Small screen star Avinash Sachdev on the success of Chhoti Bahu...in conversation with Gautam Hegde...
Did you expect your show to be such a big hit?
Honestly, since it was initially meant for the afternoon slot on ZEE, we didn’t expect such fabulous results. In fact when I was offered the show, I had rejected it.
I didn’t like the title. I thought I would just be a prop around the chhoti bahu. I was signed for another DJ’s show, Ramlal’s. But they called me for a narration.
There was something about the character’s name, Dev. According to my janam patri my name should have been Dev and not Avinash. I guess I was destined to play Dev.
Have you seen Dev D?
I haven’t seen a film in four months. The last one was Yuvvraaj. I walked out in 15 minutes!
I believe you double as an assistant director when you are not acting?
Initially, yes, because I’d started off as an assistant. I am from Baroda and would hang out on the sets of Sagar Arts shows. I would work for free just for the experience.
Your parents were okay with that?
I was planning to be a pilot but chashme lag gaye! Then it was IAS but though I was a topper in school, I couldn’t see myself reading papers all day. It took me nine months to convince my folks to let me try my luck in this industry.
You did some Balaji shows but Chhoti Bahu is undoubtedly your best work so far.
Yes, because it’s not like a typical daily soap. I recently shot for an underwater sequence. I was thrilled despite having just recovered from a viral infection. I just popped a Crocin and dove in.
Do people recognise you on streets?
I went to Baroda recently for Sankranti. The kite market was packed. A lady spotted me and told her friend, “Aa toChhoti Bahuno hero chhe.” But the friend shushed her saying what would an actor be doing in the mandi..
Have you been told you resemble Amitabh Bachchan?
Some of the unit guys say I look like Amitabh Bachchan from Agnipath! Some say I resemble Eijaz Khan.
Weren’t you supposed to play Alekh Rajvansh in Sapna Babul Ka — Bidaai?
Yes, but I couldn’t get a No Objection Certificate in time from Balaji.
I’ve never regretted missed opportunities or even relationships that don’t work out. Anyway Dev is more challenging than Alekh.
Why do you think Chhoti Bahu is such a big hit?
The rural essence.. characters you can connect to.. sympathy towards the girls.. no saas-bahu or property issues.. It’s real, bride changing in mandaps happens in villages.
Your Orkut profile says you are aiming for the stars so that you would land up on the moon.
(Smiles) Yes, I want to do films one day.