‘A journey that was short-lived yet sweet’ is how actor Akash Jagga sums up his first big break. A late entrant in the show Kasauti Zindagi Kay 2 (KZK2), as a replacement for Kunal Thakur, it was definitely a bumpy ride at first which soon transformed into a memorable experience.
He says, “It was tough initially not just because of the coronavirus pandemic which made us adapt to the new ways of shooting but also to prove my worth as a replacement. However, the loyal fans of the show accepted me in no time. It was an overwhelming feeling. There are fan pages for Kukki and Kaushik. It’s heartbreaking to say goodbye to the show and its fans.”
Presently in his hometown Jaipur, Akash has already wrapped up his part in the show which will air last on October 3. Ask him what’s next and he says, “I am not in a hurry. I want to work but after Kasauti I want to go a step higher. Also, I am not eyeing at a lead. If it comes it is great, but a meaty supporting role is fine. For me, screen space matters more than the role. If you have enough time to perform, you are bound to get noticed. My co-actors from the show have also appreciated my work and have advised me to be selective about the next project as it could either be a deal maker or breaker.”
In his early 20s, Akash’s roots are in Punjab as his mother is a Punjabi. He has been a part of a music video titled Noor. One North Indian trait that he found hard to let go in Mumbai is the use of the word apan (we) way too often.
Introduced to the world of performing arts when he was in eleventh standard through an impromptu modelling assignment for a friend’s mother, he soon got bored of modelling. That’s when his father suggested theatre which Akash says brought him close to his real self. “Theatre changes you completely. I have been a part of Ravindra Manch and did close to a dozen plays in the span of nine months before I shifted to Mumbai,” he says.
He recalls how he got to play Kaushik in Kasauti, “Back at home, there was nothing much to do during the lockdown. So, I made audition videos and sent it to casting directors of shows. While I was rooting for Naagin 5, I got KZK2. I had to immediately leave for Mumbai and I travelled by a car to reach there.”
In Mumbai, he misses his parents. “Being at home has made me lazy again. I had learnt to do things by myself and now I have to repeat that process all over again, which is tough.”