Karuna Panday's journey in entertainment began 22 years ago with play performances before diving into theatre and then television shows and Bollywood movies. With 18 years dedicated to television, her breakthrough popularity came with the role of Pushpa in Pushpa Impossible, securing her fame and acclaim.
In her with SheThePeople, Karuna Pandey delved into her portrayal of Pushpa, highlighting how the character defies stereotypes surrounding motherhood. She shared what deeply connected her to this role. As an industry veteran, she addressed the rising call for more robust female roles, expressing her perspective on the escalating demand for such roles in the television industry.
On Playing The Role Of A Single Mother On Screen
Pandey initiated a conversation with Pushpa Impossible, which is set to complete 500 episodes, highlighting its emphasis on modern family dynamics, particularly the portrayal of a single mother. She shared how her character raises three children without a father figure. She's been both mother and father to them, showcasing that women are fully capable of nurturing, providing for, and managing a household independently, challenging the notion that they always require a man's assistance.
Pandey revealed the character's backstory, highlighting her resilience in adversity. She faced early loss with her father's passing and shouldering multiple responsibilities to aid her mother. Her marriage brought hardships; she endured abuse and confronted domestic violence. Despite these challenges, she embarked on a journey to Mumbai, arriving with three children, determined to carve out a new life and survive independently.
Talking about the lives of single parents, she explained how being a single woman or a mother on your own doesn't make you any less capable or confident. She said, "Having a partner, whether a man or a woman, is great for support and companionship in life's journey. However, if someone doesn't have a partner, that's perfectly okay too. Being a single woman or a mother on your own doesn't make you any less capable or confident. You're complete and strong enough to live life without always needing someone else by your side. Whether you have a partner or not, you can still lead a fulfilling life."
Maintaining Balancing Between Guiding Kids And Granting Them Liberty
She further explained how her character stands out and how Pushpa, as a single mother, defies stereotypes often associated with typical motherly roles. She said, "A mother raising children alone doesn't mean she has to be overly sweet. Instead, she can be honest and straightforward with her kids. She can hold them accountable for their mistakes but also give them the freedom to learn and grow. The balance Pushpa strikes between guiding and granting liberty is impressive. She's open-minded, yet she ensures her children steer clear of the wrong paths. It reflects a modern family life where there's a careful balance between guidance and freedom."
On Rise In Strong Female Characters In Television
The actor discussed the rising demand for stronger female roles in the industry, attributing it to societal changes. She acknowledged the traditionally male-dominated society but highlighted how women now step out of their homes, manage work, and manage households simultaneously, benefiting from improved education, and that gets reflected on screen also. She added, "Society recognises women's capability, acknowledging they're equal to any gender. Audiences, particularly women, seek relatable, stronger versions of themselves, prompting the industry's shift. The demand for such roles arises from women desiring relatable, admirable figures to learn from."
She added, "The change signifies progress, advocating for women's strength, which is essential as they juggle various responsibilities—from health to childcare, household chores to professional careers."
On Lessons She Learned In The Industry
Imagine having a conversation with someone like Pandey, who's been in the industry for quite a while. When we asked her about the lessons she'd learned, she didn't just give us one or two, but three really cool life lessons that aren't just about the industry; they're all about life in general!
I've discovered something quite challenging but crucial: depending on others for happiness often leads to unmet expectations and pain. I've realised that finding contentment within yourself is key, both in the industry and life. Being happy with yourself is the greatest achievement; it lessens reliance on others for happiness, fostering a better environment for everyone. That's the lesson I've learned.
The actor added further, "Talent is invaluable; if you have it, never waste it. Hard work and dedication pay off, especially in the industry where your views are valued when you're skilled and diligent. Stay committed to your goals and continuously enhance your talent. Practice and improve your speech, sound, and skills, much like singers or dancers do. Survival in this industry requires continuous learning and observation. It's alright not to feel happy all the time; staying positive is key."