Ever since the news of a drunk Kapil Sharma physically assaulting Sunil Grover on a flight started doing the rounds in March this year, grapevine has been abuzz. The entire scenario turned into a typical Hindi daily soap with a lot of gossip being generated around it. Kapil Sharma’s public apology, Sunil Grover’s perfect comebacks, the entire team of The Kapil Sharma Show taking sides and the falling TRPs kept the nation transfixed and gossip mills churning.
While everyone spoke their heart out including Kapil, Sunil and Chandan Prabhakar, the other crucial member of Kapil’s onscreen family, his Naani aka Ali Asgar remained tight-lipped. But now, in a conversation with indianexpress.com, the actor-comedian who has been associated with Kapil from his first show, Comedy Nights With Kapil, opens up about his equation with Kapil and the real reason of him quitting The Kapil Sharma Show. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:
Q. A lot has been said and written about the infamous Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover tiff. Even Sunil and Chandan Prabhakar commented on it. Why didn’t you came out with your side of the story?
A. Frankly, even now I don’t want to talk about it. It is a family matter for me. Some differences have come between me and Kapil because ‘something’ happened. But he is still very dear to me. I am, I was and I will always be his well wisher and the same is true for Kapil as well. The unfortunate incident was an internal matter and friends and brothers do fight. This does not mean that we have become arch rivals. And if something is not working out today does not mean that we will never work together. You never know about the future. Secondly, I am not a kind of a person who will go out and wash somebody’s dirty linen in public. I am a responsible person who does not like discussing such issues openly and play the blame game.
Q. So when there is no rivalry and bitterness between you and Kapil, then why don’t we see you in The Kapil Sharma Show?
A. It is only because of creative differences that have been going on for a long time now. I even talked about it repeatedly with the team of the show that Naani’s character has no new dimensions and shades to it. But they never responded to it and were not even working towards it. So, when I didn’t get any reply, I took a decision to exit. So, there is no rivalry and bitterness from my side.
Q. What can the fans of Kapil’s Naani and Daadi expect from her in the Tubelight special episode, Super Night With Tubelight, starring Salman Khan and Sohail Khan which is scheduled to air on June 18?
A. I will be playing three different characters in the special episode with Salman bhai and Sohail bhai. I will not say that none of my three acts has me as a female character but one thing I can promise is that all my three avatars are fresh and the audience will have something new from me this time.
Q. How was it shooting with Salman Khan? We have heard that you are very close to Salman?
A. It was sheer fun. Salman Bhai and Sohail Bhai’s one-liners were brilliant. More than Salman, we were amazed by Sohail Khan’s comic timing who came with the best one-liners at the correct time. You can expect a complete masala episode this weekend. About me being close to Salman, it is all his greatness that whenever he comes on a show he allows me to do whatever I wish to. I respect him for this. Whenever I see him laughing at my acts, it’s extremely soothing for me.
Q. Are you nervous for your second innings on television after you left The Kapil Sharma Show?
A. I am definitely excited and nervous to get back on the screen not because I am worried about audience’s reaction but because I always have butterflies in my stomach before getting on stage. The anxiety level is always high whenever I enter the stage but as soon as I connect with my audience it comes down. But I think this anxiety and nervousness should be there always as it keeps an actor grounded and keeps pushing him to perform better and harder.
Q. There are reports that you will be doing a new show with Krushna Abhishek and Sunil Grover. How credible are these reports?
A. I can assure you that there is a new show but who all are a part of it and other intricate details of it I cannot reveal right now. I am not allowed to speak about it until the makers of the show release an official statement.
Q. People still remember you as Kamal of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki. Do you wish to return to daily soaps?
A. No, daily soaps are scary. There, out of 30 days of a month, you have to work for 40 days. Daily soaps are entertainment for the audience but for the actors they are no less than a tragedy.
Q. This is the first time that you have dubbed for Despicable 3. How different is it to be in front of the camera and behind the camera?
A. When you are giving voice to somebody’s else’s performance it is difficult to catch up that tone, mood and variation initially and it takes a lot of time. The first day was quite difficult for me but from the third and the fourth day, I became comfortable. I feel every artiste who gets an opportunity must do it as it gives them a chance to explore themselves as an actor. You may call me greedy but I would love to do more of dubbing and try more of it.