Brave  act

Mita Vashisht, who was in Bengaluru over the weekend, speaks about her move to commercial TV serials, mainstream actors dominating OTT platforms and more.
Mita Vashisht
Mita Vashisht

BENGALURU:  There was a buzz at the seventh Bengaluru Poetry Festival (BPF) when poet Jerry Pinto took a lighthearted dig on stage at actor Mita Vashisht after her solo act Lal Ded went beyond the scheduled time. Though Vashisht brushed aside the digs – ‘don’t think anything was out of place’ – the room was buzzing with the comments made by a visibly-upset Pinto whose session was cut short.

“Since my work had strongly resonated with the audience, Jerry had to claim his space. He had to get Lal Ded off people’s minds. I have learned in life that ego destroys life,” says Vashisht, whose performance was based on the life of a medieval Kashmiri mystic of the same name.

Having been the muse for some of the stalwarts from the Hindi film industry like Govind Nihalani, Mani Kaul, Shyam Benegal, and Ketan Mehta, Vashisht was also in many mainstream soap operas like Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kaala Teeka to name a few. Looking back, she says she made those choices ‘actively’ and felt them to be right then.

“When I first joined the industry, I was about 25 years old. There was no money, no glamour, nothing at all. I was clear that all I wanted was two meals a day. Acting was my passion. Once I was already an actor, I realised it was a whole different world. You need to learn every aspect of life. That’s why nothing that I do is ever irrelevant,” says the 55-year-old.

She has had many dry spells where she has not been seen on screen. “Acting has been my path but there have been many long spells where nothing good was offered. I feel that my acting skills are a gift from God. So sometimes I question God...‘If you have given me the gift, why don’t you give me the work that will match it?’ Often, my scenes are chopped. Now when people approach me, I tell them not to cast me unless there’s something solid,” says Vashisht, admitting that it does affect her finances.

Often attributed as an ‘actor from art movies’, it was a ray of hope for Vashisht when OTT began to reign. However, she now feels that digital mediums are losing their purpose. “The first three years of OTT were huge because we saw real actors making it big overnight. But within five years, every mainstream actor whose career is sliding or has slid off is jumping onto the OTT bandwagon.

For example, had the recently-released Kajol-starrer The Trial been given to a real actor, they would have done wonders. Many producers are so conditioned by the power of what they imagine of Bollywood. It is affecting the OTT space,” says Vashisht.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express