Shaktimaan launched in September 1997 on DD1 and successfully aired for eight years. It was conceptualised by Mukesh Khanna, who played the titular role, after he saw kids in his family watching superhero shows on TV. It was also one of the first shows to have a sponsor (Parle G) from its first episode. Shaktimaan comic books also appeared in many languages and even the merchandise was very popular.
As part of our flashback series, let’s check out what the cast of the show is up to these days.
Mukesh Khanna as Shaktimaan/Gangadhar
India’s first superhero Shaktimaan got his powers from the five elements of nature. He was said to be the rebirth of Shri Satya, who had formed the Suryanshi Sect after the war of Mahabharat. He was the one destined to end evil in the world. Interestingly, Shaktimaan also had an alter-ego – a geeky photographer Pandit Gangadhar Vidyadhar Mayadhar Omkarnath Shastri. He created this fake personality to keep his superhero self a secret. Shaktimaan not only fought evil in each episode but always had some moral lessons for his young audience.
Mukesh Khanna was last seen in a pivotal role in Pyaar Ka Dard Hai. The actor recently launched his YouTube channel and has been posting videos on his journey and current trends in the industry. His latest video that went viral has him criticising Ekta Kapoor’s Mahabharat. Khanna has also shared in previous interviews that he wants to get back Shaktimaan, either as a series or a film.
Vaishnavi Merchant as Geeta Vishwas
Geeta Vishwas was a brave journalist in a daily newspaper. She was the one to first report about the superhero and even christened him as Shaktimaan. Geeta and Shaktimaan were in love with each other but because of his responsibilities towards the world, Shaktimaan never encouraged the relationship.
Vaishnavi was loved as Geeta. It was said that when her character was written out of the show, fan protests prompted the producers to bring her back. While Vaishnavi also ventured into films, it was television that brought her recognition and fame. She is popular for her roles in shows like Chhoona Hai Aasmaan, Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke and Tashan-E-Ishq among more. Vaishnavi is currently seen in Divya Drishti and Yeh Unn Dinon Ki Baat Hai.
Surendra Pal as Tamraj Kilvish
The antagonist of the show Tamraj Kilvish was the ruler of darkness. The source of evil, he lived thousands of years and was destined to be killed by Shaktimaan. Kilvish intended to rule the world by spreading darkness, hatred, sin and evil. He and his team would always say ‘andhera kayam rahe’ (may darkness prevail) hinting at their objective. Kilvish also took the avatar of a wolf in the later episodes of the show.
With more than three decades in the industry, Surendra is a popular actor. Surendra is known for his roles in films like Khuda Gawah, Sehar and Jodhaa Akbar. He has also worked in multiple TV shows. Some of his noteworthy work includes roles like Dronacharya in Mahabharat, Amatya Rakshas in Chanakya, Daksha in Devon Ke Dev – Mahadev and Parashurama in Suryaputra Karn among more. Surendra was last seen in Jaana Na Dil Se Door.
Lalit Parimoo as Dr. Jackal
An evil scientist, Dr. Jackal worked for Kilvish. Jackal was not a villain initially but a science lover. After he was denied a scholarship, Kilvish provided him labs for his experiment. He thus joined the evil man and used his special skills of cloning and energy rays to create evil characters.
Lalit Parimoo was last seen in comedy film Mubarakan. On the small screen, Lalit last appeared in Kesariya Balam Aavo Hamare Des. He has also been actively involved in theatre.
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