We Were Like A Family

Debarati Palit Singh
Wednesday, 6 November 2019

 ...says Pankhuri Awasthy about her experience of working in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, and supporting the LGBT community

Pankhuri Awasthy is making her Bollywood debut with Ayushmann Khuranna’s upcoming film – Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. A spin-off of 2017 film Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, this one stars Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and others. 

Pankhuri who is currently part of Star Plus’ Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai is quite excited about her Bollywood debut. “It's an ensemble cast and every character has a part to play in the film. It’s a gay love story and revolves around the idea, ‘love is love’. It’s based in a homophobic society, which hasn’t accepted the LGBT community or given them any rights,” she says, adding that even though the film deals with a serious subject, it has been treated in a light manner.

The Hitesh Kewalya’s directorial is expected to release next year. 

Ask her about her character and she replies, “ I won’t be able to talk too much about it. I can only say that I am playing a character called Kusum, who is in love with Aman (Jitendra Kumar).” 

The actress says working with such talented actors was a great opportunity and learning experience. “They are professionals and have done such amazing work in their career. We were like a family, we would eat together and have fun,” she adds.  
Shubh Mangal... is one of the fewBollywood mainstream film, which highlights the LGBT community. She says that since she was in college, she found it strange that the LGBT community were still fighting for their rights. “I had gay and lesbian friends in college and it was normal. This is their life and they can choose to live the way, they want. Finally, this year when the Supreme Court revoked provision of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, I thought, ‘the judgment was long awaited’ and kept wondering, ‘what took them so long to understand a natural process like this’. This law was as unnatural as making a man-woman relationship illegal.”

Pankhuri says that she shot Yeh Rishta... and Shubh Mangal... simultaneously. But it must have been a challenge managing both the projects and she replies, “I am lucky that I got great teams on both the projects. They adjusted my dates and timings. It was tiring but not at all challenging.” 

Though she had a cameo on Yeh Rishta... but her role has got extended. Talking about being part of the TV series, she says that the show is part of every household. “Even though people do not watch the show, they atleast know about it because it's running for than 10 years. It’s got such a positive vibe. It was a blessing to be part of the show,” says the actress who has been part of serials like Razia Sultan, Suryaputra Karn, Kya Qusoor Hai Amala Ka. 

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