Mandar Chandwadkar, aka Bhide of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chahsmah is quite happy to be a part of cult SAB TV show which has now crossed 2500 episodes.
Says Mandar, “I guess one of the main reasons why we have lasted so long is our simple and relatable plots. We don’t go along the beaten, costume-laden saas-bahu tracks. Understated humour is our main USP.”
“Also, our apartment tales do not speak about one community; rather, we celebrate unity in diversity. Gokuldham Society has Gujarati, Marathi, Parsi and Sikh families, living in peace and harmony,” he adds.
Here, Mandar credits the Producer, Asit Kumar Modi, for always keeping the unit together (no small task). “He knows exactly how to behave with whom. Plus, despite reaching so high, he is still very grounded. Issues continue to be resolved over one direct phone call, like before.”
Talking about his sermonizing teacher character, Mandar says, “Being a theater artist, I add a lot of my personal inputs, i.e my equations with my real-life wife, and common, middle-class Maharashtrian attributes (which I am and also represent). The scripts are so well-written, that you want to take it to the next level.”
Talking about the current track, he says, “We are focusing attention on the rising number of bank frauds via Jethalal (Dilip Joshi), who is now accused of fleeing the country after looting a bank to the tune of 100 cr. Eventually, we will come to know that Jethalal is only a victim of misunderstanding, which seems to happen with him a lot.”
“Bhide is shaken, but still believes his life savings, deposited in the same bank, will be safe-guarded. Although my character gives lots of gyaan, even he has made big time bloopers. This shows that he too is an ever-learning human,” he adds.
Mandar prefers not to do other TV shows. “I don’t want to lose Bhide’s unique identity, which I have built with lots of hard work. This exclusivity works for both producer and me.”
However, he denies signing an exclusive contract with Neela Telefilms. “This is our personal understanding.”
In closing, we ask him whether Bhide will ever agree to his daughter Sonu’s match with Jethalal’s son, Tapu (Raj Anadkat). He laughs, “That is a creative call but hope not, for my character does not like Tapu, thinking him to be naughty, irresponsible and someone who has got everything the easy way.”
Keep your good work going, Mandar!!