EXCLUSIVE: Playing Bhrahmari Devi on Mahalaya 2020 made me feel truly beautiful inside, says actor Swastika Dutta
This Mahalaya, the gorgeous Ki Kore Bolbo Tomay star dons one of the seven avatars of Devi Durga in Mahalaya 2020: Durga Saptasati. She tells us all about it and more!
This year, Mahalaya falls on September 17, and Zee Bangla has a special programme lined up for us to usher in Ma Durga in a truly festive spirit! You can catch it on ZEE5, and it will be telecast from 5 AM to 7 AM on that day. Called Mahalaya 2020: Durga Saptasati, the event features brilliant performances by several of your favourite Zee Bangla stars, in seven avatars of Ma Durga. We caught up with Ki Kore Bolbo Tomay actor Swastika Dutta who is one of these seven performers, and got to know a lot about her experience shooting for it! Here are the edited excerpts.
Watch the promo for Mahalaya 2020: Durga Saptasati below:
Q: Tell us about your performance in the Mahalaya broadcast. How did you prepare for the dance sequence?
A: I was thrilled to be invited to participate in the programme! Mahalaya holds a special place in my heart. As a Bengali, I felt extremely proud and ecstatic to be able to perform for such a special segment. Before this, I had not even heard of this particular avatar of Devi Durga– Bhrahmari Devi. So I did my research and learned all about this unique Devi– she is the Goddess of Bees! In between shooting, I had two hours to prepare for my dance. At first, I tried to come up with some dance moves while sitting down while I had time! Then, my choreographer helped me out a lot. I was very nervous as classical dance styles draw much criticism if the execution is not perfect, but in the end I did make the best effort that I could.
Q: How did it feel to be playing the character of Bhrahmari Devi in the dance?
A: You know, playing Bhrahmari Devi made me feel absolutely beautiful both inside and out! It was an incredible feeling, and I think it’s so important to feel genuinely great on the inside to be able to truly reflect it onto one’s performance. They also made me look amazing with the elaborate costume and makeup. They were very heavy and it was definitely challenging to do, but ultimately all the effort was totally worth it!
Q: Is this the first time you performed in a Mahalaya programme?
A: I had performed in a Mahalaya event for another channel before, but this was like nothing I have done before!
Q: Do you practise the tradition of listening to the Mahisasura Mardini recital on Mahalaya?
A: Absolutely! Every year on Mahalaya I wake up at the crack of dawn without fail and tune into the classic broadcast with my family. It is one of those quintessentially Bengali things to do, and it truly makes my year. In my neighbourhood, they also celebrate with a small puja early in the morning, and the sounds of the conch shell (shaankh) and bells make me tremendously happy. It puts me straight into the mood for Durga Puja. I can’t wait already just thinking about it!
Q: How are you planning to celebrate Durga Puja this year?
A: Oh my goodness, that is indeed the question. I’ll need a holiday for sure– we still don’t know when we will get days off from work, but I really hope it is decided soon. I haven’t planned anything as such yet, but if I go out it I will obviously have to wear a mask. Shopping was never high on my list of priorities during Puja, so that’s okay. For me, Durga Puja is never complete without wearing traditional sarees— so that’s definitely happening. It would have been lovely to go to the hills for a trip, but maybe a place like Bolpur which is closer will be more ideal this year.
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