Interview: Avika Gor “Anandi” of ‘Balika Vadhu’

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Last night saw the “death” of “Anandi” in Colors’ top rated show, ‘Balika Vadhu’ but has she really died? Viewers will find out in the coming days.

However, the real story is that Avika Gor who plays protagonist “Anandi”, is taking some time out from the grueling filming schedule to concentrate on her exams.

A source confirmed that Avika will be coming back to the show once her exams are over. However, the track for her return has not been planned yet.

In the meantime, we caught up with Avika Gor about her debut on UK screens since Colors launched here in January.

Tell us a bit about your character for your new UK fans…
Anandi�۪s character can be defined as a ray of pure sunshine. Anandi is a happy go lucky girl who loves going to school and learning new things. She was married off at the tender age of just 9. Undeterred by circumstances, Anandi finds a silver lining in the darkest cloud, accepts this situation without any qualms. An intelligent, strong-willed and spirited soul, the child bride questions age old traditions and decadent rituals in her own innocent way with no intention of hurting anyone’s sentiments but in the process ends up exposing the hypocrisy behind the traditions and rituals.

How do you feel to be a part of such a huge show on the channel?
I am proud to be associated with a show like Balika Vadhu. It�۪s good that a television show can create awareness of the repercussions of child marriages. Apart from that I am always overjoyed when I receive the love from people – they talk to me, call me by different names from the show like beendni, nakchadi chuiya, laddo, futri , thikhi mirchi etc. I like to know that people relate to Anandi, small children call me Anandi instead of Avika and say that they also cry when Anandi cries.

When you first auditioned for your role in the show, did you realise how big the show was going to be?
No never, I did not at first, I did not realise that this show had so much depth and the role I would essay would turn out to be so endearing. However after performing about 10 episodes I realized that Balika Vadhu would make history on television.

With the show’s serious theme of child marriages, what are your personal beliefs on this?
Personally and earlier, I knew a very little about child marriage. I would just say I am too young to talk about this serious subject. However after my role as Anandi my understanding of child marriages and the social stigma around it has expanded.
It�۪s sad if a girl is married in her childhood as she does not even know what marriage means. It�۪s unfair that she has to leave her parents, live with strangers with whom she cannot even share her feelings, discontinue her studies, leave her school and take the responsibility of the house hold work in her learning days.

How has the shoot schedule of the show impacted your life?
There has not been much difference…I go to school in the morning post which I go for the shoot. I still do the same things I used to do before like dancing, swimming, cycling and playing with my friends – the only change is that today people recognize me, they want to be my friend, they all want to know what is going on in my life and how I manage things, to which my answer is the same as it is was before.

When do you get time for school work?
My school work is done during the evenings after shoot. Sometimes I do school work during the shoot hours when I find free time between shots, or during my tuitions classes.
I have made a perfect schedule for my subjects and have given time for each subject to finish off my school work on time.

Do you feel there is huge pressure on you at your tender age being a part of such a big show?
Pressure? WHERE IS IT? I DONT KNOW! For people who are not related with the show they do not know the difficulties a channel or a production house face while producing any show, for me it is like a piece of cake. I shoot only 4 or 5 days a week and in a day I shoot for around 4 to six hours at a stretch. Sometimes I have been called only for 2 to 4 hrs as I shoot only after my school hours.
I think the pressure is more on the channel and the production as they need to plan the script, pan out the story, manage the artists and their time etc and above all the pressure of the success of the show.

All I do is act and enjoy myself – for me it’s a HOBBY and not WORK.

How well do you think ‘Balika Vadhu’ will work in the UK?
FINGERS CROSSED! What will happen cannot be predicted so let�۪s hope everything goes well…But I am also positive that the show and the channel will do well.

Any plans of your character coming to the UK for a break to give the show a local feel for us?
NO Not sure about it, maybe? It also depends upon the response we get from the people, if we get a call then definitely we will come.

Do you come to the UK regularly?
NO, I have never been to UK but definitely looking forward to visiting some day.

What did you do when you received your first pay from the show?
I never look into my finances – it is completely managed by my parents and they use it to invest for my future.

What can we expect from ‘Balika Vadhu’ in the coming weeks?
There will be loads of excitement fun, Tears, curiosity and of course to know more of the story you will have to watch it at 8pm on Colors. Watch it I am sure you will love it. It�۪s a promise.

Future plans….
I have many plans…

-Short plans :- studying and scoring good grades in my grade 7th final exam & starting YOGA

-Medium plans :- A small family vacation to GOA on my Birthday & working harder for BALIKA VADHU.

-Long plan :- Participate and WIN the Miss UNIVERSE Title.

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