It was in 2011, that the TV serial ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ first aired and Sandhya Rathi (name of the character played by Deepika Singh) became a household name in the country. In a nation obsessed with the Saas-Bahu serial (Admit it now! You sneaked a peek every now and then at the television set, while mom religiously sat in front of the TV, to make sure you stayed in loop about what your favorite onscreen couple is up to). Every aspect of the serial is scrutinized by the Aunty gang during the kitty parties and having said that, it is not easy for a new program or a new artist to creep into the hearts of the audience.
Deepika Singh a.k.a. Sandhya Beendni, however, had no issues when it came to winning over the viewers. From day one, her sweet yet independent on-screen personality has charmed people from all age groups. A girl who harbors dreams of becoming an IPS officer but is married to an uneducated, sweet shop owner in a twisted turn of fate, struck the right chord with college goers as well as homemakers. There has been no looking back for the actress since then and her commendable performance received a much needed boost when she bagged the trophies for Favourite Naya Sadasya (Female) and Favourite Bahu in the 2012 Star Parivaar Awards.
|Spouse||Rohit Raj Goyal|
|Big Break||TV Serial – Diya Aur Baati Hum (2011)|
The Real Deepika Singh
Deepika Singh was born to a Delhi-based family on July 26, 1986. Her father owns a garment business in the capital city and she grew up there. A post graduate in marketing from the Punjab Technical University, she helped her father in the business before the acting bug eventually caught on.
Deepika forwarded her portfolio to friends working for ad agencies, and eventually auditioned for ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ in Delhi. It was the unconventional nature of her character in the serial that drew her towards the role and she finally landed the part.
However, she was faced with the dilemma of shifting to Mumbai against the wishes of her parents. It was natural for her family to be apprehensive, as acting was something entirely new to them. Deepika says, “They thought the success rate here was zero. When I told my parents that I wanted to shift to Mumbai, they said I will be wasting two years of my life. They did not want to see me losing. I always topped in school.”
Despite their protests, Deepika stepped out of the comfort of her home and came down to Mumbai to fulfill her dreams. But the path to stardom was not easy and she endured many hardships. There were times when she had to survive on cold milk or sleep with an empty stomach.
Finally, her perseverance paid off and ‘Diya Aur Baati’ was welcomed with open arms. Deepika recollects her father’s reaction when he saw the first episode on August 29, 2011, He said, “This field is made for you, where you have given your 100 per cent.”
It was not long before that ‘Diya Aur Baati’ established a dedicated fan-following. However, to maintain the through-the-roof TRP rating is a daunting task. Grueling hours of shoot and endless retakes, travelling, became a part of Deepika’s life.
She molded herself into the character of a ‘Sanskari Bahu. For the party hopper fun-loving Delhi girl, the transition was not easy and she admits that the tag of a celebrity comes with its own price. The pressures sometime gets to the nerves says the leading lady, “At times, I feel really depressed.” She also adds that it is difficult to make time for oneself when you’re working round the clock. “You make money, but you can’t enjoy yourself.
“When I used to live in Delhi, I used to go out partying a lot. But I have changed my habits for the show. Acting needs a lot of concentration because you are playing someone you are not,” she says.
“You are working seven days a week. You don’t even get a day off easily. Because of this pressure, one tends to get depressed.”
The mental strain an actor undergoes is evident when she says, “Every month, I think of quitting the show. At times, I get so depressed that I think of running away. I think I have had enough of this fame; my life in Delhi was far better. I have even told my producers this, and have asked them to either reduce the length of my role or give me a 15-day work period a month.”
From behind our television screen we all envy the glam and glitz of the entertainment world but not all that glitters is gold. The actors have to maintain strict routines, undergo mental and physical stress, and miss out on time with family and friends. When Deepika’s grandfather fell critically ill, she could barely manage to spend a few hours by his side. She left the same day she arrived and was devastated to learn that he passed away the very next day. However, she did not let her work suffer and went on shooting. Though she later went on a bereavement leave to be with the family.
