On a new track

Vandana Joshi

These actors first attempted drama in reality contests, but are now back on television as part of fiction shows. SOMYA LAKHANI chats with them

Pavitra Punia

Launchpad: MTV Splitsvilla 3 Big Leap: Now seen as Geet on Star Plus's Love u Zindagi, which went on air in January 2011

The 24-year-old was working as cabin crew on Kingfisher Airlines when she auditioned for MTV Splitsvilla 3. There, Pavitra Punia's sexy, dirty, bitchy act with rampant use of profanities brought her into the limelight. Her return to the small screen is rather ironic as Punia now plays the sweet and bubbly, Geet on Love U Zindagi, the prequel to Imtiaz Ali's blockbuster film Jab We Met. From bikinis on the beach to phulkari dupattas and patiala salwars, Punia's transition is complete. The actress has undergone an image-makeover but maintains that her bitchiness on the reality show has worked in her favour. "I was chosen from 750 girls who had auditioned for the role and though a lot of people still remember me as the Splitsvilla girl, Love U Zindagi will change that." Breaking News: "I was studying to become an IPS officer but had to leave that behind now that the TV bug has bitten me," says Punia.

Ayaz Ahmed

Launchpad: MTV Roadies 5Big Leap: Has returned as Ayaan in UTV Bindass's Meri Toh Lag Gai... Naukri, which went on air this month.

Ayaz Ahmed's decision to audition for MTV Roadies 5 followed a chance meeting he had with Raghu Ram, the show's producer, at a radio station in Kolkata. Though he didn't last long on the show, he did attract attention and bagged a few blink-and-you-miss-them roles in two shows, Kitani Mohabbat Hai on Imagine and Tujh Sang Preet Lagai Sajna on Star Plus. Finally, he bagged a key role in Meri Toh...where he plays a spoilt South Mumbai brat. "My character would rather hang out with friends, but is forced to intern in an office. So he tries everything possible to get fired," says Ahmed. Talking about his 'struggle', he adds, "This industry doesn't embrace people from reality genre since it is believed that shows like Roadies do not require talent. But I am sure the channel noticed something to offer me a show like this." Even though Ahmed is glad about the show, he dreams big and is waiting for his 'Friday' when he will deliver a commercial hit film.

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