Aarti Patel spoke about the stereotype she faced in the Gujarati industry and more.
Kadak Mitthi 2 released on Oho Gujarati recently. The show has received a fairly good response from the audiences who are still eager to see someone apart from Mayuri (Aarti Patel) and Shivu aka Shivangi (Aarohi).
Talking to OTTplay exclusively post the success of her show, Aarti revealed her favourite scene from the second season. It is something you probably did not see coming. Apart from that, she also spoke about the future of the show.
Excerpts from the interview:
What are you feeling like after Kadak Mitthi 2's release?
It's a good feeling. People are enjoying the second season too. They are connecting with the characters, the other characters we see in Kadak Mitthi (apart from Mayuri and Shivu) too. So, it was fun.
What was the first thing that attracted you in Kadak Mitthi - was it the mother-daughter relationship or how Anish Shah, the director, deals with various subjects?
Abhishek (head of Oho Gujarati) told me, 'Ma'am there's a very good subject, where you and Aarohi will perform.' I said yes because I trust his subject selection and scale. He told me that it will be a conversational show between me and Aarohi on different topics. He also told me that I could bring a few other things to the table. I kept wondering if they ask me to add something, I'm not even good at on-the-spot improv. There are times when you feel good about everything but people don't connect. I believe in well-written scripts, even if it is a 30-second ad. So, Abhishek asked me to read the script. Anish called me and told me that he spoke to Abhishek. I agreed for the script-reading session and found it amazing. The dialogues and written material is the hero of Kadak Mitthi. Anish has made the show relatable and something that people could connect to. It was well-conceived and fun to work on.
Do you discuss your script with Aarohi?
I discuss them with Sandip, Aarohi and Sanjana (Aarti's family members). I trust their instinct when it comes to scripts. Everyone is very good at judging. Sometimes, even a single line is amazing but the screenplay and dialogues are not good. Hence, till I don't get the whole script (dialogues, screenplay included), I cannot decide. Thus, when somebody asks me to do even a two-minute role, even then I read nine pages of the script. Completely. I need to know what my role is. When it comes to films and TV series, there isn't much scope for performance. Even the length isn't good. For once, even the length of the role can be ignored. You can do wonders even in a two-scene role. It however lacks well-written roles for a typical mother's character. I always get the role of a mother. TV has typical grey or white shades, or saas-bahu. There are no good roles for women of my age group. At that time, Kadak Mitthi happens, where you can play with your character and have so many things to convey to the audiences. That feeling is amazing.
Are you trying to break out of the stereotypical roles? How?
OTT has the potential for different kinds of, what you could call, experiments. There's a very good chance for new performers and talents. An OTT platform could provide you with good roles. If I could write, I would have definitely portrayed some very good characters for people to see. Currently, you show someone who stands up for feminism. I mean, it's always on an extreme level. Either she's a good housewife who takes care of her husband or a rebel who kills someone. I'm a working woman but at the same time I love to cook and have conversations with my children. My younger daughter says that Kadak Mitthi happens at our home everyday. I video call my family from the next room as well. I could talk to them randomly or show them a certain thing. So Kadak Mitthi is for people like me. However, it should also be relatable to everyone. I feel like you don't necessarily need to play a lawyer or a Godwoman selling illegal goods. There are so many roles. Go back and think, why did you connect to English Vinglish so beautifully? It should connect with everyone, right? Be it an English or cooking class. The mothers of our age group are trying very hard to learn how to cook pasta or mexican food in day-to-day life. We wouldn't wish for our family members to eat outside food everyday and so we try and cook healthier food for them at home. There are so many thing and layers in a mother's life. I work as a producer and the family also demands chapati, vegetables and rice from me in the evening. That's life.
Do you plan to take up writing anytime in the future?
I may, but I cannot write as brilliantly as actual writers do. I write short stories but screen writing is not my cup of tea. I keep on taunting people to write a script like Kadak Mitthi's. Sandip will call me only for a simple role and lure me to do it. He believes in the concept of a hero and heroine from films.
While Kadak Mitthi season 1 was still in the fun zone, the second season got a little dark and spoke about death. What was your first reaction when you got to know of that episode?
Aarohi read it. She told me this is too dark but it is my favourite episode because every parent should teach their children that parents will not be there with them forever. I experienced it when I lost my parents. It is so difficult for me to come to the conclusion that this has happened. We as kids used to shun our parents when they spoke about death. We get scared. As a parent, I would like to teach this to my children. The way this episode is written and the way Mayuri is handling it, is very much needed. I was amazed when I read the script. Aarohi, on the other hand, started crying. We rehearsed a lot at home before going on the sets. When we rehearsed at home, not in front of people, when we would read the script, Aarohi used to cry just thinking about it. Even now, she cries while watching it. We also feel the same way but it is needed.
There are serious topics in the second episode. There is death, an episode on a responsible citizen and the likes. So, it is one step ahead as a written material. It deal with maturity from both parents and child's perspective, about how they teach one another in life. I had a lot of fun.
Has Kadak Mitthi 2 brought you and Aarohi closer than ever?
We were always close. We shot for the show differently, from different locations. We are like this in real life too. The understanding level increased after she started working in the same industry as me.
Would you describe yourself as the quirky, fun-loving and cool mom in real life too?
Yes, I am absolutely like her. Our only difference is that I'm tech-savvy and don't believe in Whatsapp forwards. Mayuri is nonetheless 70-80% of me.i would laugh that Harsh doesn't even know me so well then how did he write a character so similar to me as a person. Then I realised that this is the mom now-a-days. They can discuss anything with their children and the children are also very dependent on their mothers. They video call each other at any given point of time, especially when they work outside the comfort of their homes. Previously, it was after their daughter was married and moved into another home. After that, they come especially closer because the daughter is in her in-laws' place. She has to take advice for each and everything after she gets married and moves to a new house. I believe Harsh wrote the story inspired from my story (laughs).
Should we expect more seasons of Sambhlo Chho and Kadak Mitthi?
Of course, you should so that we get a new season. I was telling Abhishek that Mayuri is loved so he must continue the show. He was concerned about Aarohi getting busy and I asked him to bring in her friend or another character. I asked him to bring Kalpesh (Aarohi's colleague and special friend) but retain Mayuri. So talk about Kadak Mitthi so we come sooner with the new season.
In fact I spoke to Aarohi about the possibility of you both sharing the same screen. Do you see that happening?
We don't know what Anish and Harsh are planning yet but yes, there is a possibility. The second season has a hint that Mayuri could go to Mumbai or Aarohi could come visit her for a few days. Somebody asked me to even bring Mihir or Veenu maasi.