A Journey From Sanskari Bahu To IPS Officer
After two years of portraying the Sanskari Bahu, it was finally time for Sandhya (Deepika’s character in Diya Aur Baati Hum) to pursue her dream of becoming an IPS Officer, on the show. The two characters were in complete contrast to each other and Deepika was required to shed a few extra kilos for the tough cop act.
She recollects, “When I signed the show, I was told that the IPS track would start after 100 episodes. But while I was prepared for it, I don’t think the audience was. They loved me as a bahu, which is why I played that character for almost two years before making the shift. Then when it was time to switch over to the tough cop role, I was apprehensive about how the audience would react. Besides, I was slightly overweight then. My husband who was then the director of the show told me that he would not use a body double for me and that I have to find a way to lose weight on my own. So I started dieting. Rigorous diets coupled with hectic shoot schedules resulted in me fainting on the sets.”
According to an industry insider, the makers of the show “want to make it as realistic as possible, so Deepika will be shown undergoing some tough training that includes high jumps, long jumps, disc throwing and shooting like real IPS officers do.”
The hardships are not only limited to physical stress or mental strain; for celebrities sometimes it also is about making compromises with their religious beliefs. A devotee of Goddess Durga, Deepika usually fasts during the auspicious occasion of Navratri. But her role as an IPS required shooting of action stunts and she was in a dilemma whether or not to fast. “In the course of my fast last year, I had an event where I had to perform and host as well. But I kept pushing myself as it helps better my will power, too. This year, since I am performing strenuous stunts, fasting simultaneously might take a toll on my health. I won’t break my fast, but won’t let the show suffer either. If I feel my health is affecting the show, I will resume eating regular food.”
Fall Only To Rise Back Up Every time!!
Injuries are a not a rare occurrence on the sets especially when one has to shoot for action sequences. Deepika too had her share of injuries while playing the role of an IPS Officer. Recently in March 2016, she suffered from a head injury after a light stand fell on her. MRI Scans revealed that her cranial nerves had been hit causing them to swell. Despite being in pain she continued shooting, however after her condition deteriorated she took days off to recuperate.
The actor was also seen in the couple dance reality show ‘Nach Baliye 6’ with reel-life husband Anas Rashid aka Sooraj. As she was portraying the role of a cop in Diya Aur Baati Hum, the makers of Nach Baliye challenged her to prove that she could meet the rigorous standards.
Deepika was asked to break mud tiles that were set on fire. Co-contestant and actor Gurmeet Chaudhary (who is also a trained martial artist) assisted her through the task. Not one to back up from a challenge, Deepika put her best foot forward and was able to accomplish the task in one go, drawing applause from all present there.
Not many know but Deepika has been training in the classical dance form of Odissi for over two years now. She says it was her husband who motivated her to pursue the training. Her efforts bore fruits when she was approached to perform at the Star Parivaar Awards 2016. The award show is one of the top-notch shows in the entertainment circuit and Deepika was overwhelmed and excited beyond imagination to get an opportunity. An excited Deepika said, “I have always wanted to learn dancing especially the traditional form of dance. My husband who supports this dream actually got me to get into traditional dancing seriously 2 years back. I have been training in the Odissi classical dance form almost every day despite hectic shoot schedules. It helps me focus better and keeps me fit too. My fans also have been supportive about my passion for dance on social media. I can’t wait to show my fans my dance at STAR Parivaar Awards 2016 and I hope everyone likes my performance.”
Controversies She Was Involved In…
Deepika Singh and co-star Rashid Anas create a scintillating chemistry on scene. Their fans can’t stop drooling over the charismatic couple. But it seems not all is well between the two actors. Apparently Deepika had slapped Anas after an argument turned ugly on the sets. When questioned about it later, Deepika said it was a misunderstanding that escalated quickly but all was fine now. “Anas and I are professionals at the end of day. We had a misunderstanding which we then sorted out as we wouldn’t want our personal differences to reflect onscreen. Whatever we are today, we give full credit to our character of Sandhya and Sooraj for all the love and affection from our audience so I would like to tell our fans that we have resolved our differences.”
