While I have been in awe of Sobhita Dhulipala ever since I first saw her on the Miss India stage in 2013, the world took notice of her talent in 2019, when she appeared in the much-loved web series Made In Heaven alongside Arjun Mathur. The show even went to the International Emmy Awards and has become a cult classic over the years and just last week, it completed its three years.
As I get into a conversation with Sobhita, she reflects on the journey she has had with the show and all the love and appreciation she still has been receiving for it. People still associate her with Made In Heaven, and even though she has done exemplary work since, that one remains special, and the actress agrees too.
"It's been very special because we did the show at a time when the digital medium hadn't popped the way it has today. It was still at a nascent stage in India. I loved the story, the conflicts and the political commentary that happened. It was like a dysfunctional relationship drama in the urban India."
The actress asserts that it was indeed unique at that point of time to put the narrative forward of a character like Tara, who was never completely in the right or wrong, and that's what fascinated her as well.
"As somebody who lived in the urban sector of India, I didn't have enough viewing material that discussed dysfunctional relationship or had political commentary in an entertaining way that I could sit and watch with my family. So, I wanted to know how conflicts in the Indian urban households play out. We live in a world where we are far more comfortable with black and white, but life doesn't play out that way. We live in the grey area. So, to put spotlight on a character that is clearly flawed but refuses to be defined by them and lives lives on their own terms, I found that very inspiring. Tara strives to be amidst influence, and that is something I don't care for much, but I related to that feeling of wanting to belong in her."
She goes on to say that while she related on the shift in culture with Tara, she didn't find much point of commonality between herself and Tara besides that, and that is what made the character aspirational for her.
The actress adds,
"A lot of people associate me with Tara, because that's how people discovered my work. But I am very different from her. It's weird as I feel like Tara is like my elder sister. People see me as Tara but I am not as unapologetic. I am far more fragile, emotional, sensitive and easy to be moved. I look to her for inspiration and resilience though because I think she represents the urban Indian women who dabbles with difficulty, but doesn't want to be reduced to them. She is much more interesting than a victim of her circumstances and has her own narrative. She is the main character of her story."
The season 2 of Made In Heaven has been in works for a while, and even though the shooting of it has been finished some time ago, the audience has still been waiting for an announcement of its release. As I mention the upcoming season to Tara, the excitement in her voice is just on another level.
"I am also waiting for season 2 to come out. It might sound immodest but I believe that season 2 is much more steep. The first season was received with acceptance and in such a beautiful spirit by people, and it became a conversation starter. This season takes it up by a few notches. The way the plot, the character arcs, the new introductions and guest appearances take the story ahead is power-packed. It's way cooler."
While even Sobhita doesn't have any idea on when the season 2 will come out, my eagerness for it hasn't waivered even a little. I am still as excited for it as the first season of Made In Heaven gave a respectable representation to certain communities, ideologies and places, and I want to see how the makers take that a level up with this season. It's surely going to be an exciting watch.