Shweta Tiwari, who was last seen in Mere Dad Ki Dulhan, is returning to the fiction genre after a two-year gap with Main Hoon Aparajita (MHA). The show revolves around Aparajita who raises her family of three daughters single-handedly. Quite like the character, Shweta, too, has braved many storms as a single parent. In an interview with BT, the actress opens up about her thoughts on the institution of marriage, identifying with substantial characters, and being friends with her children, Palak and Reyansh. Excerpts…
With MHA, you are returning to daily soaps after two years. Do you consciously take breaks from the fiction genre?
I have been offered several TV shows in recent times, but it’s a conscious effort to wait for a character that touches my heart. People assume that if Shweta Tiwari is not acting, she would possibly not be getting work. And when I decline an offer, they feel
ek toh kaam nahi hai, upar se akad kitni hai ki mana kar rahi hai. They don’t understand that I have declined the offer because I don’t want to play characters that are not substantial. As an artiste, I don’t want to seem monotonous on screen, because if a daily soap works, it runs indefinitely. So, I wait for good projects and I have the luxury to wait. I can wait for another four years without worrying about my finances.
Much like your character in the new show, you have been a single parent for a long time. How difficult has the journey been for you?
A confident woman is often mistaken for being aggressive and arrogant.
Dekho kaise tadaak se bol diya, bahut tez aur ladaaku hogi. People don’t realise that she talks back because she can tell the good from the bad. People think that I am doing it because I am a public figure. Yes, it’s true. However, having said that, it’s a double-edged sword. A lot of people criticise me for two failed marriages. There are many, who are three or four-time divorced, but no one talks about them because they are not in the limelight.
Toh hamaara jitna positive
hai usse zyada
negative hai. People accuse celebrities more. The only support I have ever had is that I never stopped working and I am financially independent. I have money to take care of myself and I don’t have to go to my husband or a partner for any kind of help to survive. I have been able to make my decisions because I am independent. I thank God that I am a working woman.
You have been through a lot, including two failed marriages, and have emerged stronger from them. What saw you through these challenges?
The one thing I did is I never blamed myself. I knew where I f**ked up and was well aware of the mistakes I made.
Aaj jo main bhugat rahi hoon kis galti ki wajah se bhugat rahi hoon. I goofed up despite seeing the red flag. Now, I can either keep sulking over those mistakes and blame God for adverse circumstances or find a way out. I have realised that nothing is permanent. Good and bad times are like day and night. So, when your time is good, don’t let it go to your head. The bad phases are inevitable, but nothing can happen if you are prepared for it. My daughter is also like that, she is prepared for both good and bad.
You have taken to social media a couple of times to clear the air around you and Abhinav Kohli (her estranged husband) and his accusations. How do you deal with toxicity and trolling on social media?
I never read the comments. These negative comments are mostly posted from fake accounts. Fake
wohi hai jinhe khud ki identity
nahi hai, so, these comments hold no weight. I don’t need anyone’s advice or judgment and don’t intend to become an inspiration to anyone either. Everyone’s struggle is different. I just want to tell them that I am able to face challenges because I am financially independent. If they can get inspired by this and become independent, it’s good enough. If I tolerate bad behaviour and insults fearing that people will say
ki iski doosri shaadi bhi nahi tiki, it will be a bad influence on my kids. They will mistake it for a norm and think
agar aapko life
chalaani hai toh yeh aapko sehna padega. I want to tell them that it’s not okay. Your self-respect is paramount. You can compromise for a day when you are visiting someplace as a guest, but
zindagi bhar compromise
nahi ho sakta.
Did you fear being judged and trolled for the failure of your second marriage?
Honestly, I did try to save my first marriage, because that was my upbringing
ki sab samajh kar chalna chahiye. However, I didn’t waste time in my second marriage.
Mujhe pata tha kharaab ho gaya hai toh kharaab hone hi wala hai, no matter how much I try to salvage it. After a point, I decided to finish it. Not even for a moment did I think about what people will say. As far as I am able to buy my own bread-and-butter, I am fine with it. People can keep getting entertained with my personal and professional lives. When you don’t give a damn about what others think, they don’t dare come and ask you anything.
What are your thoughts today on the institution of marriage?
I don’t believe in the institution of marriage. In fact, I even tell my daughter not to get married. It’s her life and I don’t dictate to her how to lead it, but I want her to think well before taking the plunge. Just because you are in a relationship, it doesn’t have to culminate into marriage. Life
mein shaadi karna bahut zaoori hai aur shaadi ke bina zindagi kaise chalegi yeh nahi hona chahiye. Having said that, not every marriage is bad. I have many friends who are happily married and I am happy for them. But I have also seen some of my friends stay in a compromised marriage, which isn’t healthy for them or their children. So, I want to tell my daughter to do what makes her happy, but don’t give into societal pressure. You can’t leave it to chance
kyunki jo abhi theek nahi hai, woh tab bhi theek nahi hoga aur worse
bhi ho sakta hai.
Do you miss having a partner?
Not at all. Does it seem that way when you look at me?
MHA (FULL FORM) will see you reuniting with your Kasautii Zindagii Kay co-star, Manav Gohil. What kind of equation do you two share?
Manav and I hardly met after Kasautii Zindagii Kay (which ended in 2008), but we’ve always shared a good bond. I respect him as an actor. I am sure that he has evolved as an actor by leaps and bounds since we last shot together. Life experiences also make you a better artiste. I look forward to working with him. I am sure our chemistry will rock.