While the Indian TV industry is time travelling in the bygone century, we are witnessing the golden era of Indian television. The time when technology was not very sound, the industry was not developed, but the script was leading the team ahead. We had witnessed some amazing soap operas in the 1980 and early 90s. Who can forget the middle-class family of Hum-log showing the struggles and aspirations of the quintessential middle-class Indian family of the 80s The characters are etched in our minds and artists playing those characters are still loved and remembered fondly.
The memorable characters
The character design in those operas was realistic and close to our own lives. The struggle shown in a middle-class family was very much a part of the audience’s life. One such character with the name Rupvanti aka “Majhli” is still fresh in the memory of those who grew up in the Hum Log era.
The character was played by none other than the gorgeous, Divya Seth Shah. An amazingly warm person to talk to!
Divya is an Indian film and television actress, who started her career with TV serial Hum Log, playing Majhli. She is the daughter of actress Sushma Seth and Dhruv Seth. The St Stephen College Alumni is a Delhite and started theatre with Barry John and on being asked what she aspired to become as a child, She replied:
” My mother is an actor, I always wanted to be an actor!!”.
Starting her career with the popular TV opera of 1984 ‘Hum Log’ she is still remembered for that debut role. Talking further about any challenges or prejudices she felt, she shared “Fortunately, I do not have any stories of challenges faced as a Woman. In my family, women were encouraged and applauded. And never held back. I took the same confidence into my Profession and never faced either discrimination or disrespect.”
Divya is a powerhouse performer and did a fair share of theatre and has many Bollywood movies to her credit with Jab We Met topping the charts. The difficulties of the entertainment industry are always talked about. Taking this cue, I made a query of what keeps her going to which I got a spiritual answer from her
“Knowing that tough times, as good times, pass. That Time keeps moving and hard times must be dealt with dignity, positivity, and integrity.”
Idol for life
Being a daughter of an amazing personality she had been surrounded by a talented pool. She is one of the closest friends of King Khan. The friendship goes back to the theatre days of Shahrukh where they were batchmates at Barry John academy. On asking one person she looks up to or feels has the biggest contribution towards building up her personality, Divya has her answer filled with all the love and pride of a daughter,
” My Mother, Sushma Seth. As an Actor and as a Woman. And definitely as a human being”.
Time – Then & Now
Divya Seth Shah has seen the changing era of the Indian Television industry and with a career spanning in decades. As we discussed the changing TV scenario and portrayal of a woman today, she shared
“Television had come of Age in India more than a decade ago. Scripts. Concepts. Direction. The camera work for everything. Maybe production values needed to be honed. But the story and performance was king! Now it feels like costume and HMU( Hair and make up) and camera stunts take precedence.”
Embracing the new age technology she has encouraging words for the web world “Digital and Web is fantastic! The scope is marvellous and far-reaching. The now and the future is accessibility. In your home at your convenience !”
She is one of the most admired actresses and is looked upon as a synonym of an empowered woman. I wanted to wrap the session by her views on Women empowerment, to which her answer perfectly summed up her personality,
” An empowered woman is free. In mind, body, emotion, and finances.”
That was my encounter with an awesomely talented, gorgeous actress – Divya Seth Shah!
We look forward to seeing her more on-screen!