Recipe for laughter: Hansa Parekh from 'Khichdi' is back!

Veteran actor Supriya Pathak reprises her iconic role as Hansa Parekh from popular TV show, Khichdi, in new film.
‘Irrespective of my age, I will always be excited to be Hansa. Playing her is like therapy for me. She made me realise the joy of acting,’ says the veteran actor.
‘Irrespective of my age, I will always be excited to be Hansa. Playing her is like therapy for me. She made me realise the joy of acting,’ says the veteran actor.

Supriya Pathak has played many memorable characters in her four-decade-long career. There’s the young bride being sold off to a rich merchant in Bazaar (1982), the other woman in Masoom (1983), an unlettered mother to a brat-of-a-son in Wake Up Sid (2009), the sinister matriarch of a Rajput clan in Goliyon ki Rasleela: Ram-Leela (2013) and more. Nothing, however, comes close to Pathak’s Hansa Parekh from the sitcom, Khichdi. Her inimitable portrayal of the hilarious daughter-in-law in a quintessential Gujarati household left audiences rolling with laughter through three seasons (2002 -2004) of the show, and then again in Khichdi: The Movie in 2010. 

Pathak’s sentiments about the role, which she is reprising in Khichdi 2: Mission Paanthukistan, are not very different. “Playing her is like therapy for me. Irrespective of my age, I will always be excited to be Hansa. She made me realise the joy of acting. It has been about 20 years since Khichdi released on TV, and till date, a part of her still remains with me. She is timeless,” says the 62-year-old actor, adding that all characters from the serial were one-of-a-kind. Khichdi 2 will hit the theatres on November 17.

Meanwhile, Pathak has been keeping busy with other equally impressive roles. Earlier this year, she appeared in Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani-starrer musical, Satyaprem Ki Katha as the latter’s mother, and most recently as the titular character in the short film, Gangster Ganga. The 27-minute JioCinema-release that dropped on October 4 saw her playing a modern-day grandmother.

“The story is simple and sweet; it talks about the need to bond with your family amid all the modernisation.

But, what I enjoyed the most was the slight madness and idiosyncrasies of  my character. A grandmother does not always have to be just the cute little old lady in the house. The nuances allowed me to sink my teeth into the part,” she says.

Given her experience, Pathak slips into the shoes of almost any role in no time, but Gangster Ganga posed a new challenge for her: it was her first short film. “I had always worked in formats where you get ample time to create, explain and portray the character. But I had to read short stories to prepare for Gangster Ganga. It was a learning experience,” she adds.  

Pathak says she is in a much happier space today professionally, compared to her time as a young actor. “Our stories have become more real now. New writers and directors are coming up with off-beat scripts. When I was younger, we had more formulaic films.

Then came television, which helped us create fresh content, but soon even that became stagnant. But, now there is some good work coming my way, and I am hoping to get busier by the day,” says the actor, who will be next seen in romantic drama Manohar Pandey, co-starring Raghuvir Yadav and Saurabh Shukla, comedy Luv Ki Arrange Marriage, and Baby Crasto. 

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The New Indian Express