Actress Harsha Khandeparkar from Goa has worked in several Hindi television serials and a Marathi film. Recently, she sang two Konkani songs for the tiatr ‘CM’. Khandeparkar in conversation with NT BUZZ
VENITA GOMES | NT BUZZ
Harsha Khandeparkar’s first break in Hindi serials happened when she was bunking class. As she was chilling with her friends, she was approached by the 9x channel which was coming up with a new serial. They asked her to shoot an introductory video. A few weeks later she was called to Mumbai where she learnt that she had been selected for the lead role. “I was nervous. I was expecting to get the role of the younger sister in the serial ‘Neelanjana’. But, they told me that I would be playing the lead role of ‘Neelanjana’. It was a different feeling altogether,” says the Merces-based actress, who was just 18 years old when she got the role. “Though I was active in drama and singing at various college events I never thought of pursuing it seriously. I was always a stage person and enjoyed the space there,” she adds.
After her first break she got a lot of offers. She was seen playing one of the lead characters, Rajshree Goradia, in the show ‘Hum Dono Hain Alag Alag’ aired on Star One. She did a negative character of ‘Sanchi’ for the show ‘Uttaran’. Khandeparkar also worked in ‘Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha Pyaara Pyaara’ and ‘Khwabon Ke Darmiyaan’, a teleserial telecasted in Doordarshan National.
She also starred in the Marathi film ‘Ticha Umbartha’ produced by Ravi Dewan which has Tejaswini Pandit and Suyash Tilak in lead roles. “The storyline of the film was interesting. It was about a young girl who falls in love with an older man. It was great working for the film. A totally different experience,” she says.
However, she admits that there have been a lot of struggles along the way too. She recalls the days when she had to stand in queues for auditions. In fact, she reveals, she was turned down for several roles when she felt like she was almost getting it. “I went through a lot but I am glad that I had my education. I would say complete your education and then pursue acting, as today there are a lot of people coming into the acting field. You can always keep options,” says the actress who completed her higher secondary education from St Xavier’s Higher Secondary School, Mapusa and then pursued her graduation in Zoology from Fergusson College, Pune.
“I would honestly advice people to have a back up plan before getting into acting. Sometimes I feel this is a game of luck,” she says.
Khandeparkar was also a part of the music album ‘Love in Goa-Part 2’, which saw her wish fulfilled of working in Goa. “I was cast for the role in Mumbai. I did not know they would shoot in Goa, when they told me that I was very excited. My family came to the shoot location and they were very happy seeing my work,” she says.
Recently she was seen in the new Konkani tiatr ‘CM’ directed by Mariano Fernandes. “Saish Pai Panandikar heard me sing while we were jamming one day and when Mariano asked him to suggest a name of a singer and actor, he suggested my name. I sang but did not act for the film,” Khandeparkar says.
She credits the director for being unique in terms of storyline for the tiatr. “The director has always proved his work and he is the one of the few who comes with different storyline every time. It’s going to be a great experience to work here in Goa. Also, I love live feedback and tiatr is one space where people come back to you and tell you the pros and cons of your work,” she says.
Though the actress has television serials and a web series in the pipeline she is looking forward to shooting a Konkani film. “I would love to work in Goa and do some projects here as this place has given me a lot,” she says, adding that she is also thankful to her family who has always supported her in all her endeavours. “It is my parents who trusted me and allowed me to follow my passion. There were days when I was all alone in Mumbai while my family was back here in Goa. This did not make weak but it gave me the courage to pursue and fulfil my dreams. I really want to explore my talents and capabilities to the fullest possible,” she says.