If it wasn’t for Draupadi, the Mahabharat war would have never happened. Among the mostly male cast was Roopa Ganguly who aced the role of Draupadi in the 1988 show Mahabharat. Post its comeback on Doordarshan, Mahabharat is currently re-airing on Colors.
Sharing that the younger generation has finally got to witness the mammoth project, Ganguly said, “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 witness it, can watch the show.”
The actor further shared that they were amazed back then by the popularity of the show. She said, “We had put in a lot of hard work and 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, so we never really realized that it had become such a huge hit. I didn’t even get a chance to watch the show properly at the time. However, now I take out time to watch it. And trust me, I am flooded with memories and flashbacks watching the scenes play out on television.”
As readers would know, Roopa Ganguly is a renowned Bengali actor. Not being well-versed in Hindi, mugging the dialogues in the language was a big task for her. “However, I had the most wonderful time playing Draupadi. As for the language part, I would put in double the effort,” she shared.
Opening up about her memories from the time, the actor said, “I remember 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 set way before the 7 am deadline. I would actually be there by five (laughs).”
Roopa Ganguly is also an award-winning singer, and had even crooned for Mahabharat. Stating that it was a beautiful experience, the 53-year-old said, “The makers were hunting for someone to sing “Naino Ke”, which was to be picturised on me. The director casually asked me to sing it. I have been singing since I was a kid, so I readily agreed. Luckily, the team also loved it, and even now when I hear the song, it fills my heart with happiness.”
On a concluding note, the actor-politician shared that she has been enjoying herself with household chores during the lockdown. “From childhood, I have been very fond of doing household work. So I find relaxation in doing the chores. I have cleaned up every nook and corner of my house. This is what I focused on. I also got sanitizers made by my doctor friends and distributed it.”