BHUBANESWAR: Having spent almost 30 years in the entertainment industry and still going strong doing characters of all hues, both negative and positive, Snigdha Mohanty needs no introduction in Odisha.
Popular for her deceptive looks on screen, sarcasm reflected in her expressions and killer smile, the actress has been a favourite of directors particularly to essay negative shades of character, though she is equally adept at performing positive roles.
Snigdha has acted in more than 60 movies and innumerable teleserials. With a strong desire to become an actress, she entered the entertainment industry when she was in college. But she mostly got to do only supporting or negative roles. After she got through Indian Postal Service, a full time career in acting was not possible, owing to pressures at both places. However, Snigdha carved a niche of her own with her debut movie Lal Paan Biwi in 1988, and the struggle made her stronger to pursue her passion with more dedication and zeal. Presently, some of her teleserials on air include Ambika Khudinka Handisala and Swabhiman.
The 47-year-old completed her schooling from Cambridge School, Cuttack in 1984, graduated in Sociology in 1989 from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, and did her postgraduation in the same subject in 1991 from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar.
Since her family was based in Kolkata and later shifted to Cuttack, Snigdha was not comfortable speaking Odia in her school days. However, college days opened new avenues. “College created an environment to make friends with both sexes and we immediately became a gang. Our group of friends is still in touch with each other. We vibed really well and even with teachers, quite unlike in school,’’ says the actress who was always good at studies.
She faced the camera for the first time in 1987 when she was given a role to play in a telefilm, Sopan, directed by Gour Ghosh for Doordarshan. A tomboy, she was popular among both boys and girls in college. “None of the boys dared to utter a word to me or comment about my activities. But when it came to us girls, I often used to pass comments on the freshers,’’ acknowledges Snigdha recollecting her fun-filled days at Ravenshaw.
Ask her about her proudest moment and she says, when the poster of her first film came out, one of her favourite teachers said she resembled Aparna Sen. “That was the best compliment I have ever got in my career,” she says.
The actress is a trained singer and dancer. Recollecting one of her most embarrassing moments in college, Snigdha says, “One day while in the Commerce block of the college, I went into the boys’ toilet because there was none for the girls and while coming out of it, I was seen by one of my teachers who was surprised and asked me what I was doing in a boys’ toilet. I was embarrassed to say anything but just smiled and said, Sir, I had no option left,’’ laughs Snigdha who has been very straight forward and daring since her childhood.
Good at academics, she never used to bunk classes. “But if I was bored in a teacher’s class, I used to draw sketches on the blackboard before the teacher turned up. Which is why I had a tiff with a teacher. I also had problems with one of my other teachers, who did not give me good marks in practical classes,’’ says Snigdha who loved taking part in extracurricular activities, be it dance, sports, music or acting.
For someone with varied tastes in food items, Snigdha was found hanging out with friends at chaat corners or paani puri stalls. ‘’I used to spend time with my friends trying out all sorts of food available in and around the campus and of course loitering in the Commerce block to tease newcomers,’’ she signs off.