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‘My paanwali character will intrigue the males and inspire the females’: Prakruti Mishra

Thursday, May 17, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

The talented and pretty Prakruti  Mishra is a Odiya regional movie and TV actress and singer. Recently, Mishra made headlines, when she was honoured  with the special mention ‘Best Actress’ category by the jury at the recent 65th National Awards (2018) for her impressive performance in the Odiya movie ‘Hello Arsi’. Instead of grabbing more movies, Prakruti has preferred to make her headway into Hindi TV serials and will be seen in this new TV show ‘Bitti Businesswali’ on ‘& TV’. This show in which she plays, perhaps the ‘first-ever-female-panwaali’, had  premiered last evening on ‘&TV’ and will air every Monday to Friday at 7:30 pm. The Afternoon D&C connected with the busy-as-ever, yet exuberant husky-voiced Prakruti on phone for an exclusive conversation. Excerpts:

Post your ‘National Award’, one would have expected you to foray into films. What made you deviate towards Hindi TV shows?                                                                                                    
Over the past two decades,  I feel there is not much difference between the big-screen theatres and household TV media. In fact, TV has a much-wider and larger instant reach to lakhs of households in just a single telecast.

For me, the excitement and impact of my screen-character that I play, is of prime importance, whether it is a movie or a TV show. This Hindi TV show ‘Bitti…’ will now allow me to connect with an All-India audience and fan base. Previously, I was confined in the Odiya regional movies and known mainly all over the state of Odisha (formerly Orissa).  

Tell us what this new show ‘Bitti Business-wali’ is all about.
Set against the backdrop of  Allahabad, this show ‘Bitti Businesswali’ has me playing the title-role of the buoyant ‘Bitti’. The show reflects Bitti’s efforts to ‘earn’ her self-respect by taking the first step towards becoming ‘financially independent’. It highlights the struggle of ‘Bitti’, who goes beyond  traditional norms to begin a rather unconventional entrepreneurship journey in a trade typically dominated by men. She is determined to set up and manage a ‘paan shop’. It’s a ‘pan-tastic’ TV debut for me.

Why would girls and ladies relate to your unusual entrepreneur character?
That’s because ‘Bitti’ is almost a ‘next-door-girl’ a highly relatable and lovable character who is focused on her mission. She is ‘not’ a revolutionary rebel, she wants to inspire people, not change them. At the same time, by daring to enter into a male-dominated profession of ‘paanwalas’ , street-smart ‘Bitti’ will intrigue the psyche of Indian males and prove her dynamic calibre.

Is Prakruti different from ‘Bitti’?                                                                                                 
No, not at all. Like ‘Bitti’, even in my real-life, right from childhood, I have chosen to be financially independent and earn from my career. Whereas, off-screen, I prefer wearing casual summer-type outfits, Bitti loves wearing formal ethnic oufits and jeans and is style-conscious.

Besides ‘business’, would there be elements of ‘romance’ as well?
Of course. There is this tough, daring ‘dabangg’ hero’s character (played by smart dude amazing actor Abhishek Bajaj) called ‘Maahi’ who has intense romantic feelings for me and supports me. We often have friendly tiffs and friction. We have a super screen-chemistry and you get to watch lots of humour-masti in our interactions.

Any reality TV show on your secret wish-list?
Frankly, I would love to be one of the contestants of ‘Bigg Boss’, and be my ‘true self’. This will also give me a chance to connect with heart-throb Salman Khan, who is among my ‘hot favourites’.

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