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Shabir Ahluwalia enthusiastic about his wife Kanchi Kaul’s comeback

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After playing Rockstar Abhi in ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ for seven years, actor Shabir Ahluwalia has started his new journey as Mohan in ‘Pyar Ka Pehla Naam Radha Mohan’.

His character has got many shades and it is quite different from his last role. Mohan is used to playing the flute and has everyone swooning around him, but has somehow lost all his popularity. From being lively to a complete transition as an angry young man, Shabir has got a chance to depict a multilayered character.

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He gets candid about his character and explores different mediums from television, OTT to Bollywood. He also shares that he is looking forward to his wife, Kanchi Kaul making a comeback in the entertainment industry.

“It’s entirely different from what Abhi was. Abhi was happy-go-lucky. He was charming, entertaining, and funny. But Mohan is nothing like that. He’s just angry all the time. He’s angry with everything. He is very quirky, but that’s still in a very brooding zone. So, there is a journey to Mohan. We begin from a point where a lot has happened in Mohan’s life and there’s a lot of baggage to the character,” he shares with IANS.

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“So, the storytelling of ‘Pyar Ka Pehla Naam Radha Mohan’ is not linear. You will probably be going back into the story, finding out what happened then and coming back into Mohan’s current life. It’s really different from what Abhi was and is at the same time very challenging,” adds Shabir.

Shabir’s association with ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ has been really long and Abhi as a character is quite close to him. So, Shabir has to put effort into the transformation from Abhi to Mohan and most importantly he lost 12 kgs for his role in the show.

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“Firstly, the transformation I can talk about is physical. There’s been a lot of changes that I have put to the character, because Abhi has been played for so long that there will be visual reference to Abhi. But when you see Mohan, he is entirely different. I have dropped about twelve kilos for this character in one and a half months. People will see the remaining transformation on-screen.”

On his chemistry with co-actor Neeharika Roy, he shares: “She’s a bundle of energy. She’s really sweet and relatively new. She brings a lot of excitement to the character and to the show. So, it’s great fun working with her.”

As the show is based in Vrindavan, many sequences have been shot in the locales of the city.

While sharing his experience of shooting in Vrindavan, he says: “It was hot to start away, but besides that, it was fantastic. The locations are beautiful, and that area has a kind of vibe of love. We have incorporated everything of Vrindavan, Mathura, Gowardhan, and Barsana into the show. Visually, it brings a lot into the story.”

When asked about the USP of the show and how the love story of Radha-Mohan is going to connect with the audience, he shares: “It’s very today’s story, but it is symbolic of Radha-Mohan’s journey. We have taken the love and essence of Mathura; we have incorporated all the flavours of that region. But it’s a story of a family that’s from today’s time.”

He adds: “There are a lot of USPs and it will connect to different people in different ways. There is no one fixed point, but there is a lot of layering to the show.”

Beside doing television shows, Shabir also did Bollywood projects such as ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ and ‘Mission Istanbul’. Now, after television shows, is he planning to do more of Bollywood and he replies: “I don’t really see the medium. I see what I am doing in that medium, which is really important for me.

“It could be a film, it could be digital, it could be television or audio—my approach doesn’t change. So, the way I would do a scene for the film is the way I would do it for television vis-a-vis a digital. This is because it’s a visual medium, so you cannot cheat by putting only half of your energy in the scene, because it would show.”

Shabir’s wife Kanchi Kaul is a well-known actress, who later took a break after her marriage and mostly kept herself busy with family. Though now the actor confirms that she is planning to start again.

As he says: “Yes, this year she plans to start again. She has taken a long break because she wanted to be with the kids. I was busy with ‘Kumkum Bhagya’, so she said I will take care of the kids. Right now, since the kids have grown up and school has begun, she is going to start again. I am really looking forward to seeing her on screen.”

How he makes a balance between professional and personal life and he concludes: “If you enjoy doing something, you will find time for it. I enjoy being with my friends and my family. I enjoy playing sports, and I enjoy acting. So, when I enjoy all these things, I will find time somehow.”

–By Ila Sankrityayan

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