Updated: July 15, 2019 8:54:18 pm
Colors’ new serial Bahu Begum will relay the tale of three individuals Azaan, Shayra and Noor, who are entangled in a web of love, revenge and penance. Set in the royal world of Bhopal, the show will star Arjit Taneja, Diana Khan and Samiksha Jaiswal in the lead roles.
Arjit Taneja, who started his journey as a Splitsvilla contestant, found fame with Kumkum Bhagya. Soon after quitting the show, the 26-year-old bagged the lead role in Kaleerein. He is now set to play a nawab in Bahu Begum. His character Azaan will be seen torn between friendship and love. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Arjit opened up about Bahu Begum, playing a nawab and more.
Excerpts from the conversation.
During the launch event, the producer said that you were the first choice for this role. Does that make you feel special?
Of course, it does. It actually feels really great. When my last show Kaleerein ended, Prateek Sharma (the producer) called me saying he has something for me. I then went on a holiday, and when I returned, he narrated me the character and I was just amazed. Also, he is an enthusiastic man and he actually briefed me about every character. I was really happy with what I heard and immediately said yes. I am thankful to him for he was convinced that I could play the role when many were not.
How would you describe your character Azaan?
It’s a very layered character. He is a nice innocent boy who is a nawab. He has that aura and personality. He has come home after studying in London and knows it’s his responsibility to serve the city. Azaan is young, fun-loving but has a slight anger issue. I was told that he is no king but is royalty. I was asked to refer to Saif Ali Khan’s personality — a nawab yet so contemporary. Also, people assume that all Muslim characters would end up saying shayari but we have not used a lot of Urdu. Just a few words, diction and of course the mannerism. I love the tehzeeb (respect) that the culture has and I hope I get to learn more about it.
How has the initial response been to the show?
Honestly, I really felt so lucky that the first promo was on me. Usually, on television, the focus is primarily on female characters. But all three trailers were from my perspective. The show has a very strong male part and I think that was one of the major reasons for me to take it up. As for the response, my family, friends and fans have really loved it. And now I am looking forward to seeing what they have to say about the show.
It’s a tight rope to walk when you have a project that’s based on religious aspects. Bahu Begum also talks about a man marrying twice. Is the team working on avoiding any kind of controversies?
As actors, we only do what we are told to do. But I must add that the team is working hard as to not offend or hurt any sentiments. We are not promoting polygamy. There is a reason why he marries twice and one has to watch the show to know more about that. Other than that, we have a maulvi (cleric), who comes on sets every day to keep a check on our work. One does have to keep certain things in mind to safeguard religious interest.
The show is pitted against Kundali Bhagya and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai at the 9:30 pm slot. Do you think it will manage to survive the competition?
Kundali and Yeh Rishta are doing wonderfully well but all three shows are very different. Each has its own themes, characters and storylines. I think all of them can co-exist together, at least I hope so.
All the rumours about your relationship with Mrunal Thakur have suddenly died. What’s your equation with her now?
She is a very good friend and we have the same strong bond. I recently spoke to her and we were excited that both of us have a new project releasing. I wish her the best for Super 30 and Batla House.
So, are you single?
Very much, and I am really happy. I am focusing on my work and I have my friends to hang out with. I also spend time travelling these days. I feel you can’t force a relationship, it just happens organically. I can’t go out and look for a girl. If and when it has to happen, it will. Right now, I am in a happy space.
Starting July 15, Bahu Begum will air Monday-Friday at 9:30 pm on Colors.
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