Though his performance in old TV shows like Swabhimaan, Hasratein and Justjoo left a lasting impression on viewers' minds, versatile actor Harsh Chhaya says he is off the small screen now mostly due to a lack of "meaningful scripts" and his choosy nature.
"At this point, I'm not doing anything on TV. I've not been off TV at all, but it's just that sometimes the projects that run on channels are probably not watched so much. I'm waiting for something new to come up. Also being choosy keeps me unemployed for a considerably long period at times," Harsh told IANS in an e-mail interview.
Harsh's last small screen appearance was on Sahara One's Ghar Ek Sapna. His stint on the show ended in August.
The actor, who was recently seen as a gay fashion designer in Madhur Bhandarkar's controversial film Fashion, says in terms of profit, the television industry is in its golden time. He, however, doubts the availability of good work in the industry.
"Meaningful scripts today? That's a joke! So many channels - STAR Plus, STAR One, Sony, Sab, Zee, 9X, NDTV Imagine, Colors, Sahara... so on and so forth. There are hours and hours of programming and what's there to talk about today? Only one - Balika Vadhu. Soon, a flood of child marriage programmes will follow.
"As I said being choosy today mostly means you sit at home. Eventually one tries to pick up the best from the most mediocre available. Got to fan the kitchen fires after all..." he said.
Harsh, who has kept away from the small screen for almost four months now, was appreciated for his role as Vinay Khosla, a gay fashion designer in Fashion.
His performance came as a pleasant surprise to viewers, who have otherwise seen him mostly in serious roles. The actor dressed up in flashy clothes and accessories to suit the role.
"A good amount of work went into it. We tried different get-ups, a little effeminate, lisp, no lisp, wig, no wig, loud flashy clothes, not so loud flashy clothes, glasses, no glasses. Then recording it, checking it and doing it repeatedly till it felt just right, till it was as if a part of me," he said.
The actor considered the role more as a challenge than as a risk.
"Personally, for me, it was a challenge worth taking as an actor. As an actor, if the portfolio does not show variety over a period of time, then I wonder what I am doing here," he said.
In his acting career spanning almost 15 years, Harsh has been seen in films like Mithya, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag and even worked in Bhandarkar's Corporate apart from other films and TV serials.
He feels that in the "last two and a half years", he has "showcased a pretty good variety" with roles in the above films as well as in Fashion.
"There is nothing much to complain about, but things can always be better than what they are. I am sure some one out there is watching and things might get better," he said.
As for his future projects on the big screen, Harsh will be seen in Sunny Deol's The Man, Khussro Films' Blue Oranges, and in an international project temporarily titled Blood Money Trail.