Vartika Chaturvedi, Most Exhausting Yet Enriching Experience: Shefali Shah
We are going to witness the most ‘heinous’ gang rape of the decade—Nirbhaya gang rape—that transformed how we as a society viewed sexual crimes against women all over again with Delhi Crime soon, on Netflix. The web series focuses on the Delhi Police investigation side of the crime and how they nabbed the culprits within a matter of three days straight through its course of seven episodes. SheThePeople.TV spoke to the show’s main lead Shefali Shah who plays the role of DCP South District Vartika Chaturvedi based on the character of DCP South District at the time of the incident, Chhaya Sharma.
Shah plays the character with the right amount of firmness and sensitivity that peeks through from time to time. She plays the role of a disciplined police officer who finds an emotional connection with the incident because it really wasn’t anything ever heard of, it was ‘insanity.’ On asking if she knew the investigation side of the story, she said, “It was a complete revelation for me and like everyone who read about it in the newspapers and everyone who read what we did about the case, there was angst and fire and pain.
When Richie Mehta (Director of Delhi Crime) gave me a brief idea about it, it was an eye-opener for me. I understood that there were people who were doing something about the case and as much as that incident is about pain and it’s horrific, but after becoming a part of it, I realized that there is a certain sense of balance as another woman takes up her fight.”
About playing Vartika Chaturvedi, the Monsoon Wedding actor says that it has been her “most consuming, most exhausting and yet most enriching experience.” Shah added, “At that point of time, as Shefali, I felt in a certain way even while we were doing this and so does Vartika. But the only difference is that she blocks out her emotional side altogether. She uses all the angst and pain and channelizes it towards a single-minded focus to nab the culprits.”
“But as Vartika, she is completely blank and it is a shock to see her the way she is and all she is interested in knowing is when is she ready to give the statement? So it is a strange balance but because I had to focus on what I was doing rather than what I was feeling personally. It hasn’t yet sunk in and I feel that we did the best we could.”
She describes that the sequence in which the doctor’s statement comes out and she is explaining Deepika’s (based on Jyoti Singh) condition, for her as Shefali, “it was like a punch in my gut.” “But as Vartika, she is completely blank and it is a shock to see her the way she is and all she is interested in knowing is when is she ready to give the statement? So it is a strange balance but because I had to focus on what I was doing rather than what I was feeling personally. It hasn’t yet sunk in and I feel that we did the best we could,” Shah stated.
For her the most challenging scene from the entire series was the one that appears in the first episode where her character is giving instructions to all the other officers in terms of what needed to be done. She said in the discussion that it was the most gruelling sequence for her and that she wanted it to be finished even before she started doing it.
Delhi Crime is a gripping series that hooks you up right at the first shot and continues to awaken the viewer at every sequence. It depicts a heinous act that changed the perspective of women’s safety forever in the capital city of the country. However, it guarantees you no visual goriness which comes off as a huge relief and yet it does not discount on the seriousness of the narrative which is a rarity.