Shabir Ahluwalia excited about the return of his wife Kanchi Kaul

After playing Rockstar Abhi in “Kumkum Bhagya” for seven years, actor Shabir Ahluwalia started his new journey as Mohan in “Pyar Ka Pehla Naam Radha Mohan”.

His character has a lot of nuances and it is quite different from his last role. Mohan used to play the flute and made everyone around him swoon, but somehow he lost all his popularity. From being alive to fully transitioning as an angry young man, Shabir has had the chance to portray a character on many levels.

He gets candid about his character and explores different mediums from TV, OTT to Bollywood. He also shares that he is looking forward to his wife, Kanchi Kaul, returning to the entertainment industry.

“It’s completely different from what Abhi was like. Abhi was carefree. He was charming, entertaining and funny. But Mohan is nothing like that. He is just angry all the time. He is angry at everything. He’s very eccentric, but it’s still in a very moody area. So there’s a trip to Mohan. We’re starting from a point where a lot has happened in Mohan’s life and there’s a lot of baggage in character,” he shares with IANS.

“Thus, the narration of ‘Pyar Ka Pehla Naam Radha Mohan’ is not linear. You’ll likely go back in history, find out what happened then, and come back to Mohan’s current life. It’s really different from what Abhi was and at the same time it’s very difficult,” adds Shabir.

Shabir’s association with ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ has been very long and Abhi as a character is quite close to him. So, Shabir has to make efforts to change from Abhi to Mohan and most importantly he lost 12 kg for his role in the series.

“First, the transformation I can talk about is physical. There were a lot of changes I made to the character because Abhi has been played for so long that there will be a visual reference to Abhi. But when you see Mohan, he’s completely different. I lost about twelve kilos for this character in a month and a half. People will see the remaining transformation on the screen.

On his chemistry with co-actor Neeharika Roy, he shares, “She’s a bundle of energy. She’s really sweet and relatively new. She brings a lot of excitement to the character and the series. So it’s very fun to work with her.

As the show is based in Vrindavan, many sequences were shot in the localities of the city.

While sharing his experience filming in Vrindavan, he says, “It was hot at first, but other than that it was fantastic. The places are beautiful and this area gives off a kind of love vibe. We incorporated everything from Vrindavan, Mathura, Gowardhan and Barsana into the show. Visually, it adds a lot to the story.

Asked about the show’s USP and how Radha-Mohan’s love story will connect with audiences, he shared, “It’s a very current story, but it’s symbolic of the journey of Radha Mohan. We took the love and essence of Mathura; we have incorporated all the flavors of this region. But it is the story of a family today.

He adds, “There are a lot of USPs and it will connect to different people in different ways. There is no fixed point, but there are many layers to the show.

Apart from doing TV shows, Shabir has also done Bollywood projects such as “Shootout at Lokhandwala” and “Mission Istanbul”. Now, after the TV shows, does he consider doing more Bollywood and he replies, “I don’t really see the medium. I see what I do in this medium, which is really important to me.

“It can be film, it can be digital, it can be television or audio, my approach doesn’t change. So the way I would do a scene for film is the way I would do it for television vis-à-vis digital. That’s because it’s a visual medium, so you can’t cheat by only putting half your energy into the scene, because it would show.

Shabir’s wife, Kanchi Kaul, is a well-known actress, who then took a break after her marriage and mostly took care of her family. Although now the actor confirms that she plans to do it again.

As he puts it: “Yes, this year she plans to do it again. She took a long break because she wanted to be with the kids. I was busy with ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ so she said I would take care of the children. At this time, since the children have grown up and school has started, it will start again. I can’t wait to see her on screen.”

How he reconciles professional and personal life and he concludes: “If you like doing something, you will find time for it. I like to be with my friends and my family. I like to do sports and I like to play. So when I appreciate all these things, I will somehow find time.

–By Ila Sankrityayan