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'I’m jealous of my single friends'

Shakti Anand on his film Ghar-oundha and why he doesn't want to do daily soaps anymore, interviewed by Gautam Hegde.

tv Updated: Dec 13, 2008 12:39 IST
Gautam Hegde
Gautam Hegde
Hindustan Times

Shakti Anand on why he moved to films

Why is your film called Ghar-oundha?
Oundha means ulta. It’s the topsy-turvy ride of a couple in a metro. Sai plays the lead opposite me.. my mother-in-law Shrabani Deodhar directs.

How did the film come about?
We were initially involved with the pre-production. Since we were doing Ek Ladki Anjani Si, my mother-in-law couldn’t cast us. Luckily the show ended and we could do the film.

How different is film from television as a medium?
Very different. When you’re doing a TV show, the script comes to you half-an-hour before shooting begins. But when we were shooting for this film, we would sit with the unit and plan the next day’s shoot.

It has been a while since you stopped working in daily soaps. Do you miss them?
No way. The money was good but the creative growth of actors is stunted in soaps. After a while, it’s the same old three-piece suits.. the same dialogue.

The scenario is changing with shows like BalikaVadhu.
I don’t have anything against saas-bahus or Balika Vadhus. My problem is that the tracks always revolve around the women.

But Indian television is a woman’s domain.
Sure, but aren’t there male members in a family? Why is it that the father-in-law only appears during festivals to give aashirwaad? Why run a show for years? Be it a Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhu Bahu Thi or an Aap ki Kacheheri, we need to do something different.

Is that why you didn’t do any shows?
I was offered a few after Ek Ladki.. but I was busy with Ghar-oundha. I had always nurtured a dream to work in films because on TV, you hardly get a chance to showcase your diverse skills as an actor.

Your morning show on 9X, Good Morning Zindagi, didn’t find many takers.
9X was a new channel then. Also, I think 7:30 am is a hectic time for any family. No one wants to watch TV then.

During Ek Ladki Anjani Si, Sai and your pay packets were discussed at length by the media. Didn’t that annoy you?
Yes, it did. Our pay is a private matter. It is completely against basic etiquette to enquire about someone’s income.

Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
ended recently. Were you emotionally attached to the show you were once a part of?
It was my debut show so there was some degree of attachment. But I left Kyunki.. six years ago. There have been so many new faces on the show since. I couldn’t keep track of who was playing my son and who was my grandson.

How has married life been?
(Smiles) Fantastic. It’s been four years.

Do you miss being an elgible bachelor?
(Laughs) Everyday. I’m so jealous of my ‘single’ friends. But shaadi ka laddoo jo khaye woh pachtaye, jo na khaye woh bhi pachtaye!

When Hussein and you were single you were very close. And that raised eyebrows.
(Laughs) Dostana should have released then. I was new to the city and we were neighbours. So we would hang out together often. But now we have our wives.. our licenses so to say.

Does Sai decide the colour of your curtains?
(Laughs) Yes, it’s her department and I don’t want to interfere. I decide which movies to watch and which places to visit.

What would you name a film that was inspired by your life?
(Laughs) Ghar-oundha. Come on, I’m promoting my film right now.

And how would you start the film?
With a one-liner: Achche logon ke saath hamesha achha hota hai.