New Delhi: Politician and former actor Smriti Irani opened up about an episode in her TV career which is bound to give readers goosebumps. Smriti Irani, who became a household name with the TV show ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, recently shared that she was asked to return on the show’s set after having a miscarriage. At the same time, Smriti was also shooting for the TV series Ramayan, and its director Ravi Chopra asked her to rest and not come to work.
Smriti spoke to Neelesh Misra on ‘The Slow Interview’ series recently and began her story by saying how it was easier to move the schedule around on ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ since there were 50 other characters in the show, but Sita of Ramayan could not be replaced. However, the makers of the daily soap did not give her time off when she needed it while Ravi Chopra was far more considerate.
Smriti said in Hindi that she was not aware that she was pregnant. “I was on the set (of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi) and I told them I am not well enough to shoot and asked to be allowed to go home. But still, I worked, and by the time they let me go, it was evening already. The doctor suggested I go for a sonography. On my way, I started bleeding, and I remember it was raining. I stopped an auto and asked the driver to take me to the hospital. I reached the hospital, a nurse came running to ask for an autograph, while I was bleeding. I gave her the autograph, and asked her, ‘Admit kar loge, I think I am miscarrying.’”
At the time, Smriti Irani was working double shifts. In the first half, she would shoot for Ravi Chopra’s ‘Ramayan’ and in the second half, for ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’.
Recalling the day of the miscarriage, Smriti added that later in the day, Smriti received a call from the production team of ‘Kyunki Saas…’ and was asked to come to work the next day, When she said that she wasn’t well and that she had a miscarriage, the person replied, “Koi nahi, 2 baje ki shift mein aa jaiye’ (No problem, come for the 2 pm shift).”
Meanwhile, when Smriti informed Ravi Chopra about the situation, he strictly ordered her to rest. “I asked him if I could come at 8 am for the 7 am shift. I will have to go home once after getting discharged from the hospital. He said, ‘Tumhara dimag kharab hai (Are you mad)? Do you know how it feels to lose a child, you have just gone through that. Kal aane ki zaroorat nahi (No need to come tomorrow). I pushed and said, ‘Ravi ji Sunday ka episode hai, Sita replace nahi ho sakti (It’s Sunday’s episode, you can’t shoot around me)… He said, ‘Main kar lunga (I will manage).”
When Smriti Irani informed Ravi Chopra that she would be working in the afternoon for ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, she said, “I told him I am going there at 2 pm else I will get fired. He told me, I don’t know about them, don’t bother to come to my set. If you have to go there at 2, use my shift to sleep.”
Currently administrating the Ministries of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani added that when the next day, she returned to the set of ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi..’ a co-actor had spread gossip to the producer about her miscarriage not being real. Smriti said, “The person didn’t realise that I have returned because I needed money to pay EMIs for my house. The next day, I took all my medical papers to Ekta to tell her it is not a drama. She got uncomfortable and told me not to show the papers. I told her, ‘Foetus bacha nahi, warna woh bhi dikha deti (I would have shown you the foetus also had it been there).”
Smriti Irani portrayed the role of Tulsi in the TV show ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ for seven years before quitting the show on 2007.
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