April 27th, 2009 - 10:46 am ICT by Sampurn Wire  

I TURNED DOWN OFFERS FROM BALAJI TELEFILMS BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT TO ACT IN REGRESSIVE SERIALS NIKI WALIA tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that she is the queen in her sasural in London ad her mother in law is her best friend.
Were you scared to stage your comeback as an actress with Ghar Ek Sapna on Sahara One?
I was quite scared whether I’d be able to get the kind of welcome that I have received now when I decided to stage my come-back with Ghar Ek Sapna. I was nervous on the first day but after four shots were canned, I was my normal self
What is your role in the show?
I play the role of Simi, who is a mature gynecologist. She is a cut throat defense lawyer who is also a single mother of a nine year old daughter. The role of Simi that I play in Ghar Ek Sapna is completely different from the role of Simran that I had essayed in Ajai Sinha’s Astitva. What makes the character of Simi interesting is her relationship with her daughter which is that of a buddy
Did you opt for a modern avatar though Ajai was keen on projecting you in a sari?
Yes. I have come back in a modern avatar though Ajai wanted me to play my role clad in a demurer sari, like in Astitva. However his wife Sangeeta and I decided that the current modern look with western attire will be better suited for a character like Simi. I too did not want to stager my come-back in a sari because I thought that it would then remind people of Simran in Astitiva.
Do you think you could have staged your come back with a bigger banner on a better channel?
I could not have asked for a better come back as an actor. The character of Simi excited me when Ajai narrated the subject to me. Simi is very bold and kisise darthi nahin. Simi teaches her daughter to live life on her own. Coming back with Harsh Chhaya as my co-actor and Ajai Sinha as my director with whom I have my own comfort zone, was brilliant, even after the change in trends.
To what extent did you miss acting when you left India for London after your marriage to Sunny?
I missed acting when I was away but my biggest consolation is that my fan following has increased ten fold in U.K, where I get mobbed when I go to shop for my groceries in malls there. It is almost fourteen years since I had entered TV after making my debut with the film Mr Azad opposite Anil Kapoor. I took a break after reaching the top slot as an actress on television because I wanted to get married and settle down in London with my own family. My role in Astitva was like the role of Nargis in Mother India.
Why did you turn down offers from Balaji Telefilms?
I turned down a couple of offers from Balaji Tele Films, because I did not want to be part of regressive shows. Today after reaching the level of Astitva, I would not have done a saas bahu serial, especially when there is regression on TV. I have set for myself a standard on TV and I do not want to come down from that level and do any and every serial. It would be great if I can bring back independent and modern thought and recreate the aura of Simran of Astitva.
Where do you think you stand today as an actor?
Today I know where I stand. I am Niki Walia and not Niki Aneja today.I am glad that I am staging my come-back with a show like Ghar Ek Sapna at a time when several contemporaries of mine are sitting idle at home for want of work. After having given birth to twins- one son named Sean and a daughter named Sabrina, I do not aim at playing the lead roles.
In what way has marriage changed you?
I am the queen in my sasural. My mother in law and I are the best of friends. In fact I took her blessings on the phone before I gave my first shot in my second innings for Ghar Ek Sapna.
Which are your favorite shows on TV?
My favorite shows on TV are Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Na, the reality dance show Dance India Dance and Saaz Bahu Aur Saazish.
How did you keep updating yourself about shows here?
I keep myself updated with whatever is happening on the TV scene in Mumbai by presenting the show Zee & You as an anchor in U.K Today I know that the audience cannot digest bland shows because they need a lot of mirch masala unlike in the days of yore. -Sampurn Media

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