Exclusive: Shikha Talsania on her Marathi web series debut, OTT censorship and nepotism
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Exclusive: Shikha Talsania on her Marathi web series debut, OTT censorship and nepotism

Shikha Talsania will soon be seen in Sony Liv original web series Shantit Kranti.

Shaheen Irani
Aug 12, 2021
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Shikha Talsania in Shantit Kranti.

Shikha Talsania is making her Marathi web series debut with the upcoming show Shantit Kranti. The actress, best remembered for her roles in Wake Up Sid and more recently, Veere Di Wedding, spoke to OTTplay exclusively about her thoughts on OTT censorship.

The actress, who also happens to be the daughter of popular actor Tiku Talsania, discussed nepotism and how it is misunderstood among other things. Apart from that, the actress made an appeal to work in more short films, apart from web series and films.

Excerpts from the interview...

You are making your Marathi web series debut with Shantit Kranti. What has your whole experience been like?

After spending a few years as an actor to make a debut again is always exciting. I feel that I can do that again. To do it with a language which I know but can't speak very well and to do it with friends, is beyond exciting. It's been one of the most challenging roles in recent times. I'm really happy and cannot wait for everyone to watch it. Hopefully, everyone who feels that language is a barrier will get to know that there are subtitles so the show can be viewed by everyone.

Were you comfortable with the language or constantly needed cues?

I've grown up in Mumbai so I know Marathi. I've studied it for 10 years in school. I know how to read and write it but obviously, I don't speak that language. Kids who grow up in Mumbai speak many languages at home including your mother tongue so we know Hindi, English, Gujarati and sometimes even Sanskrit and French. I also had a really amazing coach, Chetan, who is also one of the writers of Shantit Kranti. He made lines easier for me too. For me, it was challenging because when you try to speak correctly, sometimes you forget the emotions needed in a scene. The director, producer, cast and crew were quite patient with me. It was wonderful.

In the trailer, you bring comic relief to the still-developing plot. Do we expect that in the series too?

I can't tell you about me specifically but for the entire series, it is so wonderfully set up as humour. It's not something you have noticed before. It happens in our lives and is relatable content. There are some funny bits and the credit for that goes to the scriptwriters. The entire series has a lot of humour, emotion, friendships and different relationships and journeys. It's hilarious! Everybody is hilarious in this!

Could we call it the Marathi industry's Tripling with friends instead of siblings?

Sure, if that makes you come to watch the show. No, I don't like comparing. I say this from personal experience, every story is true to itself. It is coming for the first time in the Marathi entertainment world. It's very relatable, fresh and original. The camaraderie or relationships we see in our own lives is what they can see here, with a whole lot more. When you watch a film or show about three or four friends, it is an effective story. Shantit Kranti is the same.

You gained popularity after Veere Di Wedding. Even though you were the fairly newer actress in the film, did you get as many projects as you expected after working on that movie?

I was recognized in 2008 with Wake Up Sid and later in 2018 with Veere Di Wedding. My life did change after Veere. It has opened up many avenues which I'm very grateful for. When I did Wake Up Sid many years ago, I never thought that something like Shantit Kranti would ever come my way. With social media, theatres, films and even OTT coming in, there's a huge place for everyone. It's wonderful to see how much opportunity is there. I'll just grow from here.

While there is a whole debate on nepotism, many people to date do not know you are renowned actor Tiku Talsania's daughter. Was that a conscious decision on your part?

The conversation is a very narrow conversation about nepotism. It works in different ways for people. I remember having a clear conversation with my parents that I want to take the step and become an actor. My father told me that I have to figure out my connections on my own and he wouldn't introduce me to people. I don't know if that was a conscious decision nor would that make much of a difference. Today both my father and I are constantly working on different projects.

Could you say that your character is important in taking the story forward for the friends?

Once the friends come to Shantivan, everything that happens there, they meet my character. So it's constantly there in whatever happens in their lives. I'm a catalyst in their transformation. There's a very interesting track with me and one of the actors.

Shantit Kranti.

Has the situation in Shantit Kranti ever happened to you? That you planned to go to Goa but ended up going someplace else.

Unfortunately, no. It wouldn't be such a bad idea though, is what I feel after watching Shantit Kranti. I'm totally open to it.

There is no use of cuss words at least in Shantit Kranti's trailer. People express with their body language which is beautiful but there could be moments when you might need to express anger with words, probably cuss words too. Do you think at such a point in web-series time, OTT censorship should be implemented? How would that affect a scene?

OTT censorship is a broad subject that would require an hour for sure. I have been a part of OTT shows where there is a need for language. The subject isn't as black-and-white as the question. It is far larger than that. There are times when it can be taken out and sometimes not. It depends on the weightage of the scene. It is also about how much of your personal morals are attached to cuss words. It depends on your personal morals. The fact that we are getting intelligent scripts, it's relatable. We need to treat a subject a certain way. I'm not a big fan of censorship. There is a need to censor in some places and we all work towards that. The story should grow organically.

Upcoming projects?

I have something coming up with SonyLIV again. They are yet to announce it. So waiting for that.

Do you have any more short films yet?

Please ask the creators to cast me. I'm dying to do more short films too. I am ready.

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