She’s among the iconic bahus of Indian television but Juhi Parmar was looking for a change. That led to her acting in the show, Yeh Chanda Kanoon Hai. The show will air every Wednesday at 10:00 pm on SAB TV starting on August of this year. She’ll be seen as a lawyer defending her clients albeit in a not-so-serious atmosphere. That’s not all. Parmar has nearly completed the shoot of her maiden Bollywood film. A blissful marriage to actor Sachin Shroff has only meant that life has never been better for our Kumkum.
In an exclusive chat with Tellychakkar, Juhi talks about her new show Yeh Chanda kanoon hai, her success as a stand-up artist, her life after marriage and much more. Read on.
From the ideal and obedient bahu Kumkum to the divorced lawyer Chanda. Isn’t this quite a transformation?
I’m glad to have the opportunities to play varied characters. As an actor it adds a new dimension to me. Often TV actors get typecast with one particular character. I am very lucky in that respect. Even while I acted on Kumkum I played different characters.
Of late, you’ve only been seen in comedy (reality) shows. One never thought that a tragedy queen like you would now have us in splits. Are you surprised that you’ve excelled in comedy?
Not at all. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’ve got a funny bone and they have always encouraged me to take up comedy. I remember Archana Puran Singh telling me on Comedy Circus that I’ve wasted my talent on needless soaps. I take that as a compliment but it is TV that has given me my identity. I’ve done my serious roles but it’s just that the opportunities in comedy have come later.
Of late, a few TV shows have been creating controversies. Do you worry that Yeh Chanda Kanoon hai could evoke criticism from the judiciary?
Well, we live in times where controversies are created even if you don’t do anything. So, it’s better if you create one by doing something. However, I don’t see anyone having problems with our show. I want to make it clear that our show is no satire on judiciary. The show is basically about this divorced couple, Vibhuti and Chanda, squaring up against each in court with some of the most hilarious cases. At times, this couple gets personal while defending their clients.
Coming back to Yeh Chanda kanoon hai. Well, Judge Tiku Talsania appears to have a soft corner for you. So, will one get justice in Chanda’s kanoon?
In spite of Tikuji favouring me, what you’ll see in every case is that it’s always the truth that triumphs. And, it’s not always Chanda who wins the case. Vibhuti (Asif Sheikh) too will enjoy his share of success.
Television is evolving today and most actors are just turning out to be one-show wonders. Also, do you think the age of never-ending soaps is over?
Soaps have changed with time but the staying power of a show should never be a concern. We still have long running soaps but it’s just that the saas-bahu sagas have declined. It doesn’t matter whether a soap runs for seven years but it’s important that you get to play different characters.
Speaking of such soaps, your own show em>Kumkum lasted for seven years. As an actor didn’t you reach a saturation point?
No, that’s because I got to play various characters on the show. First I played Kumkum, then the doppelganger Chanda. Later, I lost my memory and so I played Krishna. This was followed by playing the Haryanvi maid in disguise and finally I was reincarnated as Kumkum Raichand. Perhaps, I’m the only actor who has played as many as five different characters in one show.
But back then there were reports that you were unhappy with the longevity of the show and also you wanted to quit as you were not comfortable with graying your hair.
That’s true but that’s the way I am. I always call a spade a spade. I didn’t want to gray my hair because I simply wasn’t old enough to play such a character. I’m still young so why should I play an elderly character? Luckily, every time when I got bored with Kumkum, the producers would change the track or my character and that ensured I never felt saturated.
Your career has been riddled with controversies. The latest one is that the actor pairs in Hans Baliye were alleging that the makers were favoring stand-up comedians. Apparently, some of the actors are allegedly asking for favourable scripts. Is it true?
There’s no truth in these tales. In fact, we’re the only actor pair which performed consistently. As for actors asking for favorable scripts that’s because the comedians were writing their own scripts while we actors obviously had to look to the writers for our material.
(Juhi and Sachin lost to Guggi and Kuljeet in the final)
What’s happening on the Bollywood front?
Well, I’ve bagged my maiden Bollywood film Padduram. It’s directed by Ajay Monga, who has written films like Fashion, Corporate and Bas Ek Pal. The film is about a little child who’s got a troublesome stomach and so he keeps farting in the whole film. Suresh Menon and I play his parents. It’s a comedy film but it also has its emotional moments. It’s a feel good film and I’m sure the audience too will like it. We’ve completed 80 per cent of the film and the only the climax is to be shot.
Pardon me, but do you think you’ve put on excess weight?
(Laughs). Yes, I have. You can call it marital bliss. Well, I know I need to shed a few pounds and once I do that I’ll call you first.
Finally, how’s life been post marriage?
Well, it’s been beautiful. The best thing about Sachin is that being an actor himself, he understands work pressures. One good thing that marriage has done for me is that I’ve finally started to cook. And, I can now confidently say that I’m good at it too. My husband loves my food. So, I can proudly say that I’m a good cook.