Sanjivani actor Namit Khanna on working with Mohnish Bahl, Rohit Roy: ‘I just feel so breezy when I have scenes with them’
Actor Namit Khanna is back in the spotlight as Dr Sid of Sanjivani as the popular TV show returns with its second season. The actor plays a compassionate doctor who doesn’t mind using jugaad or flouting a few rules to help the poor. He shot to fame as the male lead in romantic TV show, Yeh Pyaar Nahi Toh Kya Hai in which he played a lawyer.
Riding on instant popularity as the charming doctor in Sanjivani, Namit spoke to Hindustan Times about how he is not just happy to share the screen space with senior actors like Mohnish Bahl and Gurdeep Kohli but also feels responsible as an actor. Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your character in Sanjivani.
My character is not related to the older version. It’s called Dr Sid who comes from a chawl and has a humble background. His life’s purpose is to become the best surgeon and to be able to help people who can’t afford treatment and are suffering from various diseases.
Coming to his back story --- his uncle was unwell and had to go to the hospital regularly. He, as a boy, would visit hospitals with his uncle and realised that a lot of hospitals denied treatment to poor because of lack of funds. That stayed with him and he eventually went on to become the Robin Hood of Sanjivani. He is one of the best surgeons and with a golden heart. What makes him different is that he has his own ways, jugaad and other means to get money so that he can pay for poor people’s treatment without caring from where it is coming from. The idea is to help them anyhow. Things begin to fall into place only when the reason behind why he does certain things and what are his intentions become clear.
Your character has a clash with Surbhi Chandna’s Dr Ishaani.
Ishaani’s character is more about ideals and principles. She is very righteous. She also wants to help but the right way. The main conflict the two main characters have is the difference between zameer (conscience) and zarurat (need).
How is your equation off the camera?
We are gradually getting to know each other. We know we will be working together for a very long time and have a big responsibility on our shoulders. I think right now, the way we are, its a very organic way of how our relationship will build in future on the show. We haven’t had too many scenes together but will obviously have more scenes in future.
Its the same with other actors. The senior actors build a very good comfort zone around them. Every individual has a different energy and different vibe and we connect with each other at a difference pace. Fortunately, we have an amazing past with talented, good looking actors.
Have you seen the original Sanjivani?
No, I haven’t seen the show. I saw one episode just to get an idea about the shots. The story is not connected to it at all. Its a fresh season and a fresh cast. Though I remember the tune that was popular back in the day and had an instant connect.
You were trained by real doctors for the show? What all did you learn?
It was a great initiative by the producers to have them on sets and give us a basic idea about how all the instruments are used, from using stethoscope, giving CPR to checking the pulse, learning breathing patterns. They also taught us about the different instruments used in an operation theatre and how they are used, for example, wearing gloves at what time, when to wear the OT gown and face masks, things we have to adhere by.
Everything has to be accurately done so that we don’t look clueless. A lot of doctors, medical students would be watching and they know what’s right and what’s wrong. We don’t want them to feel ‘what are they doing!’ or ‘these guys have disrespected us’. This way we also had a lot of activity to do. The doctors gave us insights into how’s their concentration and what’s the mood inside an OT. They even tested us, asking us to show how it’s done. It’s a great opportunity and we are enjoying it.
Also read: Sanjivani review: The medical drama returns with emotions intact as Namit Khanna saves a life with a bit of jugaad
Two members of the original cast are also a part of the show -- Mohnish Bahl and Gurdeep Kohli. How was it to work with them?
People ask if there is any pressure but it’s the complete opposite. Whenever I have scenes with them, I just feel so breezy. They are always there to guide us and even praise us. The amount of talent they have, its always amazing to watch them and learn. Its a privilege to share the screen with them. Even Rohit (Roy) sir is so generous, kind and loving. I am so glad to have them.