share funny anecdotes as well as their troublesand unfulfilled dreams.

What is your opinion about  present day serials?
Now the scene has changed. In this fast paced ‘WhatsApp’ life, digital media and the internet rule the roost. Yet some of the new TV serials are quite entertaining and even younger actor-artistes are good looking and promising.

What about your forays in Punjabi cinema?
Punjabi cinema has contributed a lot to my career with milestone movies such as 'Kachehri', 'Gabbroo Punjab Da', 'Dhee Rani', 'Suneha', 'Veera', 'Takraar', 'Chann Pardesi', and 'Khushiaan' (2012). Of these, 'Kachehri' and 'Chann Pardes' (1980), bagged National Awards. I also bagged the Best Supporting actor award at the Punjabi International Film Academy Awards for 'Khushiaan'.

You have also been a producer isn’t it?
Yes. I produced three TV serials 'Misaal', 'Sab Ko Pata Hai' and 'Beeji ke PG'. I also have two production houses.

What about your future projects?
I am receiving offers for TV soaps/ films. But, unless I find an interesting role as per my expectation, I will not accept any role.

Do you remember any memorable incidents in your career so far?
There are many hair-raising incidents in my career. We were shooting on a hillock at Gangotri (Uttarakhand) 'Himalaya Darshan' and there was a distance of hardly 10 feet between the hillock and a river nearby. A foreigner was sitting on the bank of the river and I had a monologue. All of a sudden, people started shouting and asked me to run since huge boulders were falling off. I ran for my life and jumped straight into the river. After that I could not walk for three days and eventually it took a year for me to fully recover.

Any thrilling experiences about car racing?
I had met with an accident and I was in bed for three months. My car had to be done up and I thought the best way to start again was to drive again and participate in a rally! So I participated in the Delhi-Agra-Delhi rally. Today, I have 18 trophies in my kitty. Now, the dream is to race in a Ferrari, but I cannot afford it!

Are you satisfied with what you have achieved?
I have gone through the entire spectrum gamut that stardom offers. My career has been full of exciting challenges. My success-story may not sound something great, but I have found my modest place in the hall of filmy fame. That is okay because I have my own style and way of doing things and I never compromise.

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