“Rakshabandhan… Rasal Apne Bhai Ki Dhaal” actress Sanchita Banerjee thinks that she and her character, Phooli, are more or less identical. “Phooli is a very loving and kind-hearted girl who unfortunately is mute yet she is very expressive and adorable. She is independent and has her own sweet shop. She is the one who earns in the family yet she is always troubled by her bhabhi. So despite all the troubles and difficulties in her life, she always manages to find time for Rasaal and Shiv. She also has a soft spot for Umed,” she said.
She loves the motherly bond with the kids and the silent love story between Umed and Phooli, who together have been named Umeli by viewers. “Phooli and I are exactly the same. The only difference is that sadly she can’t speak and I am very talkative in real life. Rest, we are identical,” she said.
Earlier, she was not sure whether the viewers would be able to connect with Phooli or not as she can’t express herself through words. “But as the show went on, by the grace of God, people have shown so much love towards me. The best compliment that I have received so far are for my smile. People have also told me that they love my expressions. Many of them find Phooli very simple and beautiful. I have learnt a little bit of sign language too and people have appreciated me for that as well. They also love the chemistry between Umed and Phooli. So I am very thankful to my audience for showering so much love,” she said.
Earlier the show was named as “Resham Ki Dor”. “It was a great title, but it didn’t specify whether it was the bond between two siblings or between Umed and Phooli. Now ‘Rakshabandhan’ makes it clear that it is the love of a sister for her brother and she will go to any extent to protect him and vice-versa. Both Shivraj and Rasaal have done a great job,” said Sanchita.
“Currently, it is the only show which is one-of-a-kind where the story revolves around a brother and sister, a single father who gets married to two women out of which the one who is innocent can’t speak and the other one has evil intentions. So all these characters and the story makes it very unique and interesting to watch,” she added.
The show has an authentic Rajasthani flavour, and characters dress up accordingly. “The outfits are really beautiful. Our designer and her team have done a great job in terms of styling. It usually takes me one hour to get ready which includes make-up, hair styling and costume. But if there is a bridal sequence then it takes about one and a half hours. The bridal outfit which I wore for the wedding scene weighed 10 kgs and the jewellery weighed 5 kgs. It took us 3 days to complete the wedding part, so all those days I was wearing clothes and jewellery that weighed 15 kgs,” she said.
“Rakshabandhan…” also stars Nyrraa M Banerji, Nishant Malkhani and Yogendranath Kumaria. Asked about her favourite co-star on the set, she said, “I share a very strong bond with all my co-stars. Nishant is a very dear friend of mine and a gentleman too. Nyrraa is a sweetheart, we call each other divas. Yogendraji is a very caring person. He really looks after me like a sister. Soonveer is the funniest guy on our set. Manishaji is a darling and there is so much to learn from her. Shiv and Rasaal are the heart and soul of our show and on the sets. But being a girl and as per the story and scenes, I spend most of my time with Kamesh Bhabhi and Rasaal, so that makes them my two most favourite co-stars.”
The audience also seems to be loving the characters. “We have been getting very positive feedback on social media and also in the form of high TRPs. Viewers have personally messaged me saying they love Umeli, and want to watch them more. I am really grateful to my viewers,” said Sanchita.
“Rakshabandhan…” is produced by Yash and Mamta Patnaik. “They are very easy going. They both are so down to earth. They are very soft spoken and understanding. We have never had any problems on our set related to food, overtime or any other production glitches. I have met them only once. Initially, I was a little nervous to speak with them, but trust me they are so loving and make you feel very comfortable. As you all know Beyond Dreams is one of the biggest names in television industry, I am really honoured and proud to be a part of this team,” she said.
She also has fun on sets of the show. “We keep having funny incidents almost everyday. Recently, during filming there was this scene where Umed, Phooli, Kamlesh and Moong Singh were befuddled. Our director, Mohit Kumar Jha, who is very productive yet creative made that scene so hilarious that we all ended up laughing after every cut. Our set feels like home, so I never feel like leaving my home,” she said.
“So altogether, I am extremely happy with my ‘Rakshabandhan…’ family and tremendously proud to be a part of this venture,” she added. The team has been shooting in this difficult time. Asked about the learnings from the pandemic, she said, “I have learnt the value of life from this pandemic. I have learnt the value of money and most of all, the value of family. Each day we must thank God for this life and for making us who we are.”