Not many know that the 'Shanti' serial was not just a 'hit' in India, but a smash hit in Sri Lanka. Mandira goes on to say, "There would be near hysteria whenever I went there, with people lining the streets to catch a glimpse of me. I felt like a queen, waving to people from my car. Once the then Prime Minister even grumbled good-naturedly that some Indian film star had caused traffic jam on the roads." All this hysteria was followed up with her subtle yet powerful role in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
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Mandira does confess that, "Post DDLJ, unfortunately, I was offered only sister roles. I didn't want to do inconsequential roles in movies when I had such meaty ones on TV. The 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' role was good, but after a gap they wanted me to become a totally black character, whereas earlier, shades of grey had already worked quite well. So I opted out."
Post all of this, her famous tryst with cricket happened. Talking about it, she says, "Anchoring for cricket happened when I was fed up of the whole TV soap scenario. I'd been to Sri Lanka in 2002 to watch the Champions Trophy and Sony had the telecast rights for that season. Someone from Max saw me and asked what I was doing there. At the meeting later, the first question they asked me was, "What's the score?" They chose me because I was a familiar face. They knew I was 'kaccha' at this but figured that I would bring in the female audience by asking the laypersons questions. The experts were there to take care of the rest."