Interview: Actor Faisal Rashid - "Playing character of Tulsidas will always be closer to my heart"
Faisal Rashid in Upanishad Ganga
Mumbai, May 1, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) He is often seen in plays of Motley’s. Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META), 2012 nominated him for Best Actor Male in Lead Role for play “Baghdad Wedding”. Mostly seen as a lead in plays directed by Naseerudin Shah, this Shah Protégé, also an FTII graduate will soon be seen in the serial Upanishad Ganga which is currently aired on DD.
Faisal talks about his first television venture and his experience of working with Director Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi and talented team of Chinmaya Mission, who have produced this serial.
We have seen the serial Upanishad Ganga, however talking about this serial, what does it mean to you?
Talking about this serial it means a lot to me as it was my first television venture. However, talking about what the serial really has to say, one can take it as a historic book. A precise, well-written, well researched effort. Every episode has different stories and every story has an Upanishadic teaching to give the audience. All the stories though look ancient yet the meaning is quiet contemporary.
You say the serial has ancient stories but contemporary approach, how is that?
Be it Bhaskaracharya, be it Tulsidas or be it Dara Shikhoh, every character that is been shown has a subtle human side to it. This side is the one which audience has never seen before where the attempt is to show the problems they face and the solution they get for it. Here the audience will see, though it was in the ancient times yet the problems these characters faced were much like ours and the only difference was their problem solving approach which was much too practical and simple.
You have played multiple characters in this serial, which one of them you enjoyed playing the most?
Playing Tulsidas! That one character will always be closer to my heart. We know the renowned poet Tulsidas but the character I play is the one much before he became popular for his work. Here we have shown him with hardships and the family problems which I’m sure the audience is unaware of.
How did this serial happen to you?
I got the call informing me about the auditions. I auditioned. Though I made a lot of blunders but what they looked at was my comfort with Hindi language. I was asked if I would shave my head if the character demands so and I agreed. And I was selected.
Did you have any language problem or costume qualms while shooting?
Not at all! Scripts were given well in advance. Language was never a problem and neither will audience have any issues with the language. Language used is pretty simple only Sanskrit shlokas are precise. About costumes well, I was very unused to costumes like Dhoti but then for almost all the characters I had to wear dhoti.
Talking about the Director of the serial, Dr Dwivedi, how was the experience working with him?
Well, Dr Dwivedi was precise about everything. Be it locations, costumes, script or language, everything had to be accurate for him. And if we came across any problems he was always ready to help us out. It is always a pleasure to work with him.
Did you have to do any kind of homework before starting the shoot?
I wanted to read up on Upanishads but after I received the scripts I did not find any need to do any homework. Everything was well-mentioned in the scripts.
This was your first serial; did you have difficulty facing the camera?
I had faced camera before. But, yeah, facing it for the serial was a new experience for me and was worried for few moments. However, after the first shot it all seemed pretty normal to me.
Do you think the serial will appeal to the youth?
It should appeal to everyone in fact. Because it is a serial which is not merely a visual entertainment but an epitome of knowledge that will be archived so that the knowledge gets passed on to future generations. If people watch it, they will surely get glued to it.
What are your future projects?
Dr Dwivedi’s directorial venture Mohalla Assi, Manjunath directed by Sandeep Verma and UTv’s Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana.