Zee TV’s popular fiction show Tujhse Hai Raabta has been winning hearts from the audiences due to its positively different storyline which revolves around a unique relationship that develops between a daughter Kalyani (played by Reem Shaikh) and her stepmother Anupriya (played by Poorva Gokhle). The current track has been taking a lot of twists and turns where the entire family is in shock that Kalyani is pregnant with Rachit’s kid where every family member wants Kalyani to abort the kid, Malhar (played by Sehban Azim) is in support of his wife.
The plot has thickened with the entry of a mischievous character Mastani Bai, a transgender person, who runs a brothel in the Lal Gali revealing the truth of Kalyani’s pregnancy to Malhar. Lal Gali is a fictitious red-light area in Aurangabad where Mastani is a terror. Her plot will add intrigue and mystique in the show as her connections with Rachit’s murder keep getting unravelled by Malhar.
While most male actors may shy away from playing the role of a transgender at such a young age and at the beginning of their career, Shagun Pandey who is already playing the role of Atharva on the show, confessed to shedding away his fears by adapting to method acting and experiencing empathy towards transgenders. Not only did he meet with them and studied their body language, tonality and lifestyle, he also prepared a new schedule for himself to ensure he was feeling his character deeply before every shot.
Sharing his experience about this new avatar, Shagun said, “It was a huge decision to take up this character and the power that comes with it. While I was preparing for this role I genuinely wanted to stop and salute them. It is so difficult to carry the outfits, makeup, jewellery and still make everything look so effortless. I watched a lot of videos and also met a few transgender people to deeply understand their daily life and help me get into the entire method acting zone. I used to come to set 4 hours early just to prepare for the day and my role. I strongly feel that it’s high time that transgenders are treated equally and are given importance in the society. I really hope the audience likes my new look as I have put my heart and soul into it.”
The actor also took to his social media page to share a sneak-peek into his new look while sending out a message to his audience. He wrote, “There is so much confusion around the subject I feel it’s important to know more and have awareness. Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their sex assigned at birth. Transgender, often shortened as trans, is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine!”
Catch Shagun as Mastani on ‘Tujhse Hai Raabta’ every Monday to Friday at 8:30pm only on Zee TV to find out more!