Remembering late actress Reema Lagoo, who was his co-star in the cult TV show “Shrimaan Shrimati” that aired on Doordarshan from 1994-1999, veteran actor Rakesh Bedi says he had a very “peculiar and unique” relationship with her.
Rakesh, who will seen as Yashwant in a play titled “Wrong Number” presented by production house Felicity Theatre and directed by Raman Kumar on Sunday, reminisced the time he shared with Reema and his other late co-star Jatin Kanakia during the time of the hit TV show.
“‘Shrimaan Shrimati’ was a great show and definitely it was greater because I had co-actors like Jatin Kanakia, Reema Lagoo and Archana Puran singh. With extreme grief I say that we have lost Jatin long back (July 20, 1999) and Reema recently. I had a very peculiar and unique relationship with her,” Rakesh told IANS in an email interaction.
Rakesh says he used to lovingly poke Reema all the time on the sets.
“I knew her for a long time and I used to trouble her a lot in a funny way. I used to make sure that she gets angry with me, I used to do things that she gets upset and shouts at me and after an hour she will find me, hug me and share a cup of tea together as soon as she becomes normal.
“I started irritating her again and this went on and on during the process of ‘Shrimaan Shrimati’. So it wasn’t a love-hate relationship but one filled with lots of love,” said the 63-year-old actor.
On Jatin, Rakesh says that with him it was more of a professional relationship.
“Jatin was very junior to me so I didn’t interact with him on a one to one basis. Professionally, we used to interact a lot but on a personal basis I didn’t know him,” he said.
On actress Archana Puran Singh, who essayed his wife in the show, Rakesh says she is a very close friend and they share a “fantastic relationship”.
“She is a very good actor and a thorough professional”.
From the time of “Shrimaan Shrimati”, to appearing frequently on “Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain !” in today’s time, what are the difference that make him wish it was still the era of the 90’s’
“‘Shrimaan Shrimati’ ran almost for four years and took the country by storm. In fact the people who were seeing it still swear by it and I am very proud to be a part of it. Well I will say things have changed and things should change now since time doesn’t remain stagnant.
“Some of the shows from the past like ‘Ye Jo Hai zindagi’, ‘Shrimaan Shrimati’ and ‘Yes Boss’ have stood the test of time and have remained in the hearts of the audiences till now,” said the actor, who has worked across the film, television and theatre mediums till date.
Not wanting TV dynamics to remain the same, Rakesh stressed on the fact that “new story telling must happen”.
“New actors should come on board and new thoughts and vision, should contribute towards media and the creative work,” he said.
Does he feel the face of theatre world is changing in India’
“Yes, definitely the face of theatre in India is changing now. For example my play ‘Mera Woh Matlab Nahin Tha’… whenever we have staged the play it has a been sell out. I must says theatre is been appreciated a lot in India now and given respect too,” said Rakesh.
The “Chashme Buddoor” actor says people want to see good plays and are willing to pay high ticket prices for the right kind of production.
“The recent example is ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ where the play was priced extremely heavily but still people went to see it because it was an extravaganza.”
For a long time Rakesh has been missing from the big screen, but he says he will be seen in few films in coming months.
(Kishori Sud can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Kishori Sud