Be it Swabhimaan in the early 90s, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi in the 2000s or Jamai Raja in 2014, Achint Kaur has been part of every stage of change Indian television has gone through. The nature of content might have changed, but the actress has always been consistent about picking her roles – strong, significant and performance-oriented.
Achint says she has been able to survive through the evolution is because she has adapted to the change. "It is essential that I change with time to cater to the content that the audience is consuming at the point of time," she says.
Despite being hesitant from time to time about the kind of content she was working with, Achint says she has put her judgments aside and focussed on providing what the audience wants. "I have to break out of my comfort zone to fit everywhere. Why should I put blinkers on? You should have the confidence that you can deliver anything," he said.
"Thank god that I have managed to stay relevant over the years, otherwise I don't know what else I would have done for my bread and butter. I keep working on myself continuously," she adds.
Ask her if she misses shows like Saaya and Swabhimaan of the '90s, and Achint says that thanks to the digital revolution, now we won't. "If we put a show like Saaya on TV now, it will be a shocker, because they were so much more bold. Now with the web coming in, we can do everything. So this will bring back those times. The thought process will reflect how people are in real life. The fiction will have more reality," she says.
The actress is onto her second digital venture with Jamai 2.0 which is streaming now on ZEE5. It is a digital spin-off of the daily soap Jamai Raja, starring Nia Sharma and Ravi Dubey. Achint is back to reprise her role of Durga Devi, Nia's onscreen mother, but the backdrop of the show has been changed for the web.
"The show has gone into a thriller zone, the canvas is much larger this time. The characters and everything they are doing are a little more larger than life. There are a lot of layers, as opposed to television, which was a specific story of only two-three people. But here, there are more stories that are layered and leading to a common destination," Achint says.
Set in Pondicherry, Jamai 2.0 Durga Devi as the owner of a chain of night clubs in the city with a firm grip on the city's night life. Their life takes an unexpected turn when Sid, a man with a dark past, enters their lives.
Life for me is a game of chess, saari power queen ke haath mein honi chahiye. Jamai 2.0 premieres 10th September only on #ZEE5.#Jamai2Point0 #Jamai2 @_ravidubey @Theniasharma @ViniyardFilms @AshviniYardi @ZEE5Premium#NiaSharma #RaviDubey #AchintKaur #SidNi #ComingSoon pic.twitter.com/6jr2gHkkWl— Achint Kaur (@kaur_achint) August 24, 2019
The storytelling approach in the spin-off is more mature to cater to the digital audience. Talking about how her character has changed in Jamai 2.0, she says, "This woman is way more self-contained. There's no pathos or angst. She is completely sure of what she is doing. We have also tried to change the performance pattern, since the audience is wider here. There is less of spoon-feeding, a lot of things are understood, subtly conveyed. The communication is on an evolved level. It's a more matured approach."
Achint is happy that the web space has lent a certain maturity to content and bolder scenes can be shown to the audience. "We do not have to show two flowers rubbing against each other, or a curtain shutting on a couple. You can actually show a couple kissing or making out. The relativity factor has increased, catering to a larger variety of perceptions. And this is still at a stage of experimentation, there's lots to come."
As opposed to a daily soap with no end in sight when it is launched, Jamai 2.0 is a finite series of 10 episodes. "The story is much tighter here, you can do so much more in one episode that you would have done on TV otherwise. Because we keep bringing the audience back in a different way there. Here we do not have to drag the story for months which we can pack in a few episodes. So it becomes way more interesting, you are hooked on to it in a different way," she says.
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