She added that, “I don’t expect an apology from Anas and neither has he expected from me because there is no need for it. It was only an outburst because as a friend and as a co-actor, if he would have apologized when the incident occurred, I would have felt good and this matter wouldn’t have aggravated more.”
The reason behind the heated exchange was apparently because Deepika felt Anas had touched her inappropriately while shooting an intimate scene. Following the shoot she spoke to the director about the issue, where Anas clarified that it was not his intention and he had forgotten his cue and came from behind to hold her instead of approaching from the front. The exchange got out of hands and Anas started abusing Deepika upon which she apparently slapped him. Diya Aur Baati fans seriously hope the leading pair reconciles, as they can’t imagine anyone else playing Sandhya and Sooraj.
When Cupid Struck
When Deepika came to Mumbai she had never dreamt that she would find her true love in the city. And more so, she had never thought that she would fall for the stern and all business-like director of her show Diya Aur Baati Hum. But Cupid had other plans and it wasn’t long before she felt an attraction towards Rohit Raj Goel, the director on sets. She says, I was the newcomer and perhaps I got reprimanded the most number of times by Rohit. But it didn’t deter the feelings brewing in her heart.
However, she kept her fleeting emotions to herself as she didn’t want to mix her personal and professional lives. Visiting the Siddhivinayak temple was a ritual for two and it was during one of these visits that the two bonded. Deepika recollects that some rumors were abuzz that she was seeing a guy and Rohit had asked her if any of it was true. She had been more than eager to clarify things and she hurriedly said that the guy in question was not her type. As if sensing her feelings Rohit asked out of the blue, “So Am I your type of guy?” She could feel the heat rising to her cheeks as she blushed like a schoolgirl and said nothing.
Following their conversation Deepika had a volley of questions running through her mind. “Will he scold me now? Will his attitude change towards me or will people know about our affair?” But she says that contrary to her expectations nothing changed on the sets, “He was just the same man, scolding me. Above that, I had to shoot for these romantic scenes with my co-actor, which he used to direct.” Confusion engulfed her and it was months before they spoke on the topic again. Fatefully it was during one of their visits to the Siddhivinayak temple that the two opened up about their feelings. Finally on May 2, 2014 the two lovebirds entered the wedlock.
A supporting husband, Rohit has always been the rock in her life and when someone asked him if he’s comfortable with Deepika working in intimate scenes with co-stars, he said, “On set, she is Sandhya. We are true professionals. We keep our work and personal lives separate. We aren’t bothered by such scenes, and she isn’t working with co-actors who might make her uncomfortable.”
The industry was buzz about talks of Rohit favoring Deepika as the two were in a relationship. But the actor rubbished all such claims saying on set they are professionals first. In fact, it was Deepika who decided that Rohit should quit the show after they tied the knot. “It was a mutual decision that he should quit the show. I was not comfortable in bringing work back at home. It was my decision that Rohit should quit the show, also `coz he had many offers for other assignments. Plus I didn’t want people to say that he is partial towards his wife.”
A Break From The Chaos
The couple took a break from hectic shooting schedules and sought refuge in the city of Bangkok for their second anniversary. Deepika’s fans went gaga over her vacation pictures, the actor posted on her Instagram feed. A well-deserved break we would say.
Deepika was recently seen spending some quality time with family and friends. She took to Instagram where she posted pictures of her with hubby with the caption ‘Fam-Jam kinda night!!! #AboutLastWeekend #Fun #Laughters and #Togetherness’.
The two look happily in love and looks like they could not wish for anything more. On this note, we would like to extend our heartfelt wishes to the actress.