Sonali Bendre
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Sonali Bendre has never planned her career

Sonali Bendre

By HT

Mumbai, Dec. 9 -- After her son, Ranveer, was born in 2005, Sonali Bendre Behl took a break from work. The actor has always maintained that nothing is more important to her than her child. In 2012, she made her comeback as a judge on a reality TV show.

Since then, she has judged as many as six such shows. Now, the Sarfarosh (1999) star is enjoying juggling her life at home with her writing, acting, hosting and judging assignments.

It is believed that judging a TV show is a cakewalk, while the contestants do all the hard work. Do you agree?

How lucky are we (judges)? At some point in our lives, we all have been contestants. We have worked hard to reach this level. If someone is offering me a show to judge, they must have seen something in me. Everyone has to work hard at various levels in life. So, judging is a different kind of work. Yes, contestants do work extremely hard on a show. But that's their job. Tomorrow, if they are successful enough, they will become judges too.

TV gave you a new lease of life...

I don't know, as it's a different kind of career on TV. I enjoy TV a lot. I did the television show, Kya Masti Kya Dhoom, while I was working on Sarfarosh, when I was at the peak of my career. People told me that I was mad to do TV [back then]. But I loved the concept of the show. I have never been bothered by what people have said, and what they think. I have never planned my career either. I am myself on TV, and if people didn't like the real me, I wouldn't have lasted so long on the small screen. In fact, my comments on these reality shows are not scripted. I say what I feel. And you won't be able to do that unless you have a brain. Judging is not everyone's cup of tea. I wouldn't say that it's a new lease of life, but I am exploring a different aspect of my career now.

You did the fiction show, Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh. Are you interested in acting on TV?

I did the show as I was playing a central character who was my own age. I liked the story too. The show was a finite one, and ended in six months. I didn't have to work on weekends, and shot for eight hours a day. So, it wasn't that bad. If another show that meets all these requirements comes along, I wouldn't mind doing it. But it doesn't always work out that way.

You have hosted and judged shows on the small screen. What do you enjoy more?

I enjoy both. I like hosting the show that I am currently doing mainly for its content. We don't just pat people on the back, shed a few tears, and send them away, saying we feel bad for you. The show's makers believe in helping people, and that is what I believe in as well. At the end of the show, we give the people chosen a cheque that helps them realise their dreams and better their lives. As for the shows I judge, especially the one with kids, I find it super cool. I love working with children. One can't coach them beyond a point, as a child's innocence automatically comes forth. That's the beauty of such shows. They remain real.

You are doing back-to-back shows on TV. Aren't you worried about overexposure?

It will be fun, not overexposure. One show is poignant and elegant, while the other is with kids, and full of masti and entertainment. So, I don't think that doing back-to-back shows will matter much.