Roopa Ganguly as Draupadi in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat on COLORS

BR Chopra’s popular classic, Mahabharat is re-running on Colors. Actress Roopa Ganguly who played the character of Draupadi in the show, got candid with us for a small chat.

You have won a National Award for singing and you also sang a song in Mahabharat. How was the experience?
I sang one song in Mahabharat called ‘Naino Ke’, and it was a beautiful experience. What happened was that the makers were looking for someone to sing the song that was to be picturized on me. Ravi sir suddenly asked me, ‘Will you sing a song?’ I was quite okay with that and didn’t think much of it because I was singing ever since I was a kid. While I agreed, I also told Ravi Ji that if my attempt at singing was not successful, I was completely fine if they hired a professional singer for the same. Luckily, I sang the song in one take and everyone liked it. It is a lovely song. Today after all these years when I heard the song and I was happy that I agreed to lend my voice for it.

Mahabharat is back on COLORS. What do you have to say about that?

There were so many people from my generation who wanted to watch Mahabharat. Also, I am sure that the younger generation might have heard tales about the show from their parents or grandparents. Now that a channel like COLORS has taken the onus to narrate this tale to the masses, everybody who has been wanting to watch the show now knows that they have to tune into COLORS.

Did you ever realize that Mahabharat would make such a big impact on the Indian audience?

We had put in a lot of hard work and we were confident that people would like the show. But slowly we got to know about the impact it had on people. We got the news that trains used to stop at stations which had a television so people could watch Mahabharat! At that time, we were very busy shooting the show, so we never really realized that the show had become such a huge hit. I didn’t even get a chance to watch the show properly at the time. I am watching the show properly now on COLORS and there are so many flashbacks, so many memories of shooting those scenes.

You played Draupadi in Mahabharat. What are your memories from that time?

I had the most wonderful time playing Draupadi. While it was a challenge for me because I was not so well-versed in speaking Hindi, I made double the effort. The one memory that I have from the time was that I used to be the first one to turn up on the sets. The schedule was very strict back then and we all had to report on time. Ravi Ji was very friendly but he also made sure that we follow a disciplined life on the sets. And I had no problem as I would report on the sets way before the 7 am deadline. I would be there at 5 am!

We all are quarantined. How are you spending your days?

During the lockdown as a part of my relaxation, I have done a lot of household work. From childhood, I have been very fond of doing household work. During this time, I have cleaned up every nook and corner of my house. This is what I focused on. I also got sanitizers made from my doctor friends and got it distributed across to people.