Shrishti, the great granddaughter of author Ruskin Bond, says the new TV series Ek The Rusty 2 came as an opportunity to pay tribute to her grandfather and his more than six decade long literary legacy.
Shrishti, 16, is playing the character of Kamla, who will be seen romancing the titular role of Rusty in the sequel to Ek Tha Rusty, which was penned by Bond.
"I always wanted to do something for my grandpa. When I got the offer to be a part of the show, I thought, this could be the best opportunity to pay a small tribute to him. I was in the middle of my board exams but I didn't refuse the show. I did it because I was getting a character where I would be seen romancing Rusty," Shrishti told PTI.
Bond, 78, never married but he adopted a family in Landour near Mussoorie and lives with them.
The new series, directed by Subhadarshini Singh, will focus on a 30-year-old Rusty, who is a struggling writer just back from England. The character is inspired by Bond's own experiences.
The light-hearted story, set in 1960s, is a take on human relationships and bitter-sweet experiences of the people in the small hill station of Mussoorie.
"Initially it was tough for me to bring out the mannerism of that era. But my grandpa and Subhadarshini aunty helped me to understand that era. He always used to tease me that you have to romance me in the serial.
"When I was a kid and used to visit Mussoorie during my breaks, grandpa used to narrate me the stories of that time. I recalled them and played the character," Shrishti said.
Bond, on his part, is happy to see the series back on TV after a gap of 15 years.
"It's an adorable effort by Subhadarshini to bring back the series again after a gap of 15 years. Now, Rusty is a young man and he has to face the world now. I wrote the series long back and I am happy with the way she made small changes according to today's time," Bond said.
Ek Tha Rusty will air on DD National Network from November 22.
"I am very much impressed with the acting in the serial.
My contribution is limited and so, I didn't ask for a role because I feel I was not romantic enough for the character," said Bond.
But for Subhadarshini, constructing the 1960s Mussoorie was a challenge as the hill station has gone through various changes.
"It was really taxing because now Mussoorie has lost its old world charm and has been taken over by the modernism. I searched for those hotels and cottages that were still preserved for old days. Costumes were not a problem because they haven't changed much," Subhadarshini said.
Model-actor Vipul Gupta, who was seen in Sudhir Mishra's Yeh Saali Zindagi, plays the character of Rusty.
"I could not say no to this character because I am getting the chance to portray Bond onscreen, whose stories I read in my school," Gupta said.
Ek The Rusty 2 a Tribute to Grandpa: Shrishti Bond
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