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Parmeet Sethi evolves on small screen

Slowly, but steadily, the actor is inching his way towards glory in a variety of roles on TV, writes Arnab Banerjee.
By Arnab Banerjee | None, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2006 06:53 PM IST

He is best remembered for the role as Kajol's fiancé in the biggest blockbuster Indian cinema has ever produced, the Aditya Chopra directed Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Admittedly, his rather matter-of-fact tone belies his days of glory in a practical approach today, "I know I failed to cash in on the grand success of the film."

While everyone associated with the film rose to dizzying heights, including all the character artists whose popularity rose phenomenally too, this actor who left his flourishing garment business to try his fortune in films, continued to keep a low profile. Not out of any reason but choice. Loss for the talent-strapped film industry for sure.

Meet Parmet Sethi, the handsome actor, who till about a few years back was better known as actor Archana Puran Singh's better half but is slowly but steadily inching his way to glory in a diverse variety of roles.

Why did he not get his due as an actor when he had the stamp biggest banner suffixed before his name? After all, we all know that nothing succeeds like success in Bollywood and one's fortunes depends on every Friday's cash register ratings or box office rankings.

"I signed some bad films and they sank without a trace," his candid honesty stumps you. "I didn't want to anything less than the best and nothing came my way." Today things are different.

"I don't want to be unhappy by thinking of what could have happened had I done this or not done that. And I don't have delusions of grandeur either. I am out to do my best and continue to learn and unlearn throughout, " says the Punjabi puttar with a head on his shoulders.

Talking about his entry into the small screen he stresses on a practical point, "It was sheer economics that made me take up television then. I had to run the kitchen. His pragmatic approach to life is commendable when he says, "Success to me not judged by the apartment or the goodies one buys- that's just a flash I the pan and fades out too soon. To me success is keeping a fine balance or survival." His long run on television is thanks to his positive attitude too. "I accepted negative roles without waiting endlessly for the 'right' positive lead roles my way.

Destiny always plays games with the chosen ones. And one's fate challenges such people in a typical hide-and-seek matches that help them come back with a vengeance in a much mellow and confident manner. Television viewers would recall how he made television watchers sit up and take note of his comic timing as Raj Malhotra in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin on Sony Television.

As also, when towards the end of last year he, along with his wife, walked away with all the audience support on the Star One show Nach Baliye, a dance competition form celebrity couples. "People got to know of my dancing abilities for the first time," says Sethi, and also hastens to add, "I am no dancer otherwise and dance only at at pubs."

His fans think otherwise though. With amazing grace and supple body movements, this couple's movements were something viewers looked forward to. And we voted by the viewers in the top category. "We were also the most popular couple on the show," smiles Sethi in his bashful manner. About his disappearance in Jassi Jaisi, his parting of ways with the serial was mutual. "I realised my character wasn't heading anywhere and I couldn't have been a filler since I had a definite graph and a specific role to play in the development of the story."

Currently donning yet another cap since February 10th this year - that of a detective in D.O.N or Detective Onkar Nath on Star One again, he is fulfilling his biggest challenge as an actor perhaps. 'This one is tailor made for me and I thought it would be wise to make some sort of a bio-data of this character to make him more appealing and believable.

In between doing some inconsequential film roles, Sethi has been appreciated in various tele series including the long run in Junoon on Delhi metro, and Dastaan on Zee

Does he have any regrets not seeing himself on the big screen? "I don't think thee are any major regrets, ' prompts comes his answer. But in his unambiguous and honest admission, he also makes it clear, "Who wouldn't like to work on the silver screen? It's every actor's dream. But in my case, I looked more like an action hero then at a time when the trend in Bollywood of experimenting with themes hadn't changed so drastically.

It was still the hackneyed stuff being churned out day in and day out barring a few exceptions. Today the role has to be substantial to do justice to my name of course, "says the actor who has to his credit various writing, editing, production and even direction.

"I wrote Aasman Se Tapki for Zee as also Saamnewali Khirki . The flamboyant and introvert actor's comic timing is on display in D.O.N for which he is both excited and a tad non-committal.  "It's a lot like Karamchand where the main lead solves cases and does that in his inimitable style by enacting numerous everyday characters from life and I have added my own experience and observation to each of them." Anything that he would like to dabble in? "Oh yes, I haven't done theatre ever.

It must be great to get the instantaneous response to one's acting abilities,' he smiles.

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