Still water runs deep, says the wise man. And the phrase finds a definite connect with Jitendra Kumar, the modest, maverick, magnificent performer, who via sheer hardwork and acting prowess has thumped his authority in the digital space.
Popular as Jeetu, his successful acts in iconic web shows like Permanent Roommates and TVF Pitchers have given wings to dreams of many small town aspirants who aim to get their names embossed in golden letter in the world of media & entertainment, like Jitendra has.
His life story is inspiring, intriguing and reinstates faith in the idea of holding on to your dream. Emerging as one of the doyens in the ever evolving space of web content, one of the beacons and pioneers, Jitendra’s latest endeavour, a LIVE reality show christened AIRTEL CONNECTED LIVE, has again soared on the popularity chart. In an exclusive candid chat with IndianWikiMedia, India’s first digital content focused online publication, Jitendra talks about his journey, new venture, TVF gang and more…excerpts…
To begin with, how does it feel to be a digital star?
Of course, it feels amazing. Attention and appreciation motivates me to wake up in the morning and grabbing every opportunity which comes my way to maintain this tag. It’s all good.
You love the world viral…don’t you? What comes first to your mind when we pop the word?
Tell us something about your journey so far… how you began, where have you reached and more…
(thinks a bit) Okay…let me explain. My journey is very complex. I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer but got civil in IIT Kharagpur where I lost my interest in studies and got into dramatics. During my college years I met a college senior who is one of the most creative writers in the country, Mr. Biswapati Sarkar. We became friends and did lots of plays and shot a full length film in IIT days. And then he already made his mind to become a part of TVF and also brought me here. But soon I realised that may be I was not good enough actor and left Mumbai. After working for 3 months in TVF, I took up a job in a construction company in Bangalore and also realised in next 8 months that I am also not good enough in engineering. Then I applied in NSD and got rejected and came back to Mumbai. After lots of family drama I started teaching physics on Sundays for my bills and used to act in TVF video and was part of few plays. And now I am here…it’s quite a story…isn’t it?
Competitive space always helps you to evolve. Without competition you would keep doing the same thing and nobody will have anything to compare with
Indeed it is…so for digital content aspirants out there, what is the go-to formula to make a show or webisode hit?
Open your laptop, write, erase, write till you get the right feel. After that you just need a phone camera and some hard work. You will find your audience eventually. After that they will let you know how to go ahead. Also, you need to find that thin line where you are also having fun with what the audience wants. You have to find a balance.
What are your thoughts on major digital content being replete with sex and cuss? Can we ever have Malgudi Days on web?
To each his own. Having said that, no one can re-create Malgudi Days! I think lot of creators are there who are trying to show stories of our lives in a charming way which people can enjoy and relate with it, like we did during Malgudi Days.
What is your acting mantra?
It keeps changing, according to my previous experiences. Right now I think an actor should follow the directions of the director and give his 100% to get things done what is required. Keep observing, travel in trains. Get inspired from real life (smiles).
If we stick to good stories, good dialogues, good characters, good acting (which needs lots of hard work), we can survive
Your new LIVE reality show AIRTEL CONNECTED LIVE has opened to a great response? Tell us something about it…
Whenever we (TVF) get an opportunity to experiment, we always go for it without any expectation and everyone puts his/her everything even if they are not a part of that creative team. I think that’s what also worked for us once again with ‘Airtel Connected Live’. I am feeling like a video game hero who has completed all the stages in one go. All thanks to my followers for their love and support
Kudos to that…so do you watch Indian television? Ever fancy being a part of saas babu sagas?
Whenever I am home I watch TV serials with my sisters just to observe things for more Qtiyapa.
Do you feel individual content creators such as you can compete with OTT platforms like Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot etc which have comparatively deeper pockets?
The Viral Fever started this web culture with its sketches or Drama series. And if you analyze it deeply you will notice that there are plenty of YouTube channels and web shows and sketch videos but only good things are in people’s memory. So if we stick to good stories, good dialogues, good characters, good acting (which needs lots of hard work), we can survive.
After being a part of ‘Airtel Connected Live’, I am feeling like a video game hero who has completed all the stages in one go
Point taken. Now share your best fan experience moment?
The best one is, I and one of my TVF friends were walking on a street. We were a bit sad because of the slow response that one of our latest videos had garnered. Suddenly, a 70 year-old uncle came to us and told us that he loves our work and he waits every week for our video. He has watched every single video and series of ours. That unexpected appreciation made my day and I will always keep that moment with me (smiles).
If you had to choose, which has been your favourite web endeavor so far?
I played Siddhu once which surprises me always. I love my character of Gittu in Permanent Roommates.
Naughtiest soul in TVF…
Vipul Goyal or probably Nidhi Bisht…
The Most Boring One…
No One! Everyone is crazy and amazing in their own way. You can hang out with anyone anytime and trust me you will love it.
Most Fun One…
Mr. Sameer Saxena, Head, TVF Originals…
The Spiritual/Baba of TVF…
The Most Creative One…
Biswapati Sarkar and Vaibhav Bundoo…
Super stuff…Tell us a bit about your personal life?
I am an amazing guy (JUST KIDDING)… I am a complex guy who wants simple things. Who loves colours, shopping, travelling, and poems. I love to be with people and late night chill scenes with friends. I also love cricket.
Your hobbies… how do you unwind?
I can indulge myself in anything to spend time; watching movies/series, playing cricket, cooking, writing poems…
Creativity and web content are synonymous…how do you keep evolving in the competitive space?
Competitive space always helps you to evolve. Without competition you would keep doing the same thing and nobody will have something to compare with and you won’t need to do anything much. In a competitive space you have to keep trying different and experimental things which helps you to evolve.
Any competitor you admire?
I love Shahrukh Khan (winks)
Final thoughts for your fans?
I love you all. Keep watching and keep sharing your experience with me. Thank you for all the support.