Rajeev Khandelwal has perhaps been one of the most popular discoveries of Ekta Kapoor. The actor-producer duo gave us the blockbuster TV show Kahiin To Hoga way back in early 2000s. No character recently has seen the fan following as Rajeev’s Sujal Garewal. He went on to do films and host TV shows, but the 42-year-old actor’s latest outing might just be his most exciting one yet. Rajeev is returning to the Balaji camp with one of its most anticipated web series – Haq Se, an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic drama Little Women.
While fans await to know more about their new web series, indianexpress.com had an exclusive chat with Rajeev to know what intrigued him to make his digital debut with Haq Se. “With times, mediums keep changing, newer avenues open. I’m still doing the same thing I did in 2003 with Kahiin To Hoga – I’m still acting. Haq Se is a very poetic series. I knew that Ekta is helming it so I knew it is in able hands. But when I read the script, I was blown away. I said I have to be a part of it in whichever measure. It is a beautiful piece of writing. When I’m saying this with so much confidence, I can assure that you’ll love it too,” Rajeev said.
Set in the backdrop of Kashmir, Haq Se tells the story of four sisters – Meher, Jannat, Bano and Amal, and how their geographical situation and rising fundamentalism in the region affect their dreams. All of this weaved around a love story, it also stars Surveen Chawla, Parul Gulati. Aanchal Sharma and Nikeesha Rangwal. The makers released two posters of the show where we saw the cast in regal and traditional avatars.
Rajeev is working with Surveen, his Kahiin To Hoga co-star again. “Surveen has grown many manifolds. I’ve worked with her when she was making her debut and now she is way more experienced. She has lovely energy, she is committed, very professional,” he shared.
“I’m just a part of Haq Se. For me it wasn’t about being the poster boy of the series. I have been telling everyone that the story is about these four sisters. The girls are excellent, the entire cast is fabulous. The writing was so powerful. Sometimes you want to be part of something because you know it is poetry in motion, the actor added.”
A story of four Kashmiri women and their journey to achieve their dreams, #HaqSe. Streaming soon on #ALTBalaji#ALTBalajiOriginal@ektaravikapoor @kenghosh @RK1610IsMe @SurveenChawla @karanvirsharma9 @parulgulati pic.twitter.com/1z95FQBZvj
— ALTBalaji (@altbalaji) December 20, 2017
A modern-day tale of four Kashmiri women and how they live out their dreams, desires, love, amidst unrest and war. #HAQSE streaming soon on #ALTBalaji. #ALTBalajiOriginal #FirstLook @ektaravikapoor @kenghosh @RK1610IsMe @SurveenChawla @karanvirsharma9 pic.twitter.com/U3rTXAgaJE
— ALTBalaji (@altbalaji) December 15, 2017
Rajeev began his career with Ekta Kapoor’s Kya Hadsaa Kya Haqeeqat until he got to play Sujal. Haq Se is definitely a homecoming for him. Speaking about reuniting with Ekta, he said, “I knew this will definitely come up that Rajeev is back with Balaji after so many years. But the truth is, we’ve been around in a sense. I just never got an opportunity to work with Balaji again. There were a couple of things Ekta had discussed but it didn’t work out for reasons. But there were never any issues with Balaji. It is where I started off my career and it’s a beautiful feeling when I meet the same set of people. It’s a different feeling to reunite.”
Rajeev elaborated on his character of Doctor Naushad Rizvi. He said, “I think very simple romantic characters suit me. So this is a little complicated character. There are layers to him. He is idiosyncratic at times. Maybe there’s a conflict in his heart and mind.”
So, will Naushad remind his fans of Sujal? “Why Sujal worked was because there is a little bit of Sujal in everyone. You are possessive, sometimes you border on being possessive and obsessive. You want to sacrifice everything for your love. That is what Sujal was all about. So, I think there will be elements of Sujal in this one too, but probably some different elements as well. It will not be diametrically opposite Sujal because there will be shades of Sujal and so many other romantic characters you’ve seen, plus there is some originality to this character as well which you will probably see and decide,” he explained.
Also starring Parul Gulati, Simone Singh, Rukhsar, Aanchal Sharma, Nikeesha Rangwala, Pavail Gulati, Karanvir Sharma in pivotal roles, Haq Se has been shot in real locations of Kashmir. “But there was a lot of unrest in Kashmir, so we couldn’t shoot the entire thing there. We had to cheat shoot it in other hilly terrains closer to Kashmir,” Rajeev said.
So, how much of a reality check about Kashmir and its geographical disturbances will Haq Se give? “Haq Se is pretty relatable. Sometimes for television you have to garnish reality and it feeds our sensibility. Here you can bare it all. It is not about liberties in terms of sexual content or other things. Sometimes your emotions, your anger, can also be raw for television to depict it. So, this show depicts all kinds of emotions in a very raw manner. It may just leave you thinking about our Kashmir without taking sides. It is not about giving an opinion. It’s about just making you think with Kashmir in the backdrop,” he told us.
Haq Se will stream on the ALTBalaji app and the website.