Vijayendra Kumeria, the lead actor of Colors show Udaan, normally gets bored of doing the same show after a year. Yet, he is still kicked about his current show after three long years. “I guess it is the graph; Suraj began with a hardcore negative character under the influence of his father. Then he started to mellow down to grey and now he’s positive. So I have had a lot to do.”
Talking about the changes in the story of Udaan, post the 1.5 year leap, he says, “It has now moved from him and Chakor (Meera Deosthale) freeing Azaadganj from bonded labour, to the husband-wife equation, post Saanvi’s birth. Traditional society expects the girl to leave everything for motherhood. This is not done; rather, both the husband and wife should chip in.”
How do you approach your character? “I try to sit down with the creative and suggest changes, for sometimes, under pressure, the writer ends up giving stuff which goes against the grain of the character. After playing Suraj for so long, I am in a better position to judge.”
While agreeing that the story has changed, he adds, “It must change, for how long can you pull one track? One needs to experiment. The common thread in both is the human mentality to dominate. This same regressive mindset, which supported forced labor, also conditions men to dominate their wives and families. While forced labor has generally ended, women still need emancipation from domestic oppression.
Having said that, it finally boils down to giving the audiences what they want. If they don’t like our new theme, we will change it.”
Vijayendra, who began with Doordarshan shows, was first noticed in Choti Bahu, back in 2011. “I am glad I did not get a lead so fast, for it allowed me time to learn. My first lead was Shastri Sisters, where I played an air force officer, and now Udaan.” He had also played negative in Tumhari Paakhi.
Looking ahead, he would also like to do films and web series.