It’s hard to associate the smiling Satyajit Sharma with the dour-faced uncle of the Balika Vadhu household who makes some viewers go cringe-cringe.
The actor takes that as a compliment though, saying, “It’s the power of the medium.. people are drawn to storylines, to characters. That’s what we’re here for, right?”
In the Colors daily, the actor plays a 40-something abusive husband whose wife is less than half his age.
Did he have qualms about doing the role? He replies, “I could give you a fancy answer but the truth is, I wasn’t aware of all facets of Basant at the outset.
“But even if I knew the extent to which this guy goes, I would have had no reservations. After all, it’s a role, someone’s got to do it.”
In the beginning
Sharma arrived in Mumbai more than a decade ago from Delhi: “Thankfully, it wasn’t like in the 1980s which are full of these romantic stories of strugglers sleeping on platforms.”
He was cast in Trikaal on Home TV in 1996, and then went on to play a flamboyant lawyer in the Mahesh Bhatt-directed Kabhie Kabhie co-starring Shefali Shah, Irawati Harshe and Alok Nath.
Twelve years later, he returns in a similar role with Balaji Telefilms’ Kitani Mohabbat Hai.
First time at the K factory? Not quite. Sharma had previously shot for Krimson Skies meant for Star One (“I think”). It didn’t take off. In Kitani Mohabbat Hai, he’s the hero’s dad. “I haven’t been told whether he’s a good or bad guy. It’s a daily. Characters evolve,” says Sharma candidly.
Age does matter
Incidentally, his Balika Vadhu brother Anup Soni, was senior to him at the National School of Drama. They have known each other for over 18 years although they realised that Soni is a year younger only recently.
“That balances out the fact that I play his elder brother..” Sharma rationalises. The actors had been a part of Ramesh Sippy’s telly drama Virrudh.
What’s his take on child marriage? “The most obvious take of course.. it’s absolutely unacceptable,” Sharma ripostes. He believes that Balika Vadhu has clicked because it addresses the issue in an engaging manner.
Ask him about his private life and he replies without a pause that he was married for a decade and has been divorced since the last four years.
“I guess that’s why I’m under no pressure in terms of family and I can work practically every day of the month.”
He’s waiting for Kitani Mohabbat Hai to go on air next week on NDTV Imagine. That will help him get a clearer picture of working hours per week. He is a theatre actor and is itching to return to the stage whenever he can snatch some time off from his TV whirl.