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Pankuri Awasthy on being part of YRKKH: Feels great to be part of a family



Pankuri Awasthy, who is part of Rajan Shahi’s Ye Ristha Kya Kehlata Hai, talks about the show and what she loves in it.

  1. Which was the last show that you did?

My last show was Kya Qusoor Hai Amala Ka? for Star Plus.

  1. After 2 years you are returning to TV, what is so special about your role?

Yes, it’s been approximately 2 years, a year and a half to be precise, that I am returning back to the daily soap format. The special thing about the role is that this role is quite relatable, the character is really mature and she understands the situations. What I liked about it is that YRKKH has been running for over a decade now and it’s always great to be part of a family, part of the show that is really liked by the audience.

  1. YRKKH is the longest running show, so how do you feel being a part of it.

Since it’s the longest running show on TV, it fills me with pride that I got selected for this role and it feels great as now I am part of it.

  1. Have you watched the show before? What do you like the most about it?

Of course, I have watched the show and I remember watching the show when it was actually launched. There were Hina Khan and Karan Mehra in it, since then only I really liked the show. Over the last few years, I have not been able to watch it but I have always liked the texture of the show.

  1. How has marriage changed your life?

There is not much of a change in me, post marriage. I knew Gautam before and we are together now, so there is not much difference. It’s just that you have somebody for you all the time and you can lean on them whenever you are going through good or bad times.

  1. How is it working with Rajan Shahi?

It’s amazing to work with Rajan sir. I met him formally before signing the show and the way he explained the character to me, it just filled me with so much pride that I couldn’t say no. He is really passionate and a great person to work with. Whatever he does, he does that passionately and that’s why this is the longest running show and I am super proud of it.

  1. Would you do a show if you are paired with Gautam again?

Of course, I would do a show with Gautam. It would be the most amazing thing to work with him again, whenever the opportunity comes.

  1. What changes you have noticed in the industry from the time you started your career?

It’s been approximately 4 years till now that I have come to this industry and yes, I did notice a change in the pattern of the shows. After every one or two years, the type of content that works changes and then everybody starts making shows with similar content. When I joined, it was about historicals and mythology, now it’s more about fantasy and supernatural.

  1. If you wouldn’t have been an actor than what you would have been and why?

As most people know, I was working in the corporate field, in sales and marketing, so probably I would have continued there. Otherwise, I had various options about the careers I wanted to choose in college. One could be teaching, the other one could have been marketing in a corporate. I also wanted to join politics…so these things, apart from acting, come very passionately to me.

10. Don’t you want to try your luck in films or web series?

As an actor, I don’t want to limit myself to any one medium and I think it’s always great if you get an opportunity to try new things.

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Jason Shah on losing 14 kgs without going to the gym



Who says losing weight is all about working out in the gym. Actor Jason Shah, who has lost a ton of weight recently, and has been maintaining himself by just eating right. “I have actually lost almost 14 kilos on the sets of Jhansi Ki Rani due to extreme heat and a lot of perspiration,” says Jason, who plays the role of Captain Ross in the show.

He adds, “I wish I still had all that muscle, but there’s not much that I can do. I stopped gymming at the start of the show because I travelled quite far, about 3 hours a day. And after that its 12-14 hrs of the shoot, there’s not a lot of time to the gym and because of the amount of perspiration, my body is quite tired at the end of it. I am just waiting for the show to end and I am going to build back up, it doesn’t take any too long, give me two months and I will be good again.”

However, the actor has been eating right and has cut down on his sugar intake. “My parents always taught me that sugar rots your teeth and that it’s a killer and a thief. So keeping that in mind, ever since I was young, I have always tried to avoid it. Of course, I get tempted. It’s not like I don’t eat ice creams and desserts. I do, I spread out and do not eat these on a regular basis. You have got to watch yourself because, in India, they put sugar in almost everything that you eat,” he says.

