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Why 'groom' brides - why can't we be, just the way we are?: Aditi Sharma

Monday, February 05, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

In keeping with their channel brand-philosophy of presenting ‘progressive’ content on fiction shows, this new unconventional yet entertaining show titled ‘Kaleerien’ commences telecast on Zee TV from (tonight) Monday, February 5 in the 7.30 pm slot and will air daily upto to Friday. This path-breaking show on marriages, co-produced by Nikhil Sinha and Priya Mishra (Triangle Film Productions) has debutante actress Aditi Sharma playing the lead character ‘Meera’ opposite the debonair, smart actor Arijit Taneja (of ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ fame). Among the supporting cast  is actress-model Nisha Neha Nayak (of  ‘Sadda Haq’ fame) as the chilled-out NRI ‘Amaya’,  Ekroop Bedi as the tech-savvy ‘Simmi’ and the exuberant Vishavpreet (‘Mrs Singh’) Kaur, who owns and runs the ‘Soni Kudi-academy grooming school’. Afternoon D&C connected with the affable yet outspoken Aditi.

For the benefit of those not so well-versed in North Indian marriage customs tell us what does the title symbolise ?  
It’s a beautiful symbolic title referring to marital ceremony customs. ‘Kaleerien’ refers to the wrist-bracelet dangling ornate ornaments worn by a prospective Punjabi bride on the occasion of her wedding.

What is this Zee ‘Kaleerien’ show all about?          
It’s the inspiring story with an undercurrent of  humour and romance, of ‘Meera’, a small-town smart rebel girl from Punjab, outspoken by nature, with a tomboyish ‘swag’ and who loves to play ‘kabaddi’ . She asserts her individuality against the harsh reality of bride ‘grooming’ schools mushrooming all over Punjab. Schools that prescribe a bucket-list of must-have qualities for a bride to land the perfect groom. A free-spirited girl who wants to live life on her own terms, Meera values her uniqueness and is in search of a suitor. Who will accept her for the person she truly is, without the nagging pressure of  being a ‘perfect bride’.

What do you feel is wrong with ‘customised grooming’ of prospective brides ?  
Unfortunately, in our country due to society pressures, only the ‘nubile’ girls are expected  to ‘groom’ themselves and ‘imbibe’ expected qualities, virtues and talents before they embark on their marital journey with their ‘husband’. Why should the bride suddenly lose her true colours and give up her true natural identity to transform into someone different. Ironically, the ‘bride-groom’ is never required to ‘groom himself’  to suit and match the bride’s characteristics.

Is there any solution to this syndrome of ‘double standards’ ?       
As our co-producer Priya Mishra says, marriage is all about amicable mutual adjustments .We need to ‘celebrate the differences of both the spouses’, rather that make it an issue of marital conflict and clash with the husband and with the fastidious in-laws. Brides are certainly not like gadgets or devices with ‘manufacturing defects’ that need to be ‘fixed’.

Do you feel Aditi and Meera are made for each other ?      
(Laughs heartily) Well almost. Acting was always my childhood dream ambition. It’s as if  the ‘chulbula’ character ‘Meera’ was written with me in mind. Except for the difference that  I can speak good English fluently, and in contrast ‘Meera’  cannot, we have several common characteristics. Although I am a bit nervous, I am excited and thrilled and waiting to be an exemplary telly character with my mantra of ‘main nahin badlungi’ . Interestingly,  eminent model-actress Gul Panag had recently initiated this on-line conversation  on ‘# change her not’, the  Zee TV digital media experiment which has now gone big-time ‘viral’.

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