“If I ever get to do a dance reality show then Jhalak would be the only dance reality show I would be interested in” – Eijaz Khan
1. You have been a part of the television and also have done films in Bollywood; which according to you is more challenging?
Both. The Big screen stars come to the small screen to promote their films in a big way. So, I don’t think there’s any comparison in that way. There are Films, there is Television and there is Theatre. Each of them have their own parameters and challenges. Like in theatre, I will get only one take and in that one take,I will have to get it right, I will have to get the timings right and right reaction from the audience. In television, I might get more number of takes and I might have a lot more freedom because we are executive actors and the story writer is the king and we just execute the story but we work in a very tight parameter of time and the telecast has to go regardless our heath or mental state or anything. Whereas, in films, my director would really mentally take me to a point in the story where I will be able to interpret it in my own way. And in films, there’s no deadline as such. Of course, you have to finish your film within a stipulated time but there’s no telecast issue. So, each platform has its own treasure and its own challenges.
2. So, Television,Films and Theatre, Where do you enjoy working more?
I would probably prefer a nice balance between all three. I have started indulging myself in theatre. I have started giving it enough time. I am doing a bit of television as well. I am there on Diya Aur Baati Hum which is on air and is helping me to reconnect with my audience again and also with tons of people from the television industry and then there are films which are on pipeline like Lucky Kabootar which would be releasing. I would prefer to stride a ride back because on screen as an actor we get bored. We need challenges, we need something new. So, I would prefer a balance.
3. You have played quite a number of roles on television, among the characters which is your most favorite memorable character you have played so far?
I think a lot of people still know me as Kavya from Kavyanjali. So, that would be my identity on television even now. But also I would like to mention Bhaskar Bharti which I have really enjoyed. Because Kabir Sadanand, the director used to come and shoot those scenes of Bhaskar Bharti. So, I used to have a lot of fun doing those scenes. They were challenging because I did put a lot of information in my acting and turning a woman into a man and then into a woman was a lot of fun also.
4. You were supposed to be a part of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa this season, but due to an shoulder injury you could not be a part of the show, were you disheartened that you could not be a part of JDJ this season? Would you like to be a part of the show next season?
Of course I was disheartened. I did put a month of hardwork and rehearsals. I used to wake up at 6:30 am in the morning and go for gymnastic and then go and rehearse and then come back and do weight training and flexibility at night and go for a job at night. I had demarcated 3 to 4 months of my life for Jhalak. So, it took me a while to get over it. 3 Days before the shoot, my shoulder got dislocated. The MRI didn’t show that it was that bad and I went for a second opinion and I realised that there was a was a labrum tear which cannot get rectified by itself, it was not a muscle thing and was more like a different structure altogether, so it had to be surgically made and I realised that I could not be a part of Jhalak. However,it is not about how many times you fall, it is how you get up. I am back on my feet again, I am Positive and I am Happy, whatever happens, happens for the best .I am doing Diya Aur Baati right now and I would love to take up another television show very soon and InshaAllah if I ever get to do a Dance reality show then Jhalak would be the only dance reality show I would be interested in. The platform is amazing and it is a very good format for one to show all different kinds of performances. I would love to be a part of it sometime or the other.
5. A current television show you wish you would be a part of?
Right now? There are so many Television shows that are going on! I feel Madhubala is sort of a Classic Show! Then there’s youthful dance based shows, there are historical shows. You get to do so much in historical shows like fighting,riding horses and playing characters that are larger than life and I would love to be a part of that. And I am in talks with another Production House which is making a very sensitive family oriented show. It is a open industry, whatever it has in plans for me I will take it up. But it is very fascinating because of the kind of work that is done right now with so many production houses. If I had been doing television then I would have left it completely on Ekta and Balaji, whatever they wanted me to do I would do it without even thinking because they knew what was best for me. Now there are so many production houses. I don’t know all of them, I am getting in touch with them, they are showing interest, so lets see.
