Known as the young Sanju from Shakalaka Boom Boom, Kinshuk Vaidya is currently seen playing the lead role in &TV’s Jaat Na Poocho Prem Ki. The drama tells the love story of two people from different castes and how that creates conflict between their families. Loosely based on film Sairat, the show has been lauded for its brave approach and sincere performances.
Kinshuk recently sat down to speak exclusively to indianexpress.com about the importance of the show, his journey, relationship with Shivya Pathania and more.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Two films – Sairat and Dhadak on the same subject have already been made. What new will we get to see in the show?
Weren’t there multiple versions of Ramayana and Mahabharat also made? This is the first TV show around the subject. The basic premise might be the same but the characters are very different from each other. Also, unlike films, in a show, you can delve deeper into the characters and understand their mindset and emotions. Like my character Badal, he is a strong guy, with aims and goals. He wants to become a successful man so that no one ever questions his caste. We have focussed on those aspects also.
Q. What’s your take on television shows being adapted from films?
I think it’s great. One usually doesn’t copy it completely but adapts in their own style. Topics like class discrimination and honour killing are so relatable in the current scenario. Though these films are being watched widely, the small sections in the country still have access to only TV. So in a way, we are spreading the message to every corner of the world. And these are the people, who should be more aware of this sad mentality.
Q. But these are also the people who might believe that it’s actually wrong to fall in love with a person from different caste/class?
There are different kinds of people everywhere. While many would pick faults, there would be a lot many who would get inspired by our characters. Not just to believe in love but also to take a stand and work hard to find respect for themselves in society. You might be from any class but one has to uplift themselves and prove that they are worthy of achieving everything. Our show deals with pertinent issues that need to be discussed widely.
Q. You are born and brought up in Mumbai, a metropolitan city. Do you feel people in urban cities are blind to these incidents?
Honestly, especially in Mumbai, people have no time. They don’t even know what’s happening in their own houses. While small-town folks are more vocal about it, people in cities want to believe they are progressive. They will claim to be very modern but will definitely raise an eyebrow when their daughter wants to get married in a lower class. So yes, these things are happening everywhere. I don’t know how do we fight it but maybe a few generations down, people would be aware and educated enough to understand the importance of equality.
Q. You started your career as a child artiste. What was the kind of struggle you faced when you decided to get back to acting?
I think I was probably very lucky to have not faced any struggle. So after Shakalaka Boom Boom, I decided to take a break. Though, I was working behind the camera, assisting people. I actually wanted the audience to forget Sanju before I get back. But even today, I don’t think the image of Sanju has faded a bit. I knew I couldn’t sit at home forever and so I chose to get back. I knew it would be tough to get into films and was plain lucky to bag Ek Rishta Sajhedaari Ka. It was a typical Rajshri show with Kavita Barjatya helming it. It was a perfect comeback for me.
Q. Why do you feel it would have been tough with Bollywood?
I look quite young to be in films. I feel if there was an Ishq Vishq being made today, I would have suited it perfectly. But the trend of such film is gone and even if it was to be made, an older star would have played the character. I hope someday I find a character suited for me. But I deeply believe that it makes more sense to do a good TV show than a film that goes away without any notice.
Q. Shakalaka Boom Boom is one of the most iconic shows from the 90s. What’s your take on the current trends on the small screen?
It’s sad that there are no kids’ shows anymore. But then, children today don’t even have time for television. They are burdened with studies and activities that they cannot sit and watch TV. Also, the kids are getting matured too soon and being exposed to everything. I know a seven-year-old who is hooked to Netflix. I feel the shows in our time made you believe in fantasy and gave hope. It was beautiful back then.
Q. As far as your relationship with Shivya Pathania is concerned, you guys have always been very open about it. Was it a conscious decision to not hide it?
Totally, and I think it was Shivya who took the initiative. We represent young India and I hope we set a trend. But I also understand why many keep it under wraps. There are times when the relationship becomes the point of discussion, and no one is even bothered about the work you do. We did face a similar stage but fortunately, fans today are evolved. They now look at us as individual actors apart from being a couple. That’s being really motivating.