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After a spat with mentor Ekta Kapoor allegedly undid her career four years ago, Anita Hassnandani is back on television
Her current avatar as the human link between the paranormal and the living world in Anhoniyo ka Andhera is a rather muted one when compared to the glamourous Anjali that Anita Hassnandani played in Kkavyanjali, a show which made the actress a household name. However, that does not diffuse the excitement that the 30-year-old feels at being back on the small screen after four years. "I have waited a long time for an exciting role and now that I have it, I'm very excited," she says.
Last seen in 2008, Hassnandani's personal and professional life has come a full circle — from being a struggling actress to becoming Balaji Telefilms' blue-eyed girl in Kabhi Sautan, Kabhi Saheli and Kkavyanjali and back to anonymity after a career that lasted merely seven years. It was for everyone to see that her rise could be attributed to the then-TV czarina Ekta Kapoor having taken her under her wing. And it's said that an alleged spat with Kapoor in 2008 also put an end to her aspirations. "All these are just rumours," says Hassnandani, "Ekta and Shobha Aunty will always be family."
The actress, however, does not deny that she changed her name to Natassha in 2003 on her mentor's insistence before being cast as the female lead in Balaji Motion Picture's film Kuchh Toh Hai opposite Tusshar Kapoor. "I have never believed in astrology or numerology. Ekta and Shobha Aunty thought it was okay, so..." she pauses before adding, "I would react after five minutes if someone called me Natassha. I was never comfortable with a new name." In 2005, she changed her name back to Anita.
The change in her name didn't alter the downhill path her career and, though she disappeared from the mainstream, Hassnandani was seen fighting her fears on Khatron Ki Khiladi's first season and then in a relatively lesser-known dance reality show on