But the time was right to catch up with her and have a chat about a host of other things. Don’t miss the video below. Rakhi is talking after a very long time. It’s a very engaging conversation.
You are in the news and you know why. A few hours ago, you put out a post denying that you have been approached to play Dayaben (earlier played by Disha Vakani) in ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’…
The media has been calling me. I don’t know from where this rumor emanated.
But you didn’t deny it when the reports first started surfacing…
I came to know about these reports, the day before yesterday. I thought this rumor would die down but it kept increasing.
Have you seen the show?
Tell me one person who hasn’t. It’s as iconic as ‘Hum Paanch’ which I did in my younger days.
How much of it have you seen?
Kaafi dekha hai. I love watching comedy.
Will it be very challenging for you to step into Dayaben’s shoes?
Comedy comes naturally to me. But of course, it will be challenging. However, it won’t be very difficult.
That typical Gujju accent of her…
I will have to educate myself on that. We are actors who get into characters. Like recently, I did a Bhojpuri character. But you know what! I have a lot of people in my building who are Gujjus.
Would you like to do it just your way?
I will have to take a lot of shades from her style and include mine. I will have to do a good merger. If I do it entirely my way, it might be difficult for the audiences to relate to it.
Have you ever met Disha Vakani?
No, I haven’t put her in my life. It’s sad that I haven’t.
Are you friends with anyone on ‘TMKOC’?
No, I don’t know anyone from the show.
We saw you in a few movies and TV shows, but on and off. Where have you been?
Of late I have been working, but not every day. I have a mother and I like to spend time with her. I started working when I was 14 and realized a few years ago that I hadn’t given any time to my family.
Break is of two types- one is that the work which comes along these days is not as good as that which came 20 years ago, and the second is that senior actors are not paid as much as they deserve as many actors of today’s times are asking for a much lesser fee…
I disagree with the first part of your question. I think there’s still a lot of good work that comes along. It all depends on what you add to it, what you bring to the table. If you don’t add to it, it shows. As for the second part of your question, yes the remuneration is not as much as it should be but if you love your craft I don’t think you will shy away from it.
You had said in one of your earlier interviews that you took this break because you wanted to tide over your marriage breaking up…
I was not in a very great shape when my marriage didn’t work out. I needed time to get back. Any kind of break-up is heartbreaking.
Are you in touch with your ex-husband Rajiv Tandon?
No, not at all.
In touch with Raveena Tandon (ex sister-in-law)?
Nobody. I believe that, in such circumstances, you need to move on.
Sources tell me you have found a new man in your life…
I have been dating this person for 7 years. A common friend introduced us. Both he and I have a past. We decided that we’ll go with the flow and decide later if we want to get married. Now, we have decided to marry. In fact, we were supposed to marry last year but my Dad passed away. So yeah, we are going to marry soon.
And may we know his name?
Sure, it’s Fareed Karachiwalla.
When are Fareed and you getting married?
Probably December 2022, but the month is not fixed. It could be a month or two later after that. We are waiting for one year to go by, after my father’s demise.
More about him?
He is a builder. He is the sole supplier to eggs in Mumbai. He has a great farmhouse in Pune. I am blessed to have such a great human being in my life, especially after the fact that my life had become so messy. He is a fabulous person.
So, you must be spending a lot of time in Pune?
Yes. He has a house in Mumbai and so he too often comes to Mumbai, especially on weekends.
Will life be in Pune after marriage or will it be in Mumbai?
Mumbai, but we’ll shuttle.
What happened to your Dad, suddenly? He was just 71/72 if I am not wrong…
Yes, he was 72. Nothing, he came back from work one day and never got up. He used to always say that ‘main haste haste seeti marke nikal jaunga’.
What else is happening in your life?
Priti Sinha (daughter of Vinay Sinha who produced the unforgettable ‘Andaz Apna Apna’; she of late produced a web show ‘Six Suspects’ with Ajay Devgn) is my close friend. She is working on many web shows. She has promised to give me a role which will erase my comedy image. It’s been 25 years since ‘Hum Paanch’, yet people remember me as Sweety Mathur. They still come up and say ‘woh aap gaana gaake darwaza kholti thi na main bhi wahi karta/karti thi’.
I also did ‘Naagin’ recently. Ekta Kapoor and I went down memory lane and spoke about the days of ‘Hum Paanch’. Ekta was just 16 then.
Are you in touch with the ‘Hum Paanch’ gang?
Yes, and we even met recently on Ashok Saraf’s birthday. I learned comic timing from him.
Saraf is a fantastic actor. And, Ekta is a fantastic producer and now a very good mother as well…
Hats off to her. She is just amazing.