‘Bebaakee’ tells the archetypal tale of two close males who have a falling out when they both fall in love with the same woman. Imtiaz and Sufiyaan are as close as brothers, and together, the duo runs one of the biggest media houses in Manali. When they both fall for Kainaat, everything is upended and rests on her choice of men. Shiv Jyoti Rajput essays the role of the woman in the middle, and here she’s had a sit-down with Team Expresso to share her thoughts about the series.
Expresso: How do you spend your time in this lockdown? Is there something new that you learned?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: I spend most of my time in front of the computer or at the shoot. And yes, I have started writing and going to school again. So yes, all things were pretty constructive during the lockdown too.
Expresso: Why did you say yes for Bebaakee?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: I thought of doing it because it is so impactful and bringing a lot on the screen for girls. It portrays a plethora of emotions and projects the girl as a strong lady and not eye candy for the audience. Usually, in films and web series, females don’t play a lot of relevant roles. And even though it is a love triangle, my character is very upfront. So yes, that is why I thought of taking up something that would empower girls and women worldwide.
Expresso: Do you relate yourself to this character Kainaat?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: Yes, of course, I relate to a great extent. Kainaat is extremely strong, and so am I, but maybe not as much as her. She takes down all the negativity that comes her way, which is sometimes a little hard in the real world. She is principled, opinionated, strong-headed, which I can relate to. Moreover, she is also very responsible, which I am not. Also, I know how to control things which she doesn’t. Kainaat is an absolute go-getter and is very quick in making decisions. I, on the other hand, like to take some time to make my decisions.
Expresso: How did you groom yourself for the role of a journalist?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: Well, you see, there are a lot of layers and positions of a journalist. So Kainaat is more of a researcher in the field of journalism. She gathers information and stories and is not a reporter. And also I think in some way, we all have a detective in us. A girl mostly always knows how to source out information from somewhere. So that was an inbuilt characteristic in me that I am very inquisitive as well. Hence, research-wise, I was quite close to the character, but projection wise my director, helped me a lot. He really helped me put Kainaat in place.
Expresso: What is the best memory you have from the shoot?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: So there was this one part you must have seen as well where Rahil has leaked a paper and blame another character. While shooting this, everybody suddenly started disappearing into their rooms, and Indrajeet Sir was left alone sitting there. And very funnily, he asked if somebody would ask him for tea or just slip into their rooms. So I told him that to get ‘chai’ we have to go out for sure because nobody seemed interested in offering tea there. So you see, that fun factor was there between me and Indrajeet, who plays my father.
Expresso: Which scene is close to your heart?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: Well, Kainaat shares a very special bond with God. She believes if there is anybody at all who listens to her, its God, and therefore she shares everything with him. All the scenes in which I am addressing my dialogues to God are very nice, and God is also a character in the show.
Expresso: Music is an important part of the show. What is your favourite track from it?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: The track that is played at the Darga is a lovely one. I don’t think it has been released yet, but the lyrics are simply amazing.
Expresso: What does Bebaakee mean for you?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: Bebaakee is madness! Madness in love, relationships, opinions, thoughts, everything. We often get jumbled up in our thoughts, and all of this madness can be encapsulated in this one word, which is Bebaakee.
Expresso: What is love, according to you?
Shivjyoti Rajput: It’s magic and probably the most beautiful thing God has given to us. Love is a bond of trust and faith that connects us to one another and is so essential for existence.
Expresso: If you were a journalist in real life, which actor would you like to interview?
Shiv Jyoti Rajput: I would love to interview Madhuri Dixit. She is the most versatile and sorted actress, in my opinion. I would love to learn how she has played so many roles with so many expressions so effortlessly in her life.
Expresso: How did you find promoting the show difficult due to the lockdown?
Shivjyoti Rajput: I don’t think so at all. Times are changing, and we need to be open-minded towards accepting that change. It is also my first web series, and I think a grand promotion would freak me out. To be honest, this is a better way for me.
Expresso: What would you like to tell the audience?
Shivjyoti Rajput: I would just say that love stories are an integral part of our country, so please watch Bebaakee and give us all your love!