6. A recent Bollywood flick you watched which you loved and why?
I am dying to watch Ship of Theseus, D-Day, Raanjhanaa, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. I haven’t got a chance because I have been shooting for Diya Aur Baati Hum. I am playing a quiz master in Diya aur Baati Hum and I have 30 – 30 pages of dialogues in a day at times. I am working a little hard and haven’t got a chance to watch films. But I am dying to watch these four films. Raanjhanaa because it is Anand Rai’s direction and he is very close to my heart. Whenever, something is written about Raanjhanaa, my chest swells with pride thinking that he is my director and he did this movie. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag , because I have been a fan of Mr. Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and Farhan is outstanding in anything he does, so of-course that is a must watch.The kind of feedback Ship Of Theseus is getting, it is an independent film. I think that is the future of Hindi Cinema and I would love to be a part of such cinema so I have to see it. And then there is D Day, apparently a friend of mine was telling me it is like a Ridley Scott film, so take a bow, I have to see it soon.
7. Are you a prankster on the sets? Tell us a prank which you have played on the sets?
Prankster? No No No. They end up calling me Sir on the set. Even the Director called me Sir and I felt that I kind of have some obligation or responsibility to remain all serious and not say anything. If I crack any joke they might take offense. I am scared about that. They have been like a close knit family for two years and I am like the outsider and they have welcomed me with open arms. Anas and Deepika are very sweet. I know Anas for a long time now for almost 7 to 8 years. I worked with him in Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka and he was there in Nimmo with me .And Deepika is a sweetheart and on action she transforms on screen with her amazing talent. Then Bapusa is from NSD apparently, they are so very senior actors. I don’t play pranks or something, khali director aur main kabhi-kabhi mazaak kar lete hai, because I have befriended the director, Rohit Goyal,he was very fascinated the other day when I was speaking to him that after 10 years being in the industry now I am trying to find the actor within me. So, he was like you are still trying to improve on yourself, which I have to, every tough day of my life I have to learn something, I have to improve something and that is the journey of an actor. An actor can never ever think that he has arrived, because the day he did, he is already on his way out. So, yes I am enjoying myself on the sets and I tend to crack jokes on myself only on Diya Aur Baati sets and not on anyone else. (Laughs)
8. Are you watching Jhalak Dikhla Jaa this season; if yes then name two contestants who you feel are the strongest contenders to win the title this year?
I cannot make any assumption that way but I like Drashti, she is very pretty and doing very well. And Mohena is partnering Siddharth and Mohena was going to be my partner. So I am rooting for her. Then Lauren is an absolute delight to watch. Then there is my dear friend Karanveer, we started our career together through an ad campaign of Chlor Mint back in 2001 or 2002. So they are all friends and I cannot really say that I have to root for somebody. All of them are doing fabulous job and its amazing the way they are dancing. Frankly, I am very blunt that’s why I am saying this, I am more partial towards dancing and not acrobatics. I like to see grace and dance, instead of doing a wow step chalo kuch badiya lift kar de , I feel nowadays in dance reality shows it ends up looking like a circus and where is the dance? I would not do it in that way! So, I think I would root for anyone who is dancing more than doing acrobatics.
9. Any last message for your fans?
Thank you very much. Teh Dil se shukriya adaa karta hun main to each and everyone of you who is reading this.Because it has been a long tremendous journey for me, the last 10 years. In the last 2 years of my life I have undergone many changes in my attitude towards life and how I see it. I value each and everything a hundred times more. So I value each and everyone, I wouldn’t say fans but my friends who have been a part of this journey throughout. Since, I have started doing Diya Aur Baati on Star Plus; so many people have been calling me, messaging me, on twitter and are saying that we are happy to see you back. It is such an honouring experience. You don’t know these people still you are touching their lives. People message that they got through a break-up because of me, they were smiling because of me, they were in love with me, they love my smile and everything; I mean how much can an actor be blessed! And I need to mention this group on Facebook known as “Simply The Best”. These people are the people who have stood by me when I was doing nothing, for an actor it is always ‘out of sight out of mind, but these are the people who have been calling me back and bas unki duaon se main hoon, main aaj jahaan hoon…bas shukriya ada karna chahoonga sabka.
By: A. Patel
Graphics & Banner: Ranita Kakkar