She came, she acted and she conquered. For six years, every Indian household remained glued to their TV screens at prime time to watch this girl-next-door, and empathise with her. The nation celebrated Kusum's happiness and shed tears, every time she broke down. In it's long run, no show could match up to the success the show enjoyed. International Business Times, India, got in touch with Kusum fame, Nausheen Ali Sardar
Though you did several shows after Kusum, you are still remembered as Kusum. Has that worked out as a good thing or a bad thing for you?
I was selected amongst thousand of girls all over India. Then I got the most popular actress award. The show ran from 2001 to 2005, I did over 600 episodes. I feel a successful person is someone who doesn't have to introduce themselves. I think, the show Kusum gave me that platform. Even after 15 years, people recognise me as Kusum. I am a person who always sees the glass half-full. I am proud of my achievements, my success and that I got to play such an iconic character. I got to be directed by over 80-100 directors, who are now big names. I worked with so many co-actors who are now big stars. Kusum is a show which had beat Kaun Banega Crorepati back then. Everybody was so stressed out because Kaun Banega was already running and Kusum was coming up as a new show. But, our show got such massive TRPs that KBC's timing had to be changed.
Today people throw big parties when the TRP of their show is 1, 1.8; and I have been part of a show which had the TRP of 19, 20, 21. I still remember that when our TRP used to come down, by chance, to 15; I used to be furious. I have seen that time, those days and I would get to tell these stories to my grandkids someday. It was a role of a lifetime for me. It has definitely worked out as a good thing for me.
Any experiences of difficulties you faced in terms of getting good roles after Kusum?
People think that I disappeared after Kusum. But, the thing is that for me the priority would always be my personal space and my family. I have never been an ambitious person, never been a greedy person, have never sought fame. My profession comes after my comfort. I am a very emotional and sensitive person. I have done a lot of work – I have worked in several films, various TV shows. I have been the face of Kusum, been the lead in Dulhan, been a part of cookery show, played triple role for over a year, anchor based shows, travel shows. Though nothing could match the success of Kusum, I am content. I have played a role of a lifetime in a film with Vikram Bhatt. I choose my projects wisely. I only take it if it is something interesting, something new. If the role is not good or if they tell me that they don't have a good budget, I say 'tata, bye bye.'
Would you say that you were stereotyped by the industry after that iconic role?
I don't think I was stereotyped because I am like Kusum in real-life too. Nausheen and Kusum are very similar people and could have been the reason behind the success of the project. I had my own limitations when it came to doing certain roles. I knew I would not kiss onscreen; I would not wear a bikini on screen. I loved television but in films, I have had several arguments over what to wear and what to do. So I only took up what I was comfortable with.