Swayam Shergill of Kahiin Toh Hoga, Karan of Kyun Hota Hai Pyaar, Abir of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Prem Bajaj of Kasautii Zindagii Kay — all roles essayed by one Punjabi boy, Vikas Sethi. In Chandigarh to promote his upcoming show, Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori, Vikas talks about his life in Chandigarh.
About being born and brought up in Chandigarh, Vikas, an alumnus of Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh, says, “I have beautiful memories of Chandigarh. My friends and I used to watch movies at KC theatre, have food at Kapil Hotel and drive to Dharampur to everyone’s favourite, Giani’s dhabha. Now when I visit Chandigarh, I only see crowd and the increasing pollution.”
You can take a Punjabi out of Punjab, but you can’t take Punjab out of a Punjabi, apparently. “I am a true Punjabi and am absolutely proud of it. Even on the sets in Mumbai, I start the day with ‘Paaji, shot kithe dena?’”
About his initiation into the industry, Vikas says his is not your usual sob story of struggle. “I actually wanted to be an Indian Air Force officer, thanks to my defense background. When I went to Mumbai in 1992, I casually accompanied a model friend for the shoot of an advertisement. He just asked me to speak a few lines; I delivered them with confidence and earned R20,000! There has been no looking back ever since.”
Vikas’ stint with Bollywood initially happened with Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, about which he says, “I had a small role in it; my character was called Robbie. I did it because it was a big banner film and I got the opportunity to work with Amitabh sir, Hrithik and Kareena. I also played the lead in Oops, which apparently bombed at the box office.”
Next, Vikas plans to don the cap of a producer. “My brother and I are panning to produce Punjabi films and TV shows in Mumbai. I have always been interested in investing in Punjabi cinema, as the industry has people like Diljit Dosanjh who are commendable. He is the reason Jatt & Juliet is one of my all-time favourite films.”