A page from the personal diary of Niddhi Uttam
It’s been interesting to play Nandini, the polio-afflicted daughter of Daddaji in Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. It was very painful to walk around with crutches. And to think of it, initially I wasn’t very comfortable playing that character as I have always been a sportsperson all my life but now after playing it for so long, I feel depressed thinking how physically challenged people must be finding it difficult to lead their daily lives. In fact, my family was surprised to see me in that character.
When Nandini was offered to me, I was in two minds. There was too much of uncertainty about the future of my role and I wasn’t comfortable about it. It was only after Rajanji (Shahi, producer) convinced me I took it up. He had told me in a few days I would feel the change. I realised he had something in his mind because of which I agreed.
I realised I was playing Nandini right when UNICEF approached me to do a campaign for eradicating polio. They felt I was physically challenged in real life as well! It was a big recognition for me, though in a different manner. I really feel lucky when people appreciate my work.
In the coming weeks, Nandini will marry Mohit. I am waiting for the grand celebration in the show. I am sure post marriage there will be new twists in the show as Mohit is quite egoistic and his mother very greedy.
I am from Kanpur and had come to Mumbai to complete my higher studies in animation, after graduating in graphic designing. But fate had something different in store for me. My career took a different turn due to Ekta Kapoor. She spotted me in Maayka and offered me the lead role in Kasturi. Unfortunately because of some astrological issues I was replaced by Shubhangi Atre. Very few people are aware that I shot for close to 30 hours for that show. But she was kind enough to offer me Kasauti Zindagi Kay in which I played Prerna's grand- daughter. I also did Karam Apna Apna for her.
I had also participated in a reality show called Champion Chalbaaz No 1, which was judged by Sajid Khan and Cyrus Broacha. I won the first episode and got into the semi final but due to a clash in dates I couldn't participate in it. I recently also did a baby soap commercial with a nine month old. It's a matter of patience and hard work. The baby was smiling whenever the director was saying ‘Cut’ so it was quite a difficult task as I had to maintain my expressions and handle the baby also.
I feel fortunate to have had a supportive family. They have always backed my choices.