<br>Donal is one of the successful small screen actors today, but it wasn't easy to make it big in an industry that is eyed by many.
“I think favouritism is everywhere, not just in television or films — and that's completely normal. I think nothing surpasses talent. If one is talented, they will get their break sooner or later. But if one is talented, and if they don't get a particular project, it's definitely unjust. Then again, I'm sure they'd get to be a part of another great project. It may take time, but one will surely get a project, because real talent can't be hidden,” the “Ek Deewaana Tha” actress told IANS.
She has admitted to being a victim of favouritism.
“I have lost a project when I was a fresher in the industry, and I was in Delhi. There was this person who came all the way from Mumbai to Delhi to take my audition. He thought I'd suit the role. Everything was fixed, from the budget to dates. But when I did not hear from them, I decided to call them after a few days,” she recalled.
She eventually came to know that an actress from the channel who was on great terms with them, had been locked for the role.
“I was shocked. I thought to myself, ‘how could this be? Everything was locked!' Apparently this actress was the channel's favourite. So, that's when I thought to myself that this is all so made-up. I stopped giving auditions,” she said.
But then she stood up and dusted herself off, and decided she wouldn't give up.
“A few days down the line, I started going to Mumbai for auditioning again. I then bagged the Balaji show ‘Kalash' as a parallel lead. It was my first break. I was anchoring for Doordarshan's ‘Chitrahaar' at the time, and the Balaji team asked me to leave the show and come to Mumbai. My parents were a little reluctant at the time, but then we took the leap of faith, and then the rest is history,” she recalled.
“Although leaving ‘Chitrahaar' was very tough for me because we had a rejection coming our way in the past even after everything was locked. But the Balaji team assured me that it's all locked,” she added.
Actor Sharad Malhotra agrees with Donal that favouritism, partiality, preference and prejudice exist everywhere and in all spheres, but these things should not hold people back or deter them from giving their best in life.
“I honestly don't know if I ever lost a role to favouritism but yes, there were times when just before signing on the dotted line, I was given a lame reason for the project not being worked out in my favour,” he shared.
“Naagin” actress Jasmin Bhasin also feels that favouritism exists everywhere, even in friends' circle.
“In a group of five friends, there could be two friends who favour each other. Personally, yes, sometimes I have lost a role or a show but why tag that as favouritism? Maybe, I was not fulfilling the criteria. Why start the blame game? I believe in my talent and capability. If a role is meant for me, it will come to me,” she said.
Actor Shashank Vyas feels that more than anything else, it is destiny.
“If something is written for you, then you will get it. I am not being philosophical but I truly believe in this. Nobody can make or break you. Whatever happens, it's done by some energy. Also, I feel it totally depends on the person — how passionate or determined he or she is,” he said.
He agrees that favouritism exists in the television industry.
“I don't let it affect me in any way, I just do my bit. Honestly, I haven't faced anything like that so far. My advice to newcomers would be to get into the profession to act, and not for the glitz and glamour. Ask yourself first why do you want to get into acting, the reason should be clear in your mind. You should be mentally and physically prepared because it's not easy to survive here,” Shashank said.
“You will face rejections, and more rejections, so your mind should be ready for that. Just because someone became successful in their first show, doesn't mean you will, too. So you need to keep your mind and heart strong, never lose hope, never compromise in your efforts, and you will succeed. I should mention it's a long road to success,” he added.
Concluding on a positive note, Jasmin has an advice for newcomers in the industry. “Train yourself every day. Maybe something better is waiting for you,” she said.
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at natalia.n @ians.in)