In this free-wheeling exclusive interview NITISH BHARADWAJ tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that eyeballs, TRP etc is a game of quantity, a commercial parameter important to a TV channel’s balance sheet but what matters to him is whether even a few people have understood the dos & don’ts of life, assimilated this knowledge & become better human beings.
Based on an ancient collection of stories and scriptures, the 2000 show Vishnu Puran has returned to the small screen. How easy or difficult was it to play Lord Vishnu after playing the role of Lord Krishna in Mahabharat?
Lord Krishna as Poorna Avatar is the nearest to Lord Vishnu, including his Sudarshan Chakra & Wisdom, the 2 most powerful weapons to fight adharma. So, after performing Krishna & with some more experience of life, it was fun to speak as Vishnu from Vaikunth.
Is it true that prior to taking up the show, you had read the manuscripts of Vishnu Puran and recollected the Theory of Evolution put forth in the 19th century by the naturalist, Charles Darwin?
I have always believed that Darwinism is a great theory of genetic evolution. but Maharshi Vyas’s Vishnu Puran also deals with social evolution of life, which is a conscious evolution process of becoming ‘Narayan’ from ‘Nar’. It is the conscious effort of man which makes a better world.
What is the rationale behind your stern personal belief that Maharshi Ved Vyas was the first anthropologist author to address and establish human evolution via the Vishnu Puran manuscript?
You should keep in mind the fact that Vyas had written it almost 2000 years before Darwin. Darwin can be called a naturalist, biologist or anthropologist but Vyas in my view was a ‘social anthropologist’. While Darwinism deals with its anthropological aspects, do you think Vyas not only deals with this aspect through matsya avatar till Krishna avatar, but also deals with social evolution of human society, making his text a more rounded one.
Do you think that bringing back the show that unveils several dimensions of Hindu knowledge pool, will impart moral values and life lessons that would enrich and enlighten today’s generation, in dealing with their own battles of post-corona new world order?
The show has conveyed what is good for them, to assimilate & act on this knowledge is an individual decision.
Do you think that the series, produced by Ravi Chopra, which tells the tale of all the 10 incarnations of Vishnu and was a popular show back when it originally aired in 2003, will garner a greater number of eye balls this time due to Lockdown?
Eyeballs, TRP etc is a game of quantity, a commercial parameter important to a TV channel’s balance sheet. However, what matters to me is whether even a few people have understood the dos & don’ts of life, assimilated this knowledge & have become better human beings. I contribute to making a better society as I would like to leave behind a better world for the next generation.
What is the reason that though the series was popular, it could not eclipse the phenomenal success of Mahabharat?
Success & failure are relative phenomena, which depend on various factors. The total effect & impact are the only criteria for me.
You tuned a director with the Marathi film Pitruroon? How was the experience?
It was a very satisfying experience for me. I have realized that as a director, I am closest to God’s own ability of creation; creating a whole new world from a seed. It is actually what I’d set out to call a spiritual process.
Did your pious image as Lord Krishna cost you your career by limiting your horizons or help you?
In hindsight, some of my decisions have proved wrong for my career advancement but this image & exposure to Krishna has made me a better human being, who wants to contribute to making this world a better place.
You entered the industry as hero of Varsha Usgaonkar in the Marathi film Khattyaal Sasu Natthaal Sun and then went on to do many more Marathi and Hindi films and tele shows and serials. Which are your five best films as well as TV serials till date?
I would like to believe that my best is yet to come. I am working towards it.
Why have you decided not to act in films which are directed by you?
I am of the opinion that a director has a huge responsibility on his head. I do not want to falter in any one department of cinema while I set out to make my own film.
In hindsight, do you regret having taken up politics as well as going to U.K for some years?
My decision to migrate to U.K was definitely a mistake, but as far as politics was concerned, I’d say that politics exposed me to real India called ‘Bharat’ and enriched my understanding of my masses.
What attracted you to saying yes to be part of the web series Samantar for the first time in your career?
What attracted me to say yes to Satish Rajwade’s offer to be a part of his web series Samantar was the mystery which shrouded around Chakrapani’s character & director Satish Rajwade’s openness to allow me to use my eyes well, in a much different way than how I used them for Krishna.
Which are your forthcoming projects both as an actor as well as a director?
As an actor, I am reading two different scripts, while as a director; I have completed writing three screenplays & am finishing the 4th now. I will take up one of them to be made into a Hindi film.
You have acted in films in Marathi, Malayalam and Hindi. What has been your growth as an actor till date?
I feel that I am still growing as an actor and want to do better and more challenging roles in near future.