Abhishek Verma is all relaxed and happy to be shooting in Mumbai again. The actor, who plays the role of Shobit in Sonali Jaffar and Amir Jaffar’s Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha, shares that there is a sense of peace and security when one get back home amid these trying times. As soon as lockdown was announced in Mumbai due to the surge in Covid cases during the second wave, the cast and crew of many Hindi daily soaps were moved to Goa, Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli for over two months. With things getting back to normal, the state government has allowed shooting to begin in the city following proper SOPs. This decision saw many makers coming back to their sets in Mumbai.
“The pandemic has affected everyone’s mental health. In such times, staying close to our loved ones matters most. But yes, shooting outside Mumbai was fun too. Given that we are not allowed to travel much, an outdoor shoot is heaven. So, the change was good. But we were shooting most of the time. Also, for safety reasons exploring any other area outside the resort was not an option. So, we chose to refrain ourselves from stepping out unnecessarily and were happy to stay together. Our bond became stronger. We ate together, sat for hours to talk and chilled together. But we were missing home. Also, Mumbai is Mumbai. It’s been my home for many years now. Just not being in the city made me homesick,” he says.
The show introduced new twists and turns to keep audiences entertained and also to match up with the shift in location. “We are very happy and lucky that our work is being appreciated and the audiences adapted to the change. These times are tough, it’s risky to go out and work no matter what profession you belong to. I’m just very happy that we don’t back out or compromise on anything in terms of our script. We made sure we took 100% safety precautions and we made sure we gave our work 100% and I guess the audience did appreciate it,” he says.
Praising the producers for keeping no stone unturned to ensure their safety and for smooth functioning, the actor adds, “Our producers (Sonali and Amir Jaffar) were extremely vigilant. They made sure everyone was tested from time to time. All the precautions were taken. They even made sure not just the actors but everyone from the team whether makeup, costume, light dept, everyone was vaccinated. I also want to say not just outdoors, even now that we’re back, it’s mandatory that we are tested from time to time and they make sure everyone’s in the best of health.”
Kaveri Priyam: Social media is a bit tricky
“Ziddi Dil Maane Na” (produced by Sudhir and Seema Sharma) actress Kaveri Priyam understands the importance of social media, but says it is a bit tricky.
“Social media is a very important link between you, people who love you and your fans. I feel that is the medium through which you can express your views. You connect with people and people can connect with you. I think social media is a boon in a way when you use it wisely. There is a lot of negativity as well. Social media is definitely a boon and it can do wonders for anyone,” she said.
Many celebrities use social media to announce anything and everything. “I think it is an individual choice what they want to put out on social media and what they don’t want to. It is absolutely their point of view because social media is free, but also we have to use it wisely. There are rules and measures,” said the actress, who featured in “Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke” that was produced by Director’s Kut Productions.
While putting content on social media everything is in the public domain, and people often use it as a tool. Sharing her thoughts on this, she said, “I think if you yourself have put some content on media and if it gets circulated and becomes viral then I think it’s a good thing. There’s no harm in that. If something gets leaked and the things which you don’t want to circulate, I think in that way it is not the right thing. That way it becomes a bane and also people making a joke out of some serious issue is also not good. Social media is a bit tricky. You have to use it wisely and so the people have to be equally responsible.” To avoid social media being misused, Kaveri thinks that coming up with “very strict laws is the only answer to all these mishaps that happen”. There was a time when social media did not exist. There was a mystery element associated with celebrities which is now missing. Asked if she thinks it is leading to over-exposure of celebrities, she said, “I think that it is a personal choice of a celebrity how much he or she wants to put out content on social media because I have celebrity friends who have very limited usage. On the other hand, I have some friends who like to put a lot of content out there, so it is absolutely their choice.
“As far as the mystery element is concerned, yes I agree that earlier social media wasn’t there, and people couldn’t connect. There is obviously something good and something bad. Everything has a positive as well as negative. It depends on the actor on how he or she would like to maintain the mystery. To some extent, it depends on them. But the platform is there which is a good thing I feel.”
Tarun Khanna currently being appreciated in FNP’s Media’s short film “Pills” opens up!
Tarun Khanna, who is seen in FNP Media and Fillme Networks Private Ltd’s short film “The Pill”, has never shied away from speaking his mind. Not one to mince words, the actor, who has been a part of the industry for almost two decades now, spoke about the changes he has witnessed in the industry over the years, and said, “Nothing much has changed in the entertainment industry in the last 50 years. There was nepotism before, and it still exists.”
“People still get a chance to work in films only because they are related to somebody or the other. People who are from outside the industry never get a chance. Still you cannot suppress the real talent like Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. The film industry in itself gives a lot of encouragement to nepotism and they don’t let people from outside to flourish. They make it a point that they should only give chances to people who are only from the industry, who are their home grown kids that are there. Apart from that a lot of competition has increased, that is all I can say,” he added.
From mythological characters like Mahadev to Balaram and Ravana, to other reel characters, Tarun has played a variety of roles on-screen. He said it’s a conscious effort to pick different characters.
“The audience has liked me a lot in the role of lord Shiva. So people know that this guy has got acceptance of the audience in this particular character so everybody keeps on offering me lord Shiva’s role or they keep on offering me roles similar to that historical or mythological character. So when I got the opportunity to play Chanakya I jumped at it. When Siddharth Tiwari asked me will you go bald for it I immediately said yes because I knew that if people see me with the jatas of Shiva and all of a sudden they see a guy who’s totally bald, they will know that I am happy to explore,” he said.
“And then when this film came my way I immediately said yes because I really want to experiment. I feel there is a lot of connect that I can make with a certain segment of the audience who is not aware of me as an actor. Those people who are not connected to me as yet and through this kind of product I can reach out to them also. That is why I thought I should take up these kinds of projects also and in future also I plan to take up something of a similar nature. I’ve done another web series which has got a lot of bold content, and my only condition when I am doing a bold content is that it shouldn’t be shot cheaply, it should be shot in a very aesthetic manner,” he added.
So which genre are you most comfortable with? “I am most comfortable playing a warrior or a political figure, a strong character like Shiv or Chanakya or any king for that matter. In modern times I would love to play a cop or an army general or may be a CBI officer. I am very comfortable with these kinds of roles because my personality is such, I have an authoritative voice and personality, so it comes very naturally to me,” Tarun concluded
Yamini Malhotra goes to Lonavala, Pawna Lake, along with her mother, says it was the much-required vacation
When the lockdown restrictions eased, Yamini Malhotra packed her bags for a quick vacation. The Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin actor, along with her mommy dearest, went to Lonavala and Pawna Lake for two days.
“I’m having good fun. Firstly, my mom has come to visit me in Mumbai. This is the first time that she has travelled in one and a half years. Ever since COVID began, last year she had not stepped out of home. Secondly, we could travel together, even if it was for a short period. More than me, I wanted her to enjoy and breathe fresh air, which is why we went for this road trip to Lonavala and Pawna Lake. The weather was amazing and the scenic beauty was to die for. Wherever we turned our heads, it was lush green and beautiful. It is a must go to the Ghats during the monsoon,” she adds.
Yamini says short breaks are important for an actor. “They are such a breather and help you relax as well. Mumbai life is tough, traffic, crowded places, etc, and shooting schedules are also very hectic. Short breaks rejuvenate your entire system,” says the actor, adding that since the pandemic restricted travel, so taking one after so many months was bliss but felt very different too.
“It’s not the same anymore. That terror of Covid remains in your subconscious. We preferred not to go to any crowded places or restaurants. Since we were on a road trip, we tried to find secluded places where there was not many people and had only scenic beauty,” she says.
A passionate traveller, Yamini loves everything about exploring and experiencing something new. “I love road trips. So many unexpected can happen on such trips, it is no less an adventure. It also feels good to see new places and new people. In India every 50 kms, the terrain, the culture, the language, the dressing style, change. So it’s fun to soak in all the different shades of our country,” adds the actor, whose favorite places are Goa and Uttarakhand in India. Her favourite international destination is Dubai.
About the travel essentials in her bag, more so now amid the pandemic, she shares, “Now sanitizers and masks are must carry. But, to tell you the truth, there are no travel essentials for me. I actually want to pack everything (laughs). My friends laugh when they see me carrying one big suitcase packed for a two-day trip. I want matching footwear and handbags with all my clothes, and then my own pillow, sheet, towel, toiletries, my Bluetooth speaker, tripod, and diet coke cans.”