By Chaitanya Padukone
Exuberant ‘evergreen’ star-actress Mona Singh clad in a graceful green outfit was among the galaxy of (H)OTT and TV celebs glam-glitterati who dazzled at the recent star-studded ZEE5 event. This ‘Hooked to 5’ lavish event was to celebrate ‘five years’ of the glorious soaring success of ZEE5. And also, to reveal their slate of new exciting 111 Titles on ZEE5 including original engaging-content shows and landmark movies. Some of the other celeb scene-stealers at the memorable ZEE 5 event included Sonali Bendre, Huma Qureshi, Sunil Grover, Rajit Kapur, Rasika Dugal, Sunny Leone, Shruti Seth, Aahna Kumra, Amruta Subhash, Rohan (Ramesh) Sippy, Satish Shah, Shrishti Behl, Nitesh Tiwari, with wife Ashwini Iyer-Tiwari, Guneet Monga, Sai Tamhankar, Ken Ghosh, Shraddha Arya (‘Kundali Bhagya’ on Zee who attended the event despite recovering from a recent metatarsal-foot fracture, clutching a sparkling fore-arm ‘crutch’), Indo-Australian actress Sarah Anjuli (of ‘Tripling’), and of course mega-star Manoj (‘Bandaa’) Bajpayee!
Still fondly remembered, for her endearing benchmark performance as ‘Jassi” in the TV daily soap show ‘Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahi (2003), the charismatic Mona was seen mingling with various celebs who specially came to greet her. Which included star-actor Sunil Grover (of ‘United Kachhe’ and Sunflower’ both on ZEE5 ) and eminent movie-director Vikas Bahl ( of ‘Queen’ and ‘Goodbye’ movie fame). When quizzed about her ‘still-going-strong’ even after 20 years since ‘Jassi’, the model-actress who impressed viewers with her acting skills in the ZEE5 OTT show ‘Black Widows’ shared her rationale.
Also read: Tariq Khan-Rockstar of ‘70s turns ‘sentimental’ watching his ‘Tum Kya Jaano’ picturised on Vicky Kaushal in Zara Hatke Zara Bachke
“Every show that I accept. has me playing a different character from what I have done previously. Yes, I have always been selective and I always prefer to leap out of my ‘comfort zone’. My challenging roles should give me butterflies in my stomach. Variety is the spice of acting life and being an “8” number (birthday), it feels ‘gr8’ (great) to be appreciated for good performances,” smiles Mona who was recently seen in the Aamir Khan starrer movie ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’.
It seemed to be an emotional re-connect for model-actress-anchor ‘Mona-darling’ (nothing to do with legendary screen-don Ajit), as she also mingled with her mentor-star-maker-producers (of ‘Jassi’) Deeya Singh and Tony Singh (of ‘DJ’s-a Creative Unit) and recalled fond nostalgic moments.
Recalled smart-witted Mona, “As an aspiring young actress, I used to regularly watch TV shows on Zee TV like Campus and especially Banegi Apni Baat, which was made by Tony and Deeya. I instinctively knew I had to work someday in the future with them. So many years later I finally auditioned for them. They (Deeya and Tony) found me to be really ‘good’. But then I had to look ‘ugly’ for the Jassi character, “laughs zestful Mona who has her career line-up replete with amazing upcoming assignments on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon and even a new movie.
(The writer of this -news-story feature Chaitanya Padukone is an award-winning eminent senior entertainment journalist and also an author)