What prompted you to take up this role?
The fact that Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai is the longest-running television show on television is reason enough. Any actor would like to join the show. I am no different. On top of that, the role that is offered to me is very nice. I like to play such characters. In this pandemic and amidst all this negativity, the offer came as a ray of hope and I just took it.
As an actor when you enter an already popular show, how can you make a mark?
When I enter a show, I do my best. I work hard on my character and try to add an element of creativity. It’s a challenge because all the characters are well-established, and then there is this new guy coming who wants to make a mark! This show has already reached great heights; I would like to take it higher.
During this phase of uncertainty, what motivates you?
My heart goes out to the people who have lost their dear ones. It’s the fighting spirit of every Indian that is my ray of hope.
Working under the new normal, how do you see that as an actor?
The rules have to be followed — it’s very important and doesn’t make a difference to me as an actor. We have to learn to live in this new normal, so no complaints. Social distancing has to be practiced. Obviously, we can’t give a shot with a mask on but we have to take care of the rules set by the government.
It’s nearly three decades for you in the industry- what has been your biggest take away? Any regrets?
I have no regrets. I take life as it comes and in the last 30 years have seen ups and downs, but the experiences have been valuable and priceless. That’s more important.
Which genre is your favourite and why?
Historical shows are still my favourite because of the strength of the characters. There is so much to do in historical shows.
Any one teacher in your life who has always guided you?
I have had no teacher. I have been my own teacher. Sanjay Khan and Akbar Khan were my mentors, but then I have always made my own decisions – right or wrong!
How has television changed over the years?
Earlier the shows were mostly weekly and would be one hour or so. Today you see daily soaps. Every day you have to churn out new ideas, which is not easy. Hats off to the people who are doing it so successfully. I think they deserve an award. Things have changed a lot more than just the economic angle. It was just creativity earlier; now commercialism and creativity go hand-in-hand. I think that’s the difference.
As an actor what is your wish now?
I am a very hungry actor and am looking for good roles. I still feel I am untapped because of my image. I still feel that I have a lot in me and hopefully by the end of my life, I would definitely have done all the roles I wanted to.