Rajendra Sethi talks about working on Band Baja Bandh Darwaza

Rajendra Sethi

“The fact that the show has brought together such talented actors, is what attracts me the most”, says Rajendra Sethi as Chandan Khurana in Sony SAB’s Band Baja Bandh Darwaza.

What is the concept of Band Baja Bandh Darwaza?
The basic story of the show is that whenever someone talks about marriage, the ghost creates issues as he doesn’t want the marriage to happen. Why he doesn’t want it to happen is something the viewers will have to find out on their own when they watch the show.

Something about your character - Chandan Khurana
Chandan Khurana is a very jolly person but there is a tragedy in his life – his mother-in-law doesn’t like him at all, even after so many years of marriage. Whether she likes him or not from within, is something unknown but from outside it appears as if she hates him and doesn’t leave any chance of criticizing him. She just can’t digest the fact that a man, who is a bandwala, is her son-in-law.

What is your idea of a successful marriage?
Firstly, I don’t agree with young marriages i.e. marrying at the age of 18. You are not mentally prepared for a marriage at this age, whether it’s a loved marriage or an arranged one, as there are a lot of responsibilities that come along with it.

Secondly, if you don’t give equal importance and respect to each other in a marriage, it may not be successful. I did this mistake as I was probably not mature enough at the time of my marriage. So, you need to realize that you have a responsibility towards your wife, along with your family. I think it is rightly said that the tyres of a car always function together, as in today’s time it is not like how it used to be earlier, not treating women equally. In fact, I don’t think it was the fact earlier as well; it was just imposed by some people. Hence, I believe that if you give equal respect to each other, it will lead to a successful marriage.

There have been a few other horror comedy shows on television. How is Band Baja Bandh Darwaza different?
I have been away from television for the past 12 years. But this show is so different, which is why I am doing it. I didn’t watch television previously but I have now started as I am working for television and there are some amazing shows currently running on television. I don’t mind mentioning that I loved the performance of Juhi Parmar in one of the shows I recently watched, keeping aside other horror and spooky drama in that show. Also, I have been watching a few other shows involving ghosts or spirits and I couldn’t really watch them, previously. However, our show is different not only because it is a horror comedy but also because of the honesty with which it’s written and is being directed. I would also like to claim that Band Baja Bandh Darwaza is going to prove as a milestone in the genre of comedy for other shows of Sony SAB. Although being a finite series, it is going to find a unique place in the hearts of the viewers. I may be wrong but this is my belief and the reason why I agreed to work in this show.

What do you like the most about this show?
I think the fact that the show has brought together such talented actors, is what attracts me the most. If we talk about Mukesh Tiwari ji, even he doesn’t work for television. So, he along with actors like Neelu ji and Amardeep ji have come together for this show itself proves that it’s something different. Since our background is from theatre, I believe that if your casting is done perfectly, 50% work is done then and there, leaving only the work of doing justice to the writer’s script.

What are your expectations from the show? What will the audience like?
The good thing is that the show talks about a family, based in Ambala, and the audience will connect because of the characters and not because of the horror. It is not a horror that involves someone getting into someone’s body; the ghost is already sick of troubles in his own life. He troubles the family in a way that looks comical and has no intentions of hurting anyone to the extent that there is blood or eyes popping out and this is what is different about the show.

What do you prefer more- films or television?
Films. Though it is very important to be associated with television too, but I find more satisfaction in doing theatre or films. Working in serials becomes quite monotonous as you are working continuously but in films, you work for 10-15 days and that also in cuts. Working on television requires great commitment as the production has its own obligations and this might be a bit difficult for me.

Who is your favourite character in Band Baja Bandh Darwaza?
Apart from my character, I love the character of Nani that is played by Amardeep Jha.

Do you believe in ghosts? Have you had any encounter with a ghost/ spirit?
Nothing has happened as such but there is always a question as to whether there is a presence or not. For example, I went to Balaji temple due to some family issues and there were some people that appeared to be having something abnormal with them. People suffering from certain problems do believe in the presence of ghost or spirits and they go to Balaji temple and get absolutely fine. So, believe it or not, there might be a presence of some powers but I hope I never have any paranormal experiences.

If you ever face a ghost-like Sanjeev Sharma, how will you deal with it?
The natural instinct is to be fearful. But if the ghost is the same as Sanjeev Sharma, the one speaking so much, I will ask him that “Why me and not the others?”

How has the experience been shooting so far?
It has been really beautiful and I wouldn’t think twice to say that. Honestly, this is not a world where you are reaching on the set, the director is confused and there is no script for 2 hours. Here everything is planned. The writer, Amitosh, has already prepared his synopses for 26 episodes and has written the script for 14 episodes. We discuss on the script every day and since all the artists are from theatre background, we also rehearse before reaching the set, giving more power to the performance. I just hope everything goes as smoothly as it is till now.

There are some people who get spooked very easily. What advice would you like to give to them?
I would say that fear is at its place but don’t believe in such things so easily. It’s a modern world and there hasn’t been any solid proof of presence of any such things. There are films and shows made on this topic because people like to watch it. The day people stop watching them, people will stop making them because it’s not true. As I said earlier, there are some people who face certain things which are not normal but that might be a psychological problem, instead of the presence of a spirit, for which proper treatment has not been taken. People have started realizing it nowadays that such behavior might be a mental disease and not any spirit. It is not the time to believe in such thing as such things don’t exist.

Are there any similarities between your character in this show and you in real life?
Everything except the fact that I don’t have a wedding band. I don’t have to work a lot for this character as such characters are already associated with me. I am from Delhi and thus portraying a character with Punjabi background is quite easy for me.

Do you watch Sony SAB? What is your favourite show on the channel?
I liked watching Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga as it has the element of fantasy, which I love. I watched it for Smita Bansal’s performance and the graphics used in it. Apart from this, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma is amazing and has been running for so long.