Shekhar Suman: Shooting for Dekh Bhai Dekh was challenging, but a lot of fun
Shooting for the iconic sitcom Dekh Bhai Dekh, which first aired in 1993 and enjoyed a rerun on Doordarshan recently during lockdown, had its challenges, according to actor Shekhar Suman. He played the fan favourite character of Sameer Diwan in the Jaya Bachchan production that was directed by Aanand Mahendroo.
Reminiscing about the cult show, Suman, in a recent Facebook LIVE from The Indian Express page, said, “It was very heartening to know that Dekh Bhai Dekh was coming back on television because it received a lot of love even when it aired for the first time. So, a couple of times, I sat with my wife and son, and we watched and enjoyed. We remembered all the joyous moments and the good times that we had when we were shooting the show.”
Sharing how the cast and crew overcame several hardships, Shekhar Suman recalled, “We shot for it with a lot of difficulty, hard work, sacrifices and honesty. There were no ACs back then. They used to shut the huge gates of the studios and we used to shoot under heavy lights. There were numerous retakes and Aanand Mahendroo had brought in multi-cameras. So there used to be a lot of commotion on the sets. But mercifully, there were a bunch of great professional actors like Farida Jalal, Navin Nischol, Sushma Seth and the rest of the gang. So doing it was a lot of fun and they all became my extended family. We used to sort out our disagreements because there was so much love. Dekh Bhai Dekh was a great series. I learned so much.”
Suman, who was also a part of the popular The Great Indian Laughter Challenge (2005) as a judge, remarked, “Every moment of Laughter Challenge was memorable. Our laughter never stopped because there were some great guys performing. Sometimes, we laughed so much that we had to call for a cut. I remember once I and Navjot (Singh Sidhu) laughed so hard that we fell off our chairs. There were moments which were beyond our control. It was a great series to be a part of.”
Shekhar Suman, in the same interaction, also hinted at bringing back his talk-show Movers & Shakers on the digital platform. He revealed how it was difficult to maintain that energy while interviewing. “Different kinds of people came, some were talkative, some were quiet, some were perpetually sad. There was a phrase that we used that ‘he’s going to die on the show’, which meant he’s going to be a flop on the show. He’s not going to respond. I won’t take names but there were actors, politicians, police officials, who came and sat like a rock. So to keep the energy for the show, I had to speak continuously.”
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