It was an emotional moment on the sets of Zee TV’s historical drama Jodha Akbar (Balaji Telefilms), when Mahamanga played by the acting heavyweight Ashwini Kalsekar shot for her last sequence on the show. The current track of the show has Mahamanga behind bars after Jodha exposed her sinister designs and Akbar brutally and ruthlessly kills her son. Mahamanga has been seen reeling under the loss of her son and is consumed with sorrow. The show next week will see her health deteriorating further and the otherwise fierce and scheming matriarch succumbing to death.
In the show, before her death, Mahamanga expresses the desire to meet Akbar and being addressed as Ammi jaan one last time by him. Akbar obliges and she dies in his arms. Ashwini in real life is very close to Rajat Tokas (who plays Akbar on the show) and found the scene even more overwhelming to shoot as both knew in the heart of their hearts that this would perhaps be their last scene together on the sets of the show.
The sequence was shot without any glycerine used by any of the actors present on the set. The atmosphere was grim and Ashwini gave a touching performance leaving not just the cast but even the crew in tears. The entire crew was emotional about bidding farewell to one of the finest and most loved actors on the show and all of them were seen hugging her a goodbye on the last day.
Given that this was her parting shot, Ashwini was very particular in getting the sequence right and for it to come out as real and natural as possible. She in turn discussed and worked out every shot with the director using her expertise to give creative inputs to ensure a smooth flow. This led to the entire sequence being shot in one take without any cuts. The moment the director cut the shot, there was an uproar on the sets as the whole unit got up to give her a standing ovation for her last act.
Ashwini on her departure from the show said, ‘The crew had become my family. We all spent hours together on the sets. It was a very emotional moment for me as I had really got attached to the entire cast, the crew and even this beautiful set in Karjat. Mahamanga’s track has come to a natural end and I am content with the way the character was sketched and shaped up. I now look forward to some new beginnings.’
Paridhi Sharma, who plays Jodha said that she idolizes Ashwini for not just her exceptional acting abilities but also the way she conducts herself in person. She even went on to touch her feet post the wrap up.
The Jodha Akbar team gave Ashwini a warm farewell and hopes she will miss them as much as they will miss her!