He adds, “I am not going to the gym and that’s why I am lean. I have been maintaining myself with just a good diet, healthy food, healthy snacks throughout the day- oats, salads, fruits, eggs, chicken. That’s pretty much how I do it.”

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Rajiv Kumar on playing a eunuch in EBSS: I am enjoying my role



While he takes over an hour to get ready every day, actor Rajiv Kumar says that he is loving his role of Dipti Kalwani’s Ek Bhram Sarvagun Sampanna. The actor plays the role of a eunuch in the show. “For my character of a eunuch, I observed the eunuchs on road, also I watched some documentaries to know more about them and their lives. While wearing the costume it does feels a little uncomfortable because a man in his normal life does not wear a sari with so much makeup. As a male artist when we go on the sets, we do very basic makeup but here in this show, I have to put a wig, a sari and jewellery. For makeup, it takes around one and a half hour, but I am enjoying doing the role a lot,” he says.

He adds, “I watched a film called Daayra directed by Amol Palekar where Nirmal Pandey played this character. I also watched a film directed by Mr Bhatt where Paresh Rawal played the transgender character. Also, I saw clips of Shabnam mausi, where Ashutosh Rana has played a transgender and a film where Sadashiv Dattaray Amrapurkar has played this character.”

The actor, who has been seen in shows such as Udaan, Gathbandhan, Meri Durga and  Mariam Khan – Reporting Live, says that he loves working with co-actor Shrenu Parikh. “Among the co-actors, I bond really well with Shrenu Parikh as a maximum of my scenes are with her. She is a very talented, energetic, supportive and wonderful actor. I wish her all the very best,” he says.

Talking about working with Dipti, Rajiv adds, “Dipti Kalwani is an amazing producer as she is very professional. The whole arrangement which she does as a producer in the production house for the shoot is amazing. Five stars to her!”

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Shiny Doshi: Filmmakers used to think that TV actors overact in films



The lines between TV and films are gradually blurring with so many TV actors getting prominent roles in films. Actor Shiny Doshi, who is currently part of Shrimad Bhagavad, says that TV actors perform many scenes every day, much more than film actors, and have no problem adapting themselves to films. “Actors like Mouni Roy, Hina Khan, Karan Singh Grover make us really proud. They have been doing films. Earlier, filmmakers used to think that the television actors would overact and be over dramatic. But now things have changed and any actor who has talent will work in films. Theatre, television or films, every medium needs actor and the medium should be respected. Films shoot max 2 to 3 scenes a day while television shoots for 14 to 15 scenes a day. In fact, shooting 12 hours a day for 30 days becomes very difficult. The shows work for years and it becomes very monotonous and difficult and the actor gets trained in this process. I feel if you place a television actor in any character, he or she will adapt to it well,” she says.

Luck, of course, is another important factor in the industry, says Shiny. However, she adds that hard work triumphs everything. “Luck favours but with that hard work and talents works. Rejection is part of life, not every project works in life. I took every rejection in my life as a challenge to rise up again and try hard to give my best. We are humans and rejections are painful. But if you start taking them positively, then it would eventually work and destiny will get you what you deserve. One should not stop working hard. I feel luck is important but with hard work and talent,” she says.

Talking about her own journey, she says, “When I started my career 8 years back I went for an audition of some other show and somehow the makers of Saraswati Chandra or Star Plus saw me and they thought I should try for it. So the initial show which I went for didn’t happen and Saraswati Chandra happened. I always believe that God has plans for you. I think the struggle started when Saraswati Chandra happened because I had never learned acting. Jennifer Winget and Gautam Rode, who were already stars, were so good at their work that the level of expectation from me also rose. I learned a lot from them. I had life experience of learning acting and direction. I got shows back to back and each character I played was very different. There was a struggle after Khatron Ke Khiladi for a year as things used to lock down but didn’t turn out and so that was a difficult year for me. Everyone has ups and downs in life and finally then my show Shrimad Bhagavad happened.”

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