I am an animal lover and work for animal welfare: Karuna Pandey

Karuna Pandey is a trained Kathak dancer and writes shayaari and gazals in her free time. With a Master's degree in Indian theatre, she has worked in the National School of Drama's repertory company as an actor for a year. Karuna is not a new name in the Indian television industry with serials like ‘Woh Rehne Wali Mehlo Ki’, ‘Pyar Ke Do Naam Ek Radha Ek Shyam’, ‘Shradha’, ‘Bhootwala Serial’, ‘Yahaan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli’and ‘Kaali Ek Agni Pareeksha’ she is known for her vivacious personality and her expressive portrayals of the characters she plays. Karuna is currently seen playing the main protagonist Padmini a.k.a. Mini B in Zindagi’s first original fiction show – Bhaage Re Mann. As Padmini, Karuna epitomises the modern Indian woman who takes life by the reigns. The bubbly Padmini is an independent woman who doesn’t believe in getting tied down by societal norms. Bhaage Re Mann is the tale of Padmini’s life and how through her innovative and quirky take on life, she deals with her challenges head on and helps the ones she loves to see life and face their problems differently. How well do you relate to your name ‘Karuna’? The meaning of Karuna in Sanskrit is Kindness or working to reduce the suffering of others. Now I don’t know how much of it I am actually able to do, but I do relate a lot to my name. I am quite an animal lover and I do some work for animal welfare. I cannot bear to see someone go hungry or suffer in pain, and this absolutely breaks my heart. I try doing whatever I can do to help someone who is in need of help.
Tell us about your love on the sets of Bhaage Re Mann, the two puppies? (Giggles) Yes, there were two extremely adorable puppies on the set and we had named them Juliet & Tum Tum. We used to feed them and take care of them but there was no one to attend to them when the set was empty. So I had them sent to my friend’s farmhouse and from what I’m hearing, they are having a gala time there. I do miss both of them though. What is the concept of the show Bhaage Re Mann? As the tagline says, Bhaage Re Mann is the story of a woman who ran away from home 20 years ago, with a dream to explore life and become someone instead of just getting married. Having experienced life on her own for 20 years and knowing the difference between good and evil, she has now returned to everything she had left back. The show is all about how she handles her relationships, her relatives, her friends, and the love she had left back. What do you have to say about your character? How well do you relate to your character?
My character in Bhaage Re Mann is called Padmini. She is smart, intelligent, and extremely bindaas. She tries to keep herself happy all the time as she believes that she can make others happy, only when she is happy herself. She has a straightforward and expressive personality, and tackles her problems in her unique style without actually hurting anybody. Padmini is someone I actually relate to quite a lot because I think she is independent, smart, honest and straightforward. In fact, I think every woman can relate to Padmini deep down. Your character has two sides, both negative & positive. Which one do you prefer more? Yes, you could say that my character has both, shades of good and bad to it. I don’t really have a preference for any of them personally, since each of us has a streak of good and bad in us. From the character’s perspective, the negative element of my character gives me a broader depth for performance and there is more range to such roles in television. The way Bhaage Re Mann has played out has actually changed my perspective and perception towards Padmini. What about your passion for Kathak? I have stopped my Kathak riyaaz for some time now. I took the practice seriously for over three years but my passion for freestyle dancing has been there since I was a child. I have performed dance numbers on many occasions on other shows and I would greatly appreciate the chance to explore my dance skills. February has been quite an eventful month for you hasn’t it? What all could you manage to do across all the celebrations?
Absolutely, February is always a fun month for me. I celebrate both, my husband’s birthday and my wedding anniversary in February and then there is Valentine’s Day too. This year, I actually got to spend some good quality time and if I may say quantity time with my husband. We cut a cake, went for a drive, and spent some time together, and of course with the pets as well. Can we hear one of your own shayaris please? Bechaniya Yuh BadhRahi Hai Ki Saansein Ruk Ruk ke Chal Rahi Hai, Sailaab Utha Hai Dil Mein Ki Tadapke Mauje Umad Rahi Hai…Kuch Hum Adhoore is Taraf, Kuch UssT araf Tum! I cannot recollect another one, but these were the lines I wrote for a song in my husband’s short film