Sukirti Kandpal: I have frozen my eggs

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Almost three years since Kaala Teeka, Sukirti Kandpal returns to television with Story 9 Months Ki. With the narrative revolving around a single woman who decides to embrace motherhood, the actor — who enjoyed tremendous success with her past offerings Dill Mill Gaye and Pyaar Ki Ek Kahaani — believes the show is a step in the right direction as it challenges the damsel-in-distress stereotype.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

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How has your process of script selection evolved in the 11 years that separate Pyaar Ki Ek Kahaani and Story 9 Months Ki?
My process of selecting scripts has always been instinctive. I go with my gut feeling.

Over the years, several films have been made on similar subjects. How has it been tackled differently in the show?
In most cases, the story revolves around a couple who cannot get pregnant and opt for IVF, or around a young girl who gets pregnant. Here, Alia [her character] decides to embrace motherhood as a single woman. Since it is a daily soap, there will be an extended backstory to explain [her motivations].

Many shows depict their protagonists as independent women in the beginning, but eventually reduce them to damsels in distress. Does this story follow the same line of thought?
Alia is not a damsel in distress. She is in control of her life and knows what she wants, personally and professionally. After she learns of her husband’s infidelity, she walks out of the marriage. Most serials would show the woman staying back, but we are [not succumbing] to stereotypes.

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Do you think a realistic tale of a single mother will find takers among the TV audiences who thrive on saas-bahu dramas?
Television has a set audience that may find it difficult or novel to see an independent woman doing it all on her own. I don’t hold the audience responsible because they have been fed a certain kind of narrative [for years]. [In contrast] the web has a younger audience with a different value system and perspective. They would be more welcoming of such opinions.

In our patriarchal society, it is often believed that women who decide to have a baby without a partner, do so out of loneliness or as a sign of rebellion. Your take?
Whenever a woman does something unconventional, she is regarded as a rebel. If she doesn’t get married at the ‘right’ age, she is immediately deemed picky or too much to handle, no matter how successful she is professionally. However, if a man chooses to marry late, it is because he hasn’t found the right woman. Personally, I don’t think I am a rebel. I simply do what I want to do; I have never cared about what people think. In this aspect, I am similar to my character Alia.

Would you consider freezing your eggs? Or starting a family without a partner?
I have already frozen my eggs. But I have not yet considered whether I want to start a family without a partner. At the moment, my focus is only on my career. Bringing a child into this world is a huge responsibility, and once I am ready for it, I will revisit this question.

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Also Read: Sukirti Kandpal on her comeback: I was looking for a substantial role to play on TV

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