Janaki Viswanathan catches up with Vishal Singh on Aathvaan Vachan and his decade-long stint on TV.
The promos of Aathvaan Vachan have focused on the two sisters.. do you feel left out?
See Urmi (Vinny Arora) is the protagonist of the show, but the voice-over in the promo is mine. I’m the one who makes the aathvaan vachan. I think all three of us have been given equal importance.
You’re back with a daily after a break..
Hardly a break. Bhabhi ended a couple of months ago and I immediately started shooting for Aathvaan Vachan. I had holiday plans but had to cancel them.
What went wrong with Ek Ladki Anjaani Si?
I asked for my character to be faded out because I didn’t like it much. It wasn’t going anywhere. Also, I bagged Jeete Hain Jiske Liye and Bhabhi around the same time, so it has worked out well for me.
It must have been strange when your niece in Ek Ladki Anjani Si, Kanchi Kaul, doubled up as your wife in Bhabhi..
(Laughs) You bet. The whole equation was different.
Did she ever accidentally call you ‘Mamu’ during Bhabhi?
(Laughs) No, nothing like that. I was barely there in
Ek Ladki.. anyway. Just three-four months. The two of you were linked too.
We got quite friendly but that was it. I guess we were linked because there were no other single guys on set. The lead actor in Ek Ladki.., Shakti Anand was married.
Are you in touch with any of your Dekh Bhai Dekh cast? Urvashi Dholakia who played your girlfriend went on to become a big-time vamp in Kasauti Zindagi Kay.
Not really. We do bump into each other at parties and event but don’t have the time to hang out. I barely find time in between shoots to keep in touch with my college buddies.
Television has changed a great deal over the decade you’ve worked in it..
It sure has. The good news is that everything is done on a much larger scale.. budgets have gone up, production values have gone up, marketing strategies have changed. On the flipside, there isn’t so much variety. In fact, I think in the women-oriented world of TV, Aathvaan Vachan is one of the few in which the male character has a central role too.
What about newcomers then and newcomers now?
A decade ago, we underwent rigorous training. Even before we started shooting for a show. We actors would meet up every Sunday and have script readings. In light of the dailies, there’s no time for all that.
Your sister-in-law in Aathvaan Vachan is probably the fourth mentally challenged character on TV today.. aren’t there too many of those?
I don’t know about the others but Urmi isn’t mentally challenged. She’s an 18-year-old girl with the mind of an eight-year-old. She’s a special child.
What do you watch on television?
I enjoy Comedy Circus.. some of the gags are hilarious. I’d love to be a part of a reality show like that. But I barely get the time.
Lastly, Sanju of Dekh Bhai Dekh was famous.. or may be infamous for his short shorts..
(Cuts in) I remember the director asking me what I wore at home because he wanted a casual look for Dekh Bhai Dekh. I showed him the shorts.. I practically lived in them! And got to wear them for as long as Dekh Bhai Dekh lasted. But I doubt Aadesh would dare wear them in Aathvaan Vachan.