Mahabharat’s Shakuni Mama aka Gufi Paintal remembers the show: ‘Golden age of television’
Actor Gufi Paintal, who essayed the iconic role of Shakuni in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat, has revealed that the show’s rerun during the lockdown helped him sail during that tough time. He was an associate director, casting director and production designer of the show.
Gufi told Times of India in an interview, “The shutdown made me feel jittery. But as they announced to re-telecast of Mahabharat, I was like ‘yes. Now it’s all set’. I got to see that world again. Yahi sab to hota aaya hai. Desire, politicking, fight for power... Revisiting the golden age of television acted like a mood booster. If you do anything which is close to your heart you will stay happy in every situation. So, for me Mahabharat, jo ki mere dil ke sabse kareeb hai, worked well.”
“I wasn’t just transported back to 80s era, rather I was on a journey which started 5000 years back. For me it wasn’t a way to beat boredom. Iss Shakuni mama ke lie to vo ek tonic hai jo ki hamesha energy deta hai (laughs),” he added.
Gufi was not only an actor but also worked as an assistant director, production designer and casting director for the epic show. Talking about how he happened to cast Puneet Issar and Nitish Bharadwaj for the roles of Duryodhan and Krishna respectively, Gufi had said, “Puneet had accidentally punched Amitabh Bachchan in Coolie (1983), and was out of work. Nitish was spotted in an ad made by the Chopras.”
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