'Sarvam Shakthi Mayam' starring Priyamani, Sanjay Suri and Samir Soni released on Zee5 on June 9. It is a 10-episode series that is about a failed businessman, Madhav Suri (Sanjay Suri), and his dysfunctional family, and a writer (Samir Soni) who is an atheist. The show is about their journey to the Ashtha Peethas where they understand the meaning of faith and divine power.
Ahead of its release, Garima Das of Outlook had a conversation with Priyamani where she spoke at length about the show, her character, her beliefs, and a lot more. Excerpts from the interview:
You have done diverse kinds of roles in your career span. This is something which I guess you haven't done before. So, what made you say yes to it? Did you take some time or just said yes instantly?
I honestly did take a little time to say yes. It took me two meetings to say yes to it because the reason being that I had already committed to another project. So, I was waiting to get dates from their side. So that was one of the conditions that I had told Ravi, the writer because I have known him for the longest time and he has always been a wellwisher of mine. When he approached me for this, I said 'okay' to listen to the story. We had a Zoom narration and I told him that I would get back. Then after a week, I told him that I verbally committed to a project and was waiting for the dates and that movie was 'Jawan'. So, I was waiting for the dates to come from their side because they also wanted to start immediately. Ravi was sweet and he said that he would consult with his team if they were able to accommodate my dates then only I can be part of 'Sarvam Shakthi Mayam'. We came to a mutual agreement and they were ready to adjust accordingly to my dates. It was fabulous working on the project and I think it was a kind of divine intervention from a higher calling. I was meant to do this project.
How did it help you on a personal or a spiritual level?
I am not a very spiritual person but I believe in the higher power and in God. When I pass by a temple, I would pray. So, that much of belief I definitely have, and during this travel to the maha Shakti peeths I mean...it also depends on the way it touches you whether it has touched you in a deeper way or made you a stronger believer, it's left to you. But to me, I would say that I was fortunate and lucky enough to have visited all the places and the energy from each place has definitely... you know there is a calming effect once you go and visit all these places. Each place has its own energy and I definitely felt happy, calm, and nice that I could visit all places. I could just sit there and take in the energy. But has it made me a stronger believer, I still don't know.
The narrative is very compelling and it's about faith, strength, and how to deal when you are in adverse situations in life. Did it ever happen to you in your life when you faced the worst kind of situation and through spirituality, you sailed through it?
No, nothing like that has happened. I would say that something spiritual has changed my thinking or my decision-making process. But like I said I do believe in any decision you make be it good or bad whatever there is some intervention but not necessarily I am saying that after reading a prayer book you will get a divine calling. It's nothing like that. I believe that God comes in all forms. He can come in the form of a person, a dog, or anything. It can come in the form of anything. Any decision you make is somewhere it is connected to a higher power or divine power. Yes, professionally and personally whatever decisions I have taken so far, probably I can say I consulted my people and family about whether to do it or not. That also is a divine intervention saying 'okay maybe I was meant to do this project or not meant to do this project. That is what probably has worked in my favour whether I do a project or don't do it, somewhere down the line I believe that it has worked in my favour. Now the project does well or doesn't do well that is not in my hands but for me personally I believe that decision for me is a divine intervention and that probably has changed me.
Tell us about your character
In this series, she has got a happy family and everything but somewhere down the line, it's a little dysfunctional. Whatever decision she wants to take, she either consults her husband or her father or kids. They have a strong influence on her decision-making process. Through this journey, she also sort of realises that she doesn't have to always depend on others and she can make decisions on her own. You will also see how her dynamics with her kids and husband change and where it stands. It has got a lot of layers in it.
You are a wife in real life too, So, whenever there is a problem how do you and Mustafa deal with it?
Like any couple, we also have our agreements and disagreements. Sometimes when we have disagreements, probably we would end up not talking to each other may be for a day or maximum two days. But I believe communication is everything. So, we sit and talk to each other and what is his point of view and my point of view. Then we come to a conclusion saying 'okay this is what we think'. See, 'taali duno haath se bachti hain'. There has to be some solution or point where we reach saying, 'this is what I believe, this is what we should do'. We sort out the disagreements and arrive at a solution.