Actress Pankhuri Awasthy, who will next be seen essaying the role of a rape victim in Kya Kasoor Hai Amala Ka?, the Hindi remake of the popular Turkish TV drama Fatmagul, recently shared her experience of being sexually harassed with the media.
Pankhuri Awasthy, TV ActorWhen I was in Delhi, I used to travel to college by Metro and so many instances have happened with me. That time (in college), you’re so young and you don’t realise half of the things that are happening to you. Earlier, I didn’t have courage to stand up against it. Now I do stand up. Recently, I was in Bengaluru with my friends and I was wearing a skirt. There was this guy who came and he had the courage to touch my thighs. I slapped him then and there itself.
The actress also said it’s a shame that Indian cities are not safe for women.
Pankhuri AwasthyMumbai is one of the safest cities in India, if I tell by my experience. I have stayed in Delhi, Chandigarh, Noida, and Bengaluru, and have visited other cities also. Cities are not safe for girls. If you think you can go out at night, you can’t do so without being scared.
But she’s proud of the fact that she raises her voice now and takes action against it.
Pankhuri AwasthyI stop there and say out a few bad words when somebody tries to tease me. I can’t keep quiet now. I am proud of myself for doing that.
Kya Kasoor Hai Amala Ka? tells the story of a village girl in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, and her fight for dignity, after four boys from well to do families gang rape her. Awasthy talks about the challenges of playing her character Amala, one that has complex emotions and innocence.
Pankhuri AwasthyFor the preparation of my role, I met a psychologist and a practising psychiatrist to understand what goes on in the minds of girls who have been raped. They told us that the most shocking thing is that most of them are married to the guy who raped them.
The TV actor believes that such forced relationships are immensely uncomfortable for women, who feel that they have no option but to live with them. Awasthy is a well known name in the TV industry thanks to shows like Razia Sultan and Suryaputram Karn.
Pankhuri AwasthyPersonally, for me, playing this character was very non-dramatic. When you do a historical or a mythological show, the grandeur of the set and the jewellery add a lot of feel. But in this character, there is nothing.
Pankhuri said that she wants to become famour based on her strong performances, and not just because of her looks.
Pankhuri AwasthyI want to be known for my acting and not good looks, a perception that many have about actors on TV.
(With inputs from IANS)