Talking about a show like ‘It Happens Only in India’, anchoring such a show is a very difficult task. Because we are looking for different types of stories across the country, there is a lot of traveling, which is very difficult. Like we had a picture schedule in the North East. There is a cave somewhere in the forest, four hours away from Shillong in the North East, where we have to shoot. For that we have to get up at 4 in the morning and reach there. It used to get dark at 4:30 in the evening, so we could not do outdoor shoots after that. Somewhere it makes you physically tired too. So it is very difficult. But it also has its own fun.
But you are also passionate about acting, so how are you fulfilling your hunger for acting?
There has been a lot of interesting work in the last few years. I had written a film Kadak with Rajat Kapoor and also acted in it. Mind the Malhotra series on OTT, whose season 2 has come recently. Apart from this, I did a series of potlucks. Its season two will come only in January. I also did Kaun Banega Shekharvati with Nikkhil Advani, which featured actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Kritika Kamra, Soha Ali Khan and Raghuveer Yadav. Right now I have shot another project called Jumbo, produced by Kabir Khan Production. So I am exploring acting now, I want to do good work. The stories which cannot be made into films are being made into series on OTT, so OTT is getting a very good opportunity.
It’s been 8 months since you got married, so how much has life changed? What do you get to learn from the wife?
My wife feels that I should continue to do some more interesting work. I am also trying the same. Married life is also very interesting because it brings some changes in your life too. You become more responsible. I think you have got to learn a lot even in married life. In some you are comfortable and some things have to be learned. My wife is from National School of Design (NID). They think that every person should research well, read about things, while my schooling is that go anywhere and start anything. So I am slowly learning from him that every work should be done with hard work and dedication. Trying to learn something new different from where I come from.
You are going to be seen in a new show, tell about your show?
Our show ‘It Happens Only in India’ which is coming soon on National Geographic Channel, is finding and bringing to the fore inspirational, cultural, amazing or unseen stories from across the country. So that we can understand what kind of colors are there in our country. In this, complete information will be brought to the fore only after investigation. As in the story of a man, he has done the work of saving the wasted water. He has saved 20 million liters of water I think. On Saturdays and Sundays, he goes with the plumbers to the places where water is leaking.
You also said in an interview that the competition has become more in OTT?
Yes, I said it, there is absolutely too much competition. I was asked what advice you would like to give, so I said that in response to this question. I do not think that in today’s era there will be as much competition in any industry as it is in OTT. Thousands of people are coming to Mumbai who want to become actors, performers etc. I think it has doubled in the last five years. So if you want to come in this profession then you have to be mentally strong. What matters is what you are doing today, not what you used to do or for how many years. There is work here but there are crores of people for that.
You have also been associated with Delhi, what do you like more about Delhi?
My childhood friends are from Delhi, with whom I am still in contact. I am very happy that I was born in Delhi and brought up there. Because when I was born in 1981, the Delhi of that era was different. As a child, we used to walk a lot in the streets of Delhi, used to sit under the shade of trees for a long time and enjoy Chole-Kulcha. I love my childhood because then things used to be very simple and your priorities were like that. We four friends used to sit and think that if we bring five rupees each, we will drink four glasses of almond milk for twenty rupees. There used to be Anupam Sweets where we used to buy almond milk and chickpeas and eat them. I love Delhi so much that three of my friends and I started a takeaway restaurant in Mumbai where we started selling Mathra-Kulcha of Delhi. Of all the strange characters I have found, 70 percent are connected to Delhi. The people of Delhi are very idiosyncratic and politically minded. When I was in Delhi, I could reach Himachal in 10-12 hours by taking Himachal Roadways bus tickets from Delhi for Rs.20-25. I have traveled in Delhi’s 540 number blue line bus for years.
Which was the most difficult phase in your journey?
The round can be in several parts. For example, my first three years in Mumbai were very difficult. I was 18 years old and I didn’t know anything about how to find a house in Mumbai, how to save money. I was the one who brought 8-9 thousand from my savings, and worked with MTV. Those times were very challenging. I think there came a time even eight-nine years ago when I was confused as to what to do, because I gave my 10 years to MTV and during that time I was doing many films as well. He then used to think what should I do with my life. I feel my life is like a game of snakes and ladders. Sometimes it seems that now everything is going well, doing good work, then suddenly on reaching number 99 you get something else, which brings you down. Then you go up as well, so it goes on.
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