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'I feel I'm the real Baa of the Viranis!'

Sudha Shivpuri started her career at an age when most actresses retire. Her character Baa in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi is such a favourite among viewers that even at 106, no one wants the character to die!

Rajul Hegde caught up with the 70-year-old actress in her Andheri home, situated in the Western suburb of Mumbai, for more dope.

How did you get the role in Kyunki?

My husband (actor Om Shivpuri) passed away 18 years ago. After my children grew up, I had nothing to do at home.

I am from a theatre background (I've graduated from the National School of Drama, Delhi) and have done films and television before. When I told my children about me acting again, they were not happy because I was 60 years old.

I started working for a serial Bandan for Balaji telefilms. Ekta Kapoor asked me whether I would be interested in a dadi (grandmother) role in her new serial (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bhu Thi). I agreed. Ekta knew my work, so there was no audition.

I can relate to Baa's character. I am like her even in real life.

Did you have to work hard to portray Baa, or did it come naturally?

You have to do homework to portray any character. I went to a temple and observed how Gujarati ladies speak and behave, to get into my character. I have some experience from my previous roles too.

How do you mange with the long working hours?

I enjoy it because there are so many people on the sets. If I am not working, I get bored sitting at home.

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