Why were you inspired to make this show on the small screen?
To be honest, when I first heard about the concept of the show, I didn’t feel anything special. When I was given the detailed narration, I realized that this is a gray character compared to all the positive or negative characters I have done so far, the channel is also trying to break a stereotype on television. I felt very happy and interesting after getting complete information about the show. It felt like this team is doing something new and different from the usual pattern this time around, which is a great thing in itself. In this series I play the role of a father of three daughters. In real life, I am a father of a daughter, so I thought I would like to play this role. However, the father in this show is completely different from the father in real life.
You’re saying this show is an attempt to break a stereotype on the small screen, but do you think television is always accused of being regressive?
Television itself is a reflection of society. There have been many of my shows that tried to show a different and progressive ideology, but those shows were not as successful as the shows with modeled characters. Whether it’s a creator or an artist, every time they want something different to be done, but then you also have to see the audience’s choice. In this show that we are doing this time, a woman is also a victim, but she is not shown as a victim. The woman is not portrayed as a blasphemer or a victim and is presented as a strong-willed woman, which is what we are seeing in most of society. His pride, his pride are his daughters. That is a change in itself. Even on TV for a long time those women are shown who are common Indian women, they are not those women who go to parties and are described as social. What we will see this time is completely different from the series pattern so far.
With Shweta Tiwari, you are reuniting after almost 20 years. How is the experience? What evolution have you been?
It wasn’t like there was a complete loss of contact with Shweta. In between, we met at some dance show or some reality show. Sometimes there is a reunion, so we keep meeting. We have been in touch with each other even through messages. We also exchange congratulations on each other’s achievements. It feels great working with Shweta. Actually, I didn’t think we would get together. My wife (his actress, Shweta Kwatra) also found our pairing interesting. Shweta Tiwari is a very powerful actress. The point of his performance is very sharp, so it was really fun to do scenes with him.
You said in one of your interviews that my daughter is my pride (my daughter is my pride) what kind of father do you consider yourself to be?
I am a very practical and loving father. I already like children. I wanted to adopt a daughter long before I became Zara’s father, but it never happened. But I have to say that I have been waiting for Zara for years and I can say that everything changed after her arrival. The things I find or don’t find within myself are all thanks to Zara. I am trying to overcome all my shortcomings and try to increase Zara better. It is important to me that he becomes a good and strong person.
In today’s age we are seeing people running away from marriage or long strong marriages are breaking up, but you have completed 18 years of marriage, what is the mantra?
I believe that no marriage or relationship is perfect. I have to say that where my boundary line ends, I can give up, but both Shweta and I remain positive for my daughter and a better life. We live as a team in marriage. We are both in a boat. It’s not that there aren’t differences or disagreements between us, but in the end we try to be on the same page.
There was a period for a well-known TV artist like you, when the work you wanted didn’t come and you were away from the limelight, what was that period like for you?
In answer to this question, I would like to add one more thing that is very dangerous, when the artist believes that he is invincible, there is no substitute for him. It is very important to be careful with this thinking. If I talk about myself, I had left television to grow up and I had come out. I had also done a really big movie, but then that movie got stuck and when I tried to get back into television, I realized that I wasn’t needed anymore. Many new people began to be issued for less money. In fact, then I no longer needed an artist. Those four or five years were my bad patch. I didn’t have a job. During this period Shweta and I supported each other. We practice Buddhism and with his help, we managed to get through this period in a dignified way. Otherwise, that difficult period could have overshadowed our relationship. I believe that where our potential ends, our faith begins. Buddhism taught us a lot.
Interested in working in OTT settings? When will we get to see you with your actress wife Shweta Kwatra?
In terms of OTT, if I have a strong role, I would definitely like to do it, but I would not like to be buried in the shadow of any big artist in the OTT setup. Roles are being written for me in Gujarati films and on TV and I am happy with them. As for coming with me and Shweta, Shweta should not be televised. They are making movies. But when we like the script of a good short film and think it’s two or three days of work, we do it together.