Rupali Ganguly: I go to work with guilt but I'm blessed to have a spouse who's there for our son
Rupali Ganguly of Anupamaa fame talks to HT about the factors behind the success of the show, mom guilt and her husband's support in everything.
Anupamaa actor Rupali Ganguly is not just a popular face on screen but also has a massive fan following among people from all walks of life, thanks to her 'Aapko Kya' monologue from the show. The actor says her character is very relatable. Rupali however, doesn't let the success get to her head and believes it simply makes her capable enough to focus on causes close to her heart. But she does have a regret of not being able to give much time to her son. (Also read: Exclusive | World Environment Day: Rupali Ganguly says she asks for a bucket for baths even at hotels)
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Rupali opened up about why her character of Anupamaa is ruling households and claims there are real women like her in every house. She also opened up about her husband's support in her being a working mom.
What do you think has led your character to become an iconic one on TV?
Excellent writing, excellent vision towards the character is what has made it a household name. Anupamaa is the story of every woman. You'll find one Anupamaa in every household. I think the city dwellers are more emancipated. We believe in the liberation of women and everything. But the fact remains that 80% of India still believes in the patriarchy system. And I am no one to condone it. I think every woman identifies with it because there's Anupamaa, Baa and Vanraj in every house. All these characters are so real and that is why it is so relatable. Anupamaa is not perfect and I don't think anybody in this world is perfect. So the imperfections of Anupama as well as her vulnerability is what connected to the audience.
Anupamaa struck a chord with the audience because of Rajesh's fantastic vision and his team of writers and executors, his directors, his DOP, everybody who kind of made that vision believable. And I thank God that he chose me to play the character, his protagonist, and gave me the opportunity not only to showcase my talent but he also took a huge risk with casting a 42-year-old protagonist for the role of a 42-year-old. Television mein generally hota hai ki younger ladkia ma ban jati hain aur 25-26 saal mein aapka 20-25 sal ka beta dikha diya jata hai (generally what happens in TV industry is young girls are made mothers of sons aged 20-25). So Rajan kept the timelines and the age lines very real and I think that is what predominantly connected. I think a lot of blessings are behind the show's success, also of the pets that Rajesh Shahi allows on the sets and how they are taken care of.
All from Janhvi Kapoor to Vidya Balan have recreated your famous Anupamaa dialogue 'Aapko Kya'.
I'm thankful to all these phenomenal names and actors who are recreating the reels. And the credit for that line probably would go to the writer. Sab kuch ek sath mein hota hai tab jaake koi cheez popular hoti hai (when everything comes together, then only something like this becomes popular).
How does it feel to be ruling the small screen all over again?
God has been so kind that he has given me an opportunity at this stage of my life, to again come back to what I love doing -- acting, and that too on the medium that I love. Television is the medium that made me, gave me the recognition that actors crave to find. Television gives ample opportunities to every actor to showcase their talent. I'm so grateful to God, Rajan Shahi and to Star Plus for believing in me. And of course my husband who's a rock star. He encouraged me to go out when I was in two minds about whether I should take it when my child was just 6.5 years old. Without him, I'm nothing.
You have once again become a popular face on the small screen with Anupamaa. Has life changed after the show's success?
How do you measure success? For me, success is the fact that I wake up every morning and have work to look forward to and do some fantastic scenes, perform some excellent written dialogues and visualized scenes.
If life has changed after success, well, there are a lot of positives. I have the convenience of supporting a lot of causes like animal related causes and a lot of other causes that I believe in.
You recently said your husband took early retirement to take care of your son.
The only drawback is that I get to spend less time with my child. I go to work every day with guilt and but nevertheless I'm blessed that I have a spouse who's there. He's proved it to the world that it does not have to be a mother who needs to do so. It is not always the husband who has to go out and work and run after his dreams. And the normal patriarchy that we have is that a man will go out to achieve his goals and can make his dreams come true while the woman sits at home and takes care of home. He has broken that typical mindset despite being so successful, he has chosen to be at home and take care of our child. He doesn't need me to go out there and work. But he still respects the fact that I have talent and really thinks that I should showcase it.