Exclusive: Avika Gor On the Lessons She Learnt From Surekha Sikri

Balika Vadhu actor Avika Gor recalls meeting Surekha Sikri for the first time.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Balika Vadhu actors Avika Gor and Surekha Sikri.</p></div>

Balika Vadhu actor Avika Gor, who played the role of Anandi in the TV show, spoke to The Quint about working with veteran actor Surekha Sikri. Sikri passed away on Friday after a cardiac arrest.

Excerpts from the interview:

Can you tell us about your first meeting with Surekhaji? You were a little girl then and she was so experienced. How did she make you feel comfortable?

Avika Gor: My first meeting with Surekha Sikri was on the sets of 'Balika Vadhu'. I was very nervous because I knew about her and the body of work she had done. But the minute I met her all she did was smile. She made me so comfortable that working with her everyday seemed so much easier. She used to discuss scenes with me and tell me if there were any changes. In the beginning she would never tell me what I should and shouldn't do. She would let me do my job and later give suggestions. As an actor, I am blessed to have had the chance to work with her.

We all know what an amazing actor she was. What was she like off camera?

Avika Gor: Off camera she has been very kind and sweet. We had a lot of scenes where she used to scold me. I remember there was a sequence where she had to lock me in a kothri. Next day, she got me chocolates to ease things and made me understand that it was just a character and has nothing to do with me. 'There is nothing personal, you know that I love you', she had said. She used to pamper me a lot. She has been dadisa even off screen. Whenever I talk about her to my family and friends I always refer to her as dadisa, and it's always going to be that way.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Surekha Sikri and Avika Gor in a still from Balika Vadhu.</p></div>

Surekha Sikri and Avika Gor in a still from Balika Vadhu.

Why was she so special to you?

Avika Gor: She was very special to me because I have learnt so much from her. Working with her was like being in an acting school. She used to write every little detail for her dialogues, from her movements to emotions, so that she would remember it for her next shot. I think that kind of hard work at that age is amazing. There were things happening in her personal life as well. For example, her husband's death. The very next day she was on sets. For her, work was really important and that inspired me. She also cared for people on the sets. She made sure everybody around was comfortable, happy and doing their job right. I remember her talking to everybody on sets and greeting everyone. I will remember her for her kindness.

Any special moment with her you will cherish forever?

Avika Gor: I think the most special moment was... there was this scene where I was supposed to hug her from behind and say 'Thank You', and she was supposed to get irritated. She did that on camera, but after the shot came and hugged me and said 'I was feeling so bad doing that to you'. I think that moment will always be special.

One of the most emotional moments was when I was leaving the show. I still remember our last hug. Both of us were just quiet and we didn't know what to say. That was very emotional. I will miss her a lot.

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