Saturday, May 25, 2024

Doing Sarvam Shakthi Mayam was Priyamani’s divine calling

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Actress Priyamani Raj, who will next be seen in Zee 5’s Sarvam Shakthi Mayam, opens up about the docu-series and also shares some interesting insights,
while in a conversation with The Pioneer.

SHIKHA DUGGAL
Priyamani Raj is one of the most prominent and talented actresses down south. She has significantly boosted the box office with her acting. The actress is now all set to star with Sameer Soni and others in Sarvam Shakthi Mayam.

Spanning across ten episodes on Zee 5, the series follows the personal journey of an atheist writer and a dysfunctional family as they embark on a pilgrimage to visit all the Maha Shakthi Peeths. But there is a quirk that the leading lady let drop — do not mistake this drama for a psychic indoctrinate!

Because she re-educates us, “Firstly, I would like to begin with that I am really happy with the choices of projects that I have embarked upon regardless of whether they have been a blockbuster hits or not. Because there was a certain kind of a personal investment that I let into every film or series that I choose! More than a documentary, this is some sort of a travelogue that we are taking you on. All of us realised our self-worth by shooting. Now where the spirituality part comes in, the interpretations are open to the audiences. But we would still like the audiences to believe in divine power!”

So is it mythological, is it devotional or what is it in every way? We were strangely analytical about it, “The title of the series was decided after everything was shot. The series is not preachy at all! The little it is going to do is provoke a sense of spirituality and divinity inside you. I can see today’s generation is not very devotional, they are like whatever sorts about it. The world has changed so much with the advent of technology that we hardly have any time to explore divinity. So from a show like this we would like to persuade the new generation, especially to not forget about the divine nature.”

As an experienced actress, even she knows that none of her roles are going to be a hundred percent justified character! But telling us a little bit about the way BVS Ravi writes and envisions, she said, “My character is written in a way that it is not forceful in somebody else’s face. But I am sure whoever will watch the show would want to take a trip down the lane just to explore what are these Maha Shakti Peeths in India. So I have known Ravi all my life. He is always been a well wisher of mine. I met him during the filming of Golimaar in Telugu, and I got to know that he is an avid writer for Puri Jagannadh. Today, he is counted as one of the most popular screenwriters in the Tollywood industry. In fact, to spill the beans, he has become so busy that we actors have to wait for him to come on the sets first. From the time we have known each other, we always have this fun banter between us that we will never let go off. He’s always been appreciative of my craft but due to various reasons we could never work together and this is going to be the first time we are working together, and after so many years it is happening! He is one of those writers for me who funnily perturbs me about why didn’t he write a role for me until now. The vibe of the show was so positive that I bonded with the creative consultant of the series also so well. It was only the producer’s brain to make it happen that the whole cast and crew could travel to all the eighteen places without disturbing my dates.”

Priyamani Raj calls BVS Ravi a very knowledgeable man, and writer. That’s why because she never knew about the Maha Shakti Peeth, but as a writer, she could see how well informed has he come and equipped Priyamani also with all the adequate knowledge. She never knew about this existence before! Page by page, he took her to the very relevant turning points of history in anticipation of the show they were making about. So as a fan of history and the way BVS Ravi explained the narration to her, it somehow piqued Priyamani’s interest in the show. Further ahead, she said, “The discussions on the set used to be very heavy. But he ensured that all the characters were given equal importance, even if it is for one scene. Now anything in everything can stir up a debate! I would like to repeat myself, that we are not forcing anybody to believe in God. I am not much of a believer myself. But you can always be open to interpretation. We can always go back to history and know the importance at least.”

Sharing some personal anecdotes while travelling for the show, she discussed, “To whichever temple we were going to, there was always a priest over there telling us the whole importance of how the temple was built and what is the importance of the body part that had fallen there was. Through this show, I was fully energised and felt like I was destined to be a part of it. Maybe I wouldn’t have travelled to all the eighteen places, but this show made us do it. In fact, my aunt told me that this was your divine calling, any actress could have been a part of Sarvam Shakthi Mayam, but I was supposed to do it. What does this mean? We started our travel from Orissa, because of this show, we literally covered half of India. But travelling wise this was the most difficult shoot of my life. Like when we were travelling from Patna to Bodhgaya, it became hectic. And we were travelling in a convoy because there were only five women, including me.”

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