You may not know who Surekha Sikri is, but if we say you know who ‘Dadisa’ or ‘Bhabho’ is you will certainly understand whom we are hinting at.
Surekha Sikri, familiar to us as ‘Dadisa’ from Balika Vadhu or ‘Bhabho’ from Saat Phere is a personality whom people adore and would love to act with. Despite her age being 64, the younger generations die to be in the frame with her. She is a well known name in every household of the country. They say she is a perfectionist. We got into a candid chat with the perfectionist herself as she talks about her life, about acting, theatre, television and on a beautiful saying that ‘older age is getting more beautiful’.
Let us start with her native place and family back ground. Going back in her memory lane she replies firmly, “I was born in the city of Dehradun, which is in Uttar Pradesh. Jumping to my family background then I must inform you that I don’t have any filmi or television background, just incase if you are thinking that way (laughs). My father was in Air Force and my mother was a teacher. My grand father was a doctor. So you see acting was certainly not in my blood”, says the Dehradun artist.”
Sounds interesting, a female with no filmi back ground and no connection with the Bollywood Industry. So the question arises how did she develop her love for acting?
“I wasn’t much passionate about acting in the start. When I was in my teens I started taking more interest in watching theatre and that is how I saw myself doing theatre in the future ahead.
I was sitting at home initially as I was not much aware as to what I have to do in life. Soon I starting watching plays and that inspired me to act too. I then started doing plays and gradually I understood what I had to do in life; I had to act.”
Surekha Sikri is one of those fine actors who have established themselves well in the Industry. With so much experience and so much of perfection, it seems needless for the directors to take more than two takes for this perfectionist. We also heard that she is very choosy about her roles and firmly believes on the concept of ‘quality not quantity’.
She too agrees with us in this context and says, “That is very true, indeed. I am very choosy about my roles. I personally feel that it is quality that matters the most and not the quantity. When choosing a role I first of all understand my character to the core. I also enquire about the director’s reputation in the market. I always want a class in whatever I do. That is me, Surekha Sikri”.
Surekha is one female who has got many a prestigious awards in her kitty including Two National film awards, one Sangeet Natak Academy and one ITA award. Her hard work and dedication has paid her it seems.
She laughs it off and jokingly says, “It seems you guys have done a lot of research in me. Yes, I do feel I have received enough recognition. All the awards that you have mentioned are not any awards. They are all big time awards not given to everyone from the lot. I knew I deserved them and that is why I am here, been recognized by almost each and every individual.”
Each and every role of hers is distinguished from the other. She is someone who does not take anything and everything, be it a vulnerable mother or someone losing her memory, or a strict matriarch. So for such a perfectionist which role it seems to be the most challenging and why?
Surekha agrees saying that roles have been challenging but she also says that these kinds of challenges have been a part and parcel of her life and she loves to accept them as they come her way.
“After doing theatre for so many years I don’t really find my roles much challenging. Be it television or films. I am not saying that I am perfect but I feel I am very much experienced in this Industry. Talking about challenging roles, then yes, the character of ‘Dadisa’ of Balika Vadhu fame is very much challenging to me as the role which I am playing is quite interesting. Having a grab on the language (Rajasthani language) was quite a task for me. I feel ‘Dadisa’ has yet to learn a lot (and she laughs again).”
The old saying, ‘older age getting more beautiful’ seems to be a new mantra and Surekha too agrees with us. “I totally agree on the saying that ‘older age is getting beautiful’. Beautiful not in terms of physical appearances but it is feeling beautiful from within. I have gained a lot of experience and this experience of mine has achieved me what I aspired to become one day. Certainly when I was young I had no ambition; I wasn’t famous. Now I feel proud that after reaching at this stage of my life, people do recognize me of what I am. Certainly acting is not in my blood, but I feel I have put acting into my blood.