The freckled face is still the same, the dark mop of hair has given way to a receding, greying hairline.
And Pankaj Kapur who made the carrot chomping Indian Sherlock Homes one of the most memorable characters on the small screen is as usual, a man of few words. Here’s catching up with P.K:
What do you think of remakes and sequels?
I don’t believe in them. Then what made you say yes? There are three reasons. Pankuj Parashar, who’s directing it again. Then, I wanted to experiment with playing a character that I had portrayed 22 years ago. Thirdly, I have been an actor, who has done major work on television, by choice and not because of any compulsions.
When I started working in the movies, I would have been slotted, either as a comedian, the heroine’s brother or the hero’s friend.
Television was the medium which gave me a chance to portray unique characters. TV is a potent, powerful medium.
What choice do you have today as a viewer or as an actor?
The current television scene has the same stuff across the channels. I fail to understand how a misrepresentation of Indian culture and Indian people can be so widely accepted in the name of entertainment.
Those mother-in-laws? Enough! Sindoor, shaadi, bahu aur saas ke aage bhi toh koi zindagi hai.
What feed back have you received while playing Karamchand?
I travel a lot and have always been asked by strangers why shows like Karamchand can’t be brought back on television.
The 1980s was the best phase for TV. The content was solid and producers drew inspiration from literary works, novels…different genres of shows were made and they were equally successful.
I wonder why no one makes that kind of an effort today. How long will this phase continue? Everything looks the same.
Have you ever faced interference from the channel bosses?
Fortunately, I haven’t faced it. Whether it’s Karamchand or Yes Boss on Star One, the channels have let us do our thing.
Why not direct something for TV?
I have done shows like Mohandas BA, LLB. But things have changed over the years. As you said, there is creative interference. Today, a director is like a co-ordinator who puts everything together.
Besides, TV as a medium can become repetitive after a while. Then you have to twist the story and it can sap your energy.. I want to direct a film someday.
Finally, what are the films you are doing?
I have a few releases. There is Vishal Bhardwaj’s Blue Umbrella, Dharm, an English film called Good Sharma and Rajkumar Santoshi’s Halla Bol.