Shardul Pandit is seen as Armaan in Yash Patnaik and Mamta Patnaik’s latest show Channa Mereya. The actor expresses his happiness having bagged the show and the character. To begin with, he finds the title of the show both interesting and amusing. “It reminds me of Ranbir Kapoor. Don’t we all think of him? (Laughs) Sometimes the name also reminds us of our exes, but now hopefully people will think of our show whenever they hear Channa Mereya. The title exudes Punjabi emotions and romance at its best,” he says.
Shardul’s Armaan is an honest and simple person. “He is a good friend. This guy is going to be the link between Aditya (Karan Wahi) and the audience. He is someone who understands Aditya like no one does, not even his lady love. Besides that my reason for taking this up was personal, which everyone will get to know soon. People thought I didn’t want to act anymore, they thought he does radio and is busy with that. So, every time a production house called they were like how will you manage. So, when I met the creative director she was like we will manage you just do this show. Hence, I am back,” he smiles.
Promos of Channa Mereya have done well. And, Shardul is enjoying his stint in this romantic show. “I mean yes TV is known for saas-bahu sagas, but this show is where you would see romance at its best. It has strong male characters and we don’t have anyone who is trying to ruin the heroine’s life. These are real people with real life problems which is the USP of Beyond Dreams (the production house making the show). I feel the audiences who love DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) will relate to it. It’s all Punjabi, then there is love, and other emotions plus a great looking cast, so I am hoping that the audience would love it,” he adds.
Talking more about his co-stars, he says that the best part of the show is that everyone, who is a part of the show, is known. “From Puneet Issar playing Dada ji to Karan Wahi as my best friend, the experience of shooting is the best. Karan and I were discussing this yesterday that when both shoot together it’s so much fun as it doesn’t feel like work. In fact our director has to stop us talking as we are both like school friends sharing jokes and laughter. Karan very rightly told me that on the set if you like those who work with you, then you go back home happy. I am glad this cast is there,” he shares.
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Showering praises on the Patnaiks and Beyond Dreams, he says, “When I met Yash sir, he told me we have been look-tested in the past so this time it was like let’s do it. He is such a sensitive guy who wants simplicity to be the core. He liked the fact that I am an effortless actor. I have ease and natural flair. Mamta ma’am has written beautiful characters who are not trying to do anything to ruin the girl’s life. They are beautiful, human characters who are all doing what we do, live and accordingly the story progresses. I loved their show Veera which was a unique take and I guess this is again a story which is simple yet unique. Also what I want to add here they understood that I want to keep doing radio. So, I am doing both, simultaneously. This is the first time a radio jockey is acting in a fiction show, all thanks to Yash sir and Mamta ma’am.”
Over the years, Shardul has witnessed many changes in the entertainment industry. “Good thing is that people are now ready to experiment, and also ready to understand that you don’t have to sit on a set every day to work. See how I am managing my work both on radio and TV. I got a lot to offer but they were like we can’t adjust radio timings, but Yash sir and Mamta ma’am and the creative director made it possible,” he says.
Many feel that daily soaps will always have an audience no matter what. Agreeing, Shardul adds, “Whoever said daily soaps are over, they are wrong. The reach of TV actors is still huge. I mean I have done Big Boss. It gave me recognition and helped me to pursue acting. How long can one keep doing reality shows? Ultimate goal of every person is to act, right? I came back to it because I’d rather act everyday than just do one project and then wait for the next as far as web series are concerned. Ab web mein bhi to tv ke hi log aa rahe hai na. What I want to add is my mom died recently and this show came while she was alive, I said yes for her. If she was alive she would have been watching it from home like so many moms who still might prefer TV over a web series or a reality show. I hope she is watching my work. She wanted to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar before she died. So another reason for me to sign this show was the fact that when they called me they said that portions will be shot in Amritsar. And, it felt like if I take this up, I will be able to fulfill their wishes.”