She rose to fame as the desi "Ugly Betty" in "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi", after which Mona Singh deliberately kept away from fiction shows. As she gears up to return to TV soaps with Ekta Kapoor's "Kya Hua Tera Vaada", she says this is the right time for old actors to come back and take control of the small screen.
"I have never planned anything in life; so this new show just happened. Yes, it was a deliberate decision not to take up a show immediately after 'Jassi...' I was flooded with lots of offers, but I didn't take up anything because I felt if I did anything immediately after that, I would be compared to that show," Mona told IANS here.
Post-"Jassi...", Mona switched to reality shows.
"To break out of Jassi's image, I had to get into reality TV. Now that people have known me as an anchor, as a participant and as an actor, now is the right time to come back to TV. It's time for old actors to come back and take control," added the actress.
Lately, actors like Mohnish Behl, Sakshi Tanwar, Ram Kapoor and Ronit Roy are getting to play key roles on the small screen, a long time after they established themselves with hit serials.
Mona, who went on to win the first season of dance reality show "Jhalak Dikhla Jaa", also took to hosting reality shows like "Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega" and "Star Ya Rockstar" during her break from fiction content. She even made her way to the big screen with a small role in Rajkumar Hirani's blockbuster "3 Idiots".
Now she is returning to fiction content on the tube after six years and feels with latest shows like "Bade Achhe Lagte Hain" and "Kuch Toh Log Kahenge", Indian telly is going back to basics.
"TV has gone back to basics, relating to middle class family with real characters, less make-up and simple shots. I feel as an actor it is a delight to work in such shows," said the 31-year-old.
"When I was doing 'Jassi...', there was also 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi', which was the top show. Both the shows were at par with each other. But 'Kyunki...' was a very blingy show and 'Jassi..' was very simple, yet it did very well.
"After that I could not relate to TV because most of the shows were either village-based or were very rich in look. I couldn't relate with women working in the kitchen wearing kanjeevaram saris, and sindoor falling out of the head," she added.
In her upcoming show, which will go on air on Sony TV Jan 30, she will be seen as a sobre housewife.
"The show talks about what happens to a couple after 10 years of marriage. It's a mature love story and talks about the little joys in life as love between the couple goes out of the window because priorities change.
"You think only of your kids first, then yourself, then husband. I am sure most of the women, who have been married for the past 10-15 years will easily relate to this show," she said.
So the obvious next question - when is Mona taking the plunge into marriage?
"I do believe in the institution of marriage. I do see myself getting married, having children and being happily settled in life, but like I said I don't plan, so I don't know when it will happen but it will happen soon," she said.