(Release at 8.30 p.m.) - Diwali family time for TV actors

Monday, November 1, 2010

NEW DELHI - They leave the comfort of their homes to pursue their dreams in showbiz in the entertainment capital. But most television actors prefer celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, with their family.

Actress Natasha Sharma, better known as Sia of “Na Aana Is Des Laado”, is planning a trip to Delhi to meet her parents.

“I am going to surprise Ma and Papa. I wait for this time the whole year and we celebrate Diwali in a grand way. I will be putting Rangoli as usual and will be splurging all my money on shopping for my family,” she said.

Popular Bengali actress Indrani Haldar, seen as Devyani in Star Plus’ “Maryaada”, is also planning a trip to Kolkata.

“I am going to Kolkata for Kali puja. We do a very big puja at our home, and call all our relatives, friends and neighbours for this. Then in the evening we burst lots of crackers and have loads of fun with friends and family,” said Haldar, who won a National Award for her scintillating performance in Rituparno Ghosh’s “Dahan” in 1997.

Actress Tina Dutta, who plays Ichcha in Colors’ “Uttaran”, will join her family in the US.

“This Diwali is going to be an international one, as I will be heading to US to spend time with my family, but this would be mostly after I wrap up my shoot here in Mumbai,” said Dutta.

“When I was in Kolkata, Diwali used to be so much fun with the whole family coming together in our house and doing Kali Puja. This is the only Hindu festival I look forward to as it personifies unity, fun, and happiness all together,” she added.

Many, who have now permanently shifted base to Mumbai, plan to celebrate the day with family and friends.

Harshad Chopra, popular for shows like “Left Right Left” and “Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil”, plans to celebrate Diwali at his new place.

“My Diwali will be very special this year as I am going to celebrate it with my family in my new house. I will brighten my home with lights and colours and I plan to make it special for my younger sister,” said Harshad, who is seen as Anurag in Star Plus’ “Tere Liye” nowadays.

Even actor Iqbal Khan is looking forward to spending time with his wife Sneha.

“Diwali is a very special time for my wife Sneha and me. Given that I am shooting through the year, getting a few days off is a rare luxury. The three days of Diwali is a period that we spend together at home in blissful solitude.

“It wins hands down over going out or partying. Sneha is very fond of decorating the entire house with lights and diyas for this festive occasion,” he said.

There are others who are keen to be with their family on Diwali, but aren’t sure whether they will get an off.

Additi Gupta, Pihu of Zee TV’s “Sanjog Se Bani Sangini”, said: “Shooting schedules and other work related commitments rarely leave us with much time for anything else. So if I get an off itself, it will be a cause for celebration for me. However, I will definitely try joining my family for the puja.”

Shashank Vyas, who plays Jagdish in “Balika Vadhu”, would love to spend time with his family in Ujjain.

“I hope I get some time off to be my family in Ujjain. As a school kid I used to wait for Diwali vacations to be with my cousins and grandfather. But now being an actor, things have changed - no holidays and only shoots. I think I will be shooting on this Diwali too, but I’ll ensure I celebrate it with all my co-stars and the production unit,” said Vyas.

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