ETimes got in touch with the actor to know a little about how he kept himself busy during the lockdown, how 2020 treated him and much more.
Lockdown has been great. Initially, we all thought, ‘
lockdown hogaya.. sab kharab ho gaya‘. But now when I look back, I feel it was good. I got a lot of time to spend with my family. ‘
Agar yeh lockdown nahi hota toh I am sure, I wouldn’t have spent so much of time with my daughter and family. Post ‘Unlock’ I did one Hindi film with Rajiv bhaiyya (Rajiv S Ruia), where I portray a pandit from Banaras, one Marathi film with Mahesh Manjrekar, where I play a lawyer and I also did a web series with Rajiv, where I portrayed a Genie. And most importantly, I worked a lot on my own OTT platform. So to sum it up, I had done a lot during the lockdown and now I am waiting for all this to release.
The ideal time to spend quality time with family
Initially, there was this whole panic kind of scenario. Everyone was saying that this will get over in just 15 to 20 days but then the lockdown kept on extending and how. People started joining online classes and started learning new languages, opted for some direction courses and whatnot. But a thought came to my mind that when the entire world is shut and we are officially on leave, so better enjoy it with your family.
A lesson well learnt
I recalled a piece of suggestion given by Archana Puran Singh. She had once said that you should spend as much as time with your kid whenever possible. My daughter was too small when we worked together and Archana had said that this phase with your daughter will never come back in your life. She had said, ‘
maine apne bacche ko chota sa dekha tha…. and kaise woh badaa ho gaya jaldi se.. pata nahi chala.. mujhe woh bachpan ka baccha yaad hi nahi hai and you will miss their childhood, don’t ever do that. Be with your child as much as you can.”
And her words were true, all the milestones of my daughter, from crawling, to standing, to walking and now blabbering to saying her first words and forming sentences was a beautiful process,
Abhi toh woh gyan dene lagi hai, the progression is just amazing and beyond words. All these things are very fascinating for me. In a way, I thank the lockdown.
Idea of starting up an OTT platform
I got a lot of calls from theatre colleagues about theatre people getting affected more due to the lockdown. So we thought of doing something that will help them in the long run and provide monetary help. I remember, someone said, ‘if we give money to the needy, they will eat for a day and if we give them work, they will eat for their lifetime.’ So we thought of starting an OTT platform that will be dedicated for only theatre artist and theatres. So we started working towards it and now we are ready to launch it in January 2021. I feel very proud that we ended up giving jobs to around 500 people. We spoke to actors, we worked on the scripts and everything. Today we have ready, original, more than 100 hours of content that is exclusively shot for our OTT platform. This is the first-ever platform, dedicated to theatre and performing arts. You will get to see one-act plays, short plays, skits, stand-up comedy, story reading, documentary etc.
Describe 2020 in one sentence
2020 has been one of the most unusual years. I will not say negative or positive but something unusual.
If you had to say something to this year
I will say thank you. I will not say goodbye or get lost, but I will say thank you. The year despite being a harmful one, has gifted me with precious memories with my daughter and family. It has shown me my true potential.
Favourite film of 2020
Tanhaji- The Unsung Warrior.
Favourite attire of 2020
Shorts and T-shirts.
Favourite Song of 2020
Songs from Tanhaji-The Unsung Warrior.
Experimental food of 2020
I am a hardcore non-veg eater but I ended up eating a lot of vegetarian food.
Cook toh nahi kiya but I ate bhendi ki sabzi a lot so that was one experiment for me,
Talent you acquire on 2020
I got to know my potential that apart from being an actor, director and producer, I can venture into business and can be an entrepreneur.
One holiday destination you missed in 2020
Biggest regret/missed something in 2020
I missed doing certain films that didn’t happen due to lockdown. So I missed being part of the film. One was a South Indian film and the other was a biopic. I hope at some point I will be able to do those films in future.
Resolution for 2021
Be ready, just be ready
One film you are looking forward to in 2021
‘Golmaal 5’! We announced the film just before the lockdown. I am hoping that we will do it.
Three wishes you want to ask the genie
1. I want my family to be safe from any such viruses.
2. I want my OTT platform to be the biggest success story
3. Want to be an actor who had done a variety of roles and taken on different characters.
One life lesson you learnt in 2020
There is much more potential in us than we think we have.