Express News Service
Kamna Pathak did her first play at the age of five, which paved the way for her participation in extra-curricular activities throughout her school days in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh. But her shift towards professional theatre happened while in college at Miranda House (DU), where she moved for graduation.
Reminiscing her college years, which she calls “golden days”, Pathak says, “I cherish those days. To secure my hostel seat, I had to get good marks, and had to study a lot. But I was also a part of the dramatics society. So, time management was crucial. My professors were very helpful, more so at times when I could not meet deadlines.
Once when I was sick I was allowed to eat even while the lecture was on. I was fortunate to be surrounded by so many loving souls.” In a career spanning over 15 years, this seasoned actor has worked with noted directors M.S. Sathyu, Saurabh Shukla, Hema Singh, Ramesh Talwar, Manoj Joshi, and Masood Akhtar. Currently seen in Happu Ki Ultan Paltan, she plays Rajesh, wife of SHO Happu Singh, and brings on a fresh take to the role of a homemaker.
Tell us more about your character Rajesh in Happu Ki Ultan Paltan.
While watching Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain (BGPH), I had often wondered how Happu’s wife would look. She is mentioned but not shown even once in the last four years that BGPH has been running. Rajesh is a very dabbang woman. She looks traditional and has nine kids, but comes out as a person to reckon with, not shadowed by her family. Most TV serials tend to show wives as submissive, helpless and tormented souls, but Rajesh is a breath of fresh air from this monotonous narrative. This is why the role appealed to me so much. The language Rajesh speaks is Bundelkhandi, and learning its proper diction was a challenge. But I am glad that viewers have accepted me.
What makes you say yes to a role?
Roles that have an assertive personality attract me. For Happu Ki…, many people asked me if I wasn’t scared about getting typecast as a “mother figure” at such a young age. But having kids is only a part of Rajesh – she is a storm on her own accord.
You have worked with well-known directors. Any experience you would like to share?
All my directors recognise the importance of giving actors their space, as also the muchrequired constructive criticism, which motivates me to work with full dedication. Sitting and talking with Sathyu sir, with whom I did my first play Aakhri Shamaa, is the best way to cool down your exhaustion and nervousness. He is the true embodiment of “the show must go on” and insists that each actor learns the lines of every character in the play. Saurabh Shukla, with whom I did Jab Khuli Kitaab, taught me that an actor should not suppress the instinct to add on something extra to their role while acting. “Let it flow”, is his motto.
Why haven’t you delved into web series?
I am not looking to do any new projects because Happu Ki…, takes up so much time. However, OTT platforms are much in demand these days, and if I get a role I believe I can do justice to, I would definitely pursue that.
Favourite Directors: Baba Azmi, MS Sathyu and Shashank Bali
Other passions: Singing, especially folk songs