He is the lean, lithe guy who plays Lord Shiva in the mythological serial Vighnaharta Ganesh on the telly. For Malkhan Singh, it has been a long journey, from Kamasutra 3D and Meeruthiya Gangsters to winning people’s hearts through his symbolic divine presence on the small screen.
“In Kamasutra 3D, I played a warrior and a Naga sanyