Actor Mandar Chandwadkar has been playing Atmaram Bhide on Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah for over a decade now and on the show’s 14th anniversary, Mandar recalled that he gave up his engineering job in Dubai to try his luck in acting. Mandar shared with ETimes that when he took the decision to switch careers, it seemed extremely risky but he took that leap of faith anyway.
He said it was quite a risky decision when he decided to return from Dubai and leave his job in 2000. The actor recalled that when he moved back to India to pursue a career in acting, there were very few channels and until he landed the role of Atmaram, he faced quite a bit of struggle. “But I am glad everything has paid off really well. I bagged Taarak Mehta after my struggle period and the rest is history,” he said.
Mandar has been playing Atmaram for a while now and the show’s popularity is such that everyone refers to him as his screen name. The actor shared that with the rise of social media, people have started knowing his real name as well but his laundry bill still comes in the name of Atmaram. “I still get my laundry bill on my on-screen character’s name Bhide,” he shared.
In a recent chat with indianexpress.com, show creator Asit Kumarr Modi revealed that no channel wanted the show for six years. He recalled how they landed a deal with Sony. He said, “Sony Pictures was re-formatting SAB as a comedy channel, and the then COO NP Singh asked me if I wanted to do something. He liked the concept but there was no budget and I knew I would run into losses. However, my wife and my team assured me that this was something that will work. Hence I accepted it as a challenge, listening to my inner belief. We kept working hard and it’s already been 14 years. It feels like we just started yesterday.”
Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah has aired over 3500 episodes and is the longest running show on Indian television.