Actors get popular for their onscreen performances but very few know about their hobbies that they pursue in their free time. On Kisan Diwas, &TV artists Ashok (Mohit Dagga), Katori Amma (Himani Shivpuri) and Angoori Bhabi (Shubhangi Atre) reveal their farming background, fond memories on farming fields and choosing farming as a way of life. Mohit Dagga, essaying Ashok in &TV show Doosri Maa, says, “I am a proud son of a farmer. I come from Garadwara, Madhya Pradesh, and grew up in picturesque, agricultural fields. My family has been in this occupation for many years. I am now an actor, but I used to be a farmer and help my father. Our farmland was 20 kilometres from my house, and I remember how my friends and I loved to go for a picnic there every weekend. We used to dance in those farm tube wells, eat sugarcane, and squeeze the juice from it. Riding on a tractor and tilling the land always amazed me. In our field, we grow many Kharif crops like soybeans, pigeon pea (arhar dal), sugarcane, and more, depending on the season. My roots have always been in farming, especially organic farming. Whenever I am in my hometown, I promote organic farming to all my friends. Also, I see a significant increase in the use of pesticides, which is the cheapest way to get rid of pests. Pesticide usage is harmful and decreases crop quality, so we must focus on organic farming and develop some new techniques. I have always dreamed of having a small farm in Mumbai, where I could grow all my favourite vegetables and fruits.”

Himani Shivpuri, essaying Katori Amma in &TV show Happu Ki Ultan Paltan, says, “I come from a farmers’ family. My father was a Sanskrit teacher, for which he later had to move to The Doon School. However, my uncle took care of our farms and orchards. I have grown up amidst apple, plum, and almond plants in Uttarakhand. After my uncle’s demise, my aunt and her daughter-in-law take care of the farming occupation. Whenever I am in my hometown, I do visit the farm and recall all my fond childhood memories. I spend hours looking around the field and helping them sometimes. I have learned numerous basics of farming from my uncle, like sowing, harvesting, weeding, storage, etc. Let me tell you, farming is one of the toughest jobs. I am so proud to have been born and brought up in a farmer’s family. I love farming so much that at my Mumbai residence, I do some organic farming. I grow spinach, fenugreek, curry leaves, spearmint, bitter gourd, chilies, lemons, and many more green vegetables. These plants are like babies to me, and I nurture them with utmost care. Being in the field made me realize that farming is not just an occupation but a way of life as well.” Shubhangi Atre, essaying Angoori Bhabi in &TV show Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai, says, “I used to be fascinated by seeing farms and orchards. Any tree loaded with fruits used to appeal to me so much that I started dreaming of growing my own. To be honest, buying a land for farming was a childhood dream of mine. Four years ago, I bought a land near Malshej Ghat in Maharashtra and started farming. It’s a fruit farm, and I have grown guava, chikoo, mango, jackfruit, and java plum (jamun) there. Recently, I treated my Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai family with my farm’s guavas, and everyone loved it. I do organic farming and make sure that whenever I am not shooting, I spend most of my time there. Honestly, organic farming is not a new practice. It’s just going back to the way farming was done decades ago without any harmful chemicals or pesticides. My mango plants have also got flowers, and I am excitedly waiting to see them transform into my favourite fruit. I make sure to leave enough fruits on trees to feed birds. Seeing them enjoy those fruits gives me a sense of fulfilment.”

Watch Doosri Maa at 8:00 pm, Happu Ki Ultan Paltan at 10:00 pm, and Bhabijii Ghar Par Hai at 10:30 pm, airing every Monday to Friday only on &TV!

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