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“MY FATHER IS A DEDICATED VIEWER OF SONY SAB” ~ ZAKIR HUSSAIN FROM BEECHWALE – BAPU DEKH RAHA HAI

September 22, 2018 07:38 PM

ENCOUNTER WITH ZAKIR HUSSAIN

?Please tell us something about your character as Bobby Beechwale.

-My character, Bobby Beechwale is a Punjabi man who lives with his family in Delhi. His 90-year old grandfather used to be a freedom fighter and has taught them Bapu’s values, since Bapu used to be bigger than religion once upon a time. Beechwale is the story of the middle class that suffers the most. Everyone suffers, but the middle class person’s mental state is such that he is always stuck. He works hard but is scared of leaving his roots. The middle class is always scared of something or the other, even when he is happy. He has the fear of… ‘What if this happens’. Bobby has been taught to do all the right things, but when he is in trouble, he complains, why is Bapu just looking at us? Why is he not looking at the ones who are spreading dirt in the society?

 ?You have always been part of movies, what made you choose television and say yes to Beechwale?

- When I came Mumbai in 1997, I started with television itself. I studied drama in Delhi and my first serial, too, was in the city. I have done television in my initial career of acting and a lot of it. I never thought that I will not or only do TV or Films. I like the concept of Beechwale as it is quite different from regular television shows. Secondly, my father does not watch films in theaters. He watches only Sony SAB shows, and that too regularly. I feel that this is an excellent medium for me to meet my father every day. I get offers for regular shows, but when similar time and effort is required for all, I want someone to be able to say that I had done a good show - Beechwale.

?How is TV different from the big screen according to you?

Zakir Hussain: Personally, I feel, the gap between small screen and big screen is gradually diminishing. Television is always under pressure to deliver content. 20 years back, filmmakers were making TV shows. For the last few years, TV has been targeting the female audiences not to show their problems but family politics. In films, all kinds of stories are being made. TV nowadays is like a newspaper, it gives freshness. However, we only remember the movies that are good. If one wants to do quality work on TV, there are various limitations. There are limitations in films too, but somewhere, you have the liberty to tell what you want to.

?How is Beechwale different from other shows?

-There’s no such show on any channel. Take the name of any channel. I keep hearing and reading about the petrol and diesel hike and Beechwale are most affected by this. Their budgeting gets disturbed. A poor person will eat in the same cost, irrespective of the price hike. The rich man will spend a little more, and not be as affected. However, for a Beechwala, even a Rs. 2 increase makes things unsteady for him. This show is based on this intricacy. There are many shows on broad perspectives, with every second show on relationships. 

?What is the ‘Beechwala’ issue that you have faced in your life?

Zakir Hussain: I have had an inter-religion marriage. My wife is a Hindu. When I passed from drama school, I never used to get houses in Delhi. Till I stayed on rent, I faced this problem. It is a religious problem, but mostly a middle class one. I once had to pay Rs. 500 extra to get a house in my name. All these problems are not faced by rich people. 

? Which Gandhian principle do you abide by?

Zakir Hussain: In the show, Bobby does not abide by any. Our grandfather taught Gandhiji’s principles to our father, and he taught them to us, but they have gotten diluted while reaching us – we agree with them and don’t at the same time – in equal parts

?Tell us about your shoot in Delhi?

I am from Delhi itself. The shoot in the city was outdoor to establish the city. We shot a lot of scenes at the Lal Quila, India Gate, Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place.

?Being from a middle class background, what is that one’ beechwala’ thing that you’re proud of?

I am proud of where I am standing right now. There are many middle class families where children have done something that had never been done before. For example, there was no actor in my family. There is no one connected to arts, but they are all artists. My father used to be a carpenter. My elder brother has done his MA in Geography. There was no connection to acting. Hailing from Meerut, I had no idea where theater used to happen in Delhi. I reached there slowly. The opening of a new world and reaching where I am today, is a big achievement for me. 

?Any message to the Bhartiya Janta?

-I don’t feel I am in a situation where I can give a message. I am not at that level. However, to those who are my friends and love my work, I would say that they should respect their surroundings and each other’s opinions, religion and support if they can. When I say support, I mean if anyone needs any help. People get angry quickly nowadays. One human being should respect another, because things can be repaired. We will then understand each other better. For instance, in western countries everyone addresses each other with their first names and they respect all jobs.--

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