Category Archives: Siddharth Sengupta

Director Psyche: Sidharth Sengupta !

Sidharth Sengupta, The Director of Balika Vadhu

On a scale of 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) how many marks would you give to the following?
¨       Importance of story:   5
¨       Importance of screenplay:  4
¨       Importance of music:   3
¨       Importance of a good assistant: 2
¨       Importance of good-looking actors. 1

In the options given below which one of the following inspires you the most.
¨       A book
¨       A movie 
¨       Another show
¨       A real life experience
¨       A rival doing better than you
If your day at work has been really crappy, you would:

¨       show it on family and friends
¨       go take a walk
¨       bitch out hard to a friend till your mouth hurts and heart eases
¨       Ignore it as a part and parcel of your job routine.

If you found out two of the actors on your show have become a real life couple you would:

¨       Confront them and tell them you will not tolerate this on your set.
¨       Congratulate them and incorporate more of their scenes in the show.
¨       Be indifferent to them as they are not concerned with your life.
¨       Treat them differently on the set, treat them differently outside.

In case of a conflict in vision with your writer, you would:

¨       Talk to him/her and explain it is visually not possible.
¨       Ignore what is written, take a call, shoot, and then let the writer know
¨       Ignore your vision and shoot what is present in the script as long as the episode goes on air.
¨       Try to balance out between what is written and what can be presented in order to not wreck your personal equation with the said person.
An actor is repeatedly performing badly and has been receiving negative feedback. As a Director, you would:

¨       Take him out on a friendly informal dinner and explain stuff to him/her.
¨       Yell at him, since you are tired of repeatedly telling him/her.
¨       Ask his closest friend on the set, to talk to him/her and explain stuff
¨       Give him/her as little screen space as possible to cover up the flaws.

Your close buddy in the same profession as you has won an award that you sincerely believed you deserved. You would:

¨       Congratulate him/her first and hope to win the next year.
¨       Take your time to come to terms with it and then give her/him a call to wish them.
¨       Ignore the person totally till the time; you have the award in your hand next year.
¨       Totally give up on the concept of rewards and Awards as a benchmark for performance.

One fine day you realize that you are no longer interested in your current project for whatever reason, you would: 

¨       Prepare to pack your bags and move on to the next project that catches your attention
¨       Introspect, find out the reason for your lack of interest, and go about correcting them.
¨       Ignore the feeling and go about your work as best as you can. After all, you are being paid for it.
¨       Continue the project and let everyone on the sets bear the brunt of it.

Interviewed by:
Niharika Vidya Sagar
Swati Ghosh

An Institution in Herself – Surekha Sikri!

Surekha Sikri, an alumni from National School of Drama and two times National Award Winner,  has carved a niche for herself both on Television and Silver Screen with powerful roles and impactful acting.
With her brilliant portrayal of characters in films like Tamas, Mammo, Zubeida, Sardari Begum, she has time and again proved that she is not only VERSATILE but is a BORN actor. Her role in Banegi Apni Baat on Zee TV is fondly remembered by audiences even today.
Last three years her character as Dadisa in Balika Vadhu has become extremely popular and a household name. When we met Anandi’s Dadisa aka Surekhaji on the sets of Balika Vadhu, we were awestruck with her humble and down to earth attitude. Believe it or not, its just not us who are in awe of her, but every co-star of Balika Vadhu including the Director himself is completely smitten by Surekha Sikri, the Actor.
Rangmunch.TV brings to you some of the comments straight from the cast and crew of Balika Vadhu.

Siddharth Sengupta (Director): “The first time I was shooting with Surekhaji, I was very apprehensive. She is a University of Acting. Sometimes without uttering a single dialogue, just her mere presence and the way she looks, enhances the entire scene. She gives acting tips to her co-actors.
I have worked for nearly 15 years in this industry and with almost 5000 actors, most of them very good actors. I have even worked with Seema Biswas but she has been the best so far. There is a difference between dedication and devotion. She is devoted to acting. She does her homework. I have not seen this kind of homework being done by anyone. You take all the actors on one side and keep Surekha Sekhri on the other side, that is the equation. I have not worked with anyone like Surekhaji. What she does on screen is magic. You have to explain what the scene is and then after ten minutes, she comes to perform and you see magic on screen.
Balika Vadhu wouldn’t be the same without Surekhaji. It is an honor to work with her. She is somebody you can learn from.”

Anup Soni (Bhairav Singh): Surekhaji is too senior to me. So when I and Satyajit joined National School of Drama Delhi, we did hear about her. But this is the first time I am working with her, and I can vouch that one can see a mark difference in the way she performs vis-a-vis those in other shows. Its actors like Surekhaji who have given variety to audience in terms of acting and have made them realise that what they have been watching on other shows is not the ultimate acting. Also her presence has enhanced the performances of all the new comers who have joined this show. I strongly believe that when you are in the company of brilliant actors, you will always perform good, provided you are eager to learn and grow.”

Shashank Vyas (Jagiya): “To be honest I was not happy when I got selected to play the lead role in Balika Vadhu. I was extremely nervous since it was already a very popular show and was worried as to how I would perform before such Veteran actors who are former students of National School of Drama. I still remember, when I came to the set, the first person I met was Surekhaji. I touched her feet and asked for her blessings and she very humbly said “ok do it, all the best. Set pe miltey hai (will meet on the set).”

This place is nothing less than an academy for me where I get to learn the nuances of acting and emoting on a daily basis, which further helps me to be a better actor. I really feel blessed to get Balika Vadhu at such an early stage of my career.”

Pratyusha Banerjee (Anandi): “Surekhaji is a sweetheart. She has mood swings but is the best person to work with. When doing scenes with her I have to ensure that I give it my best inorder to match up to her calibre and to get noticed.”

Neha Marda (Gehna): “It was a privilege to share the screen with Surekhaji. Even if the scene is not hers, she always walks away with the cake and the cherry at all times with her mere presence. Even without saying a single dialogue, and with expressions alone she does miracle. I really feel blessed for getting an opportunity to do Balika Vadhu and I would like to thank Surekhaji for being so supportive and positive while doing the scenes. Its been an amazing journey so far working with her and as everyone says, “she is an institution in herself” holds true.”

Having heard such delightful things about her from her co-stars and people who have worked with her, we are more than happy to have got a chance to  meet her and spend some time around her! Rangmunch.TV takes it as a privilege to be publishing this write up for its fans. 

Interviewed & edited  by:

Swati Ghosh &
Niharika Vidya Sagar