Harish Bhimani is a writer, anchor, voice-over artiste, on-screen person and documentary and corporate filmmaker, who is known for the voice of Samay, the narrator of TV series Mahabharat created by BR Chopra, which is currently airing on Star Bharat.
He is known to have given his voice for many lights, sound, laser and 3D projection mapping shows at historical monuments across India, (from the Statue of Unity to Konark & Shaheed Bhagat Singh to Kirti Mandir (Mahatma Gandhi’s residence & numerous in between) in Hindi & English, audio dictionaries, documentaries, corporate films, TV serials, feature films, TV & Radio commercials, games, music albums apart from hosting public events and ceremonies, since the 1980s. He has more than 24,000 recordings to his credit. He is the recipient of President’s Medal in the category of National Film Awards 2016, in the category of Voiceovers/ narration.
In conversation with IWMBuzz.com, Harish spoke about the show and more.
Mahabharat has again become massively popular. What is it about the show that makes it such a hit?
I have often being asked why Mahabharat has been made 4 times, why it is showed again and again, why it is even popular today when we have advanced so much technologically. The reason is very simple – Mahabharat is a story from Pitrabhakti (Respect for father) to Putrmoha (Love for son). It holds a mirror to dos & don’ts of life and nudges us to rise above the perils of emotions and be righteous in life.
Who did you bond with most on the set?
My work was in the audio studio rather than shooting sets. Actually, I was lucky. Every now and then, I found myself in the company of Doctor Rahi Masoom Raza, the writer who is credited with the creation of Samay. He would regale me with his colorful experiences of the filmdom and how writers were the most important, yet the least respected entities of a film project because the producer thought that he was the best writer! How I wish I had these conversations recorded!
Did you feel that this show would go on to be such a massive hit?
Yes, and the credit goes to the screenplay and dialogue writers because everybody knew Mahabharat but the way it was picturized that made entire India sit down and take a note of it. Mostly, people think it is the fight between Pandavas and Kauravas but it is beyond that and that is why Mahabharat is said to be the manual of human life.
Tell us something about your character; did the audience like your character back then?
Oh yes, although it was a great novelty that a voice can Herald an epic, they just went berserk with the voice although it was really the depth of writing. I was merely vocalizing the thoughts.
Can you share your most special memory from the show?
I was stunned, although I tried not to show it, when Mr. BR Chopra told me that he was taken aback when a major music label approached BR TV to acquire rights of the Samay audio! He said this has never happened before
Do you watch the show now? What do you feel about it today?
Yes, most definitely. The reason is that like Shakespeare and Ghalib, every time you see BR Chopra’s Mahabharat, you detect a new meaning because the writing is intellectually layered. Besides, who can miss the striking similarity between the epic’s theme of Putra-moh (weakness for one’s son) & contemporary politics in India.