Paresh Ganatra opens about his character like never before

Paresh Ganatra

· What is the concept of the show Bhakharwadi?
The basic concept of this show is that there is a Marathi family, that believes in certain principles and doesn’t change according to time. On the other hand, there is a Gujarati family that believes in modernization and progressive thinking. So, it’s mainly about two families with different ideologies and the subsequent circumstances

· Something about your character- Mahendra Thakkar
Mahendra Thakkar is a modern Gujarati man who is very jolly. In this show, we don’t portray him as a stereotypical Gujarati that is usually presented on television, we are trying to keep it more relatable. I have done Gujarati characters a lot of times. Aatish has given different shades to my character in Bhakharwadi and the viewers are going to enjoy watching it as I am enjoying doing it.

·How has the experience been so far, shooting on the set of Bhakharwadi?
I can sum it up in one word – unforgettable! I enjoy it the most if I go on the set and see people cheerful and laughing. So, I always make it a point to remain happy and smiling while I am on the set as I myself hate negative people. While we were shooting for Baa Bahu aur Baby, we used to wait for the time when we have to go on the set and shoot. Even if it was an off and we were with our families, but we missed our other family.  And although it has been less than a month since we started shooting, this is the same case with Bhakharwadi. This positive feeling also impacts everyone’s performance and will be seen on television as well.

· Having given hits like Baa Bahu aur Baby and Chidiya Ghar, what are your expectations from Bhakharwadi?
Whatever show we do, we feel it will go long way. But ultimately, it’s the viewers who decide. Whenever I see the make-up staff, dress team or any other of the other staff on the sets, I feel happy because they have been earning because of the show running for so long. Hence, I wish that every show I do runs for long. I hope Bhakharwadi runs for at least 10 years.

·You have also worked in some successful movies. What is the difference between doing films and television?
Doing television requires great hard work. Films get completed in 30-45 days and hence, the remuneration is different, depending on the days you have worked for. Another difference is that in the case of television, you are going into people’s houses without any money. Whereas, for films, they have to pay and come to watch it. When you do television, which is a lot of hard work, and your character gets successful, you get that creative satisfaction. However, talking about advantages of both the mediums, people will remember you for your character irrespective of the medium, if you have done justice to it. Also, the lives of people associated with making a television show are more dependent on its success than of those working for a film. Thus, I can be fine with my film not doing well but I would desperately want my shows to work out. So, both mediums have their advantages and disadvantages.

·What made you take up this role?
The reason behind accepting this role is Aatish Kapadia, who is not only my good friend but also an amazing writer. He is very well aware of my strengths and weaknesses. When he narrated this role to me, I asked what this character has that I haven’t already done and he assured me that there will be so much that I would have not done previously.

Secondly, there is always this greed of continuously working with such a great team of people including Deven, JD Majethia and Aatish Kapadia, who are extremely creative and work with great commitment. This grabs you and makes you work even harder. We are also very good friends since so many years now, and thus, we want to work together and outdo each other, in a positive sense.  So, working with such people gives a creative push. It is sometimes very difficult to get creative people on the same page. 

·What will the audience like in Bhakharwadi?
I think the audience is going to love the emotions that are associated with this show because it is a slice of life series. The show does not have forced slapstick comedy but it will bring a smile to your face; suddenly you would also feel emotional. This bag of emotions is what we want to give to the audience along with unlimited entertainment. Also, the viewers will enjoy because of the relatability of this show. So, I am sure that once the audience starts watching us, they are going to miss us on the weekends. 

·Are there any similarities between your character on the show and you in real life?
Considering the father-daughter relationship, it is the same both on screen and off screen. I don’t have fights with my wife because I am a very calm person. My philosophy is that there is no good in getting angry or fighting with someone. However, when it comes to self- respect, I can fight with anyone because this is what I value the most.

· What is your personal favourite – Gujarati Bhakharwadi or Marathi Bhakharwadi?
I am a fan of food and love everything ‘Chatpata’. Bhakharwadi is one of my favorite snacks whether it is from Chitale Bandhu in Pune or from Vadodra.

·Do you also know how to make Bhakharwadi? Do you know cooking in general
I have no idea of making bhakharwadi as I am only interested in eating it. I don’t know much about cooking but I can make thepla, parathas, sabji and chai so that I don’t have to depend on people to serve me. I love cooking but I haven’t focused much on that, however, some day I will do that as well. 

·What do you prefer in real life- nuclear family or a joint family?
Everyone has their opinion whether joint family is better or a nuclear one. Until now, I have stayed in a joint family. We get very busy in our life and we don’t usually have time to impart family values to our children. So, having my parents stay with us, this happened and we didn’t even realise how our kids grew up. Today if people appreciate my kids and their upbringing, I would give credit to the joint family system for us.

However, there are also some advantages of a nuclear family in the sense that you get your desired freedom and space. Ultimately it depends person to person what they prefer, but for me and my family, we prefer a joint family.

·Do you watch Sony SAB? What is your favourite show on the channel?
Yes, I do watch Sony SAB. My kids love watching this channel and specially the show Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah.