Ramayan remains to be one of the most famous epics in the history of Indian television. The show shaped the careers of many actors who even today are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of history.
Popular actor Pankaj Kalra, who is known for his role of King Dasharatha in Ramayan, exclusively spoke to IWMBuzz.com. He took a walk down the memory lane to share his experience working on the show.
Ramayan has again become massively popular. What is it about the show that makes it such a hit?
Principles, values and commitment are the main points that make any show or life successful and hit. There’s no example other than ‘Ramayan’ which has all these qualities. The motto of ‘Dharm ki Jeet aur Adharm ki haar’ is what Ramayan teaches us all. Ramayan taught people the importance of ideal characters like the ideal son, father, brother, husband and wife and also depicted the importance of duties and responsibilities in each relationship.
Who did you bond with most on the set?
I bonded with each and everyone on the set, both on-screen as well as off-screen.
How has Ramayan played an important role in changing your life?
The principles and values taught by my parents since childhood were all revised while working on Ramayan and now will stay with me forever.
What were the challenges faced by you during those times?
Honestly speaking, to portray the character of an impartial and people-friendly king was more of a responsibility than a challenge. Considering the importance of the role of Maharaj Dasharatha, I wanted to essay the character to the fullest, without taking any kind of stress.
Did you feel that this show would go on to be such a massive hit?
I generally don’t think about the future or fate of any project that I am associated with. I truly believe in ‘Karm kiye ja, Phal ki ichchha mat kar ai Insaan’. However, Shri Ram Ji has been and is more than kind to bless us with this success.
Tell us something about your character, did the audience like your character back then?
King Dasharatha loved his son Ram deeply and always tried to shelter him from any kind of danger. This quality of my character helped me gain lots of love and appreciation by the loving audience then, which continues till date and now has increased by many folds with the re-telecast.
Can you share your most special memory from the show?
I remember a particular sequence where Shri Ram Ji was leaving for his exile (vanvaas) and as King Dasharatha, I had to fall from the stairs. The first take was approved by the director but just for perfection, I asked for one more shot. After so many years, when I re-watched the scene, I felt happy for having made that decision to shoot until perfection. There were numerous scenes where I didn’t need glycerin. Just by reading the scene, I would get emotional and then perform.
Do you watch the show now? What do you feel about it today?
I make sure to catch up on the episodes whenever possible. I strongly feel that during the shoot, I was blessed with Maa Saraswati & Shri Ram Ji’s Kripa. Looking back, it is hard to believe that I portrayed the role of King Dasharatha. I am glad that Dangal is re-airing Anandji’s ‘Ramayan’. I have been receiving overwhelming responses to my character. I am thankful from the bottom of my heart to the makers and the entire cast and crew for giving me some of the most beautiful memories during the shoot. Also, I am grateful to my family and friends who supported me during my shoot days. In addition to this, the best response that I recently received for my role, came in from my father. Unaware of the fact that re-runs don’t qualify for awards, he wished for me to win an award for my performance as King Dasharatha. I consider his compliment as an award for myself and will forever cherish this moment.