The 1993 TV show Campus, which was directed by late Sanjiv Bhattacharya, revolved around college life, politics, love, and a group of youngsters who were discovering their identities.
It starred many newcomers such as Paritosh Painter, Ninad Kamat, Resham Seth and Suchita Trivedi, along with Arif Zakaria, Bharat Kapoor, Ajit Vachani, Sanjeev Seth and Milind Gawli, among others. The title song, which was composed by Amit Kumar, was also a rage.
“We were all fresh and full of dreams. We wanted to prove ourselves. We would shoot during the weekends, and go to college during theweek. Once the show became popular, we were treated like stars in our colleges and among our peers. That was such a high. Our world changed,” says Suchita.
One of the major plots revolved around a love triangle between Suchita, Paritosh and Resham. Eventually, Paritosh and Resham get together, and Suchita falls in love with Ninad.Ninad’s character (Shakti) starts out as a goon, but later, becomes good. “I played a grey character, who was a bully. When I auditioned for the role, I thought Shakti will only be around for a few episodes. I was surprised to learn that he was one of the main characters. As a newcomer, it was really exciting for me. I loved the transition, from a grey to a positive character, but it was a tough role for me. Campus was a training ground for me, as I learnt all about the technicalities involved in working on a TV show, emoting and so much more,” says Ninad.
Most of the actors were cast from Mithibai’s theatre group. The shooting mainly took place at St Xavier’s School, Fort. “Most of the actors lived in the suburbs at that time. So, when, at times, the shoot used to get delayed, we would end up sleeping on the benches at St Xavier’s,” says Paritosh, who was part of the show for four years.
The makers used to shoot one episode in three days. Most of the actors were paid `600 per episode. “It was a lot of money back then,” says Paritosh, who recalls that once after the shoot, he got a haircut without informing anyone. “Sanjivji threw a fit the next day, as it would have hampered the continuity of the show. I apologised to him, and then we gave my character a cap, which soon became my trademark,” he says.
Suchita reveals that she used to usually keep to herself on the sets because the other members of the cast would make fun of her. “Resham was my first friend in the unit. We both got along well. As I was 16, and I was not allowed to go out at night alone, she even lied to my mum once to take me out clubbing,” she says, laughing.
The show was also instrumental in bringing Sanjeev and Resham (they got married) close to each other. Paritosh says, “We always knew something was cooking between them. But they kept denying it for a long time. One day, we all planned to go out for dinner post the wrap up. But they didn’t accompany us. We ended up at an eatery in Dadar, and when we got out, we spotted Sanjeev and Resham enjoying an ice cream at a store nearby. We caught them and teased them a lot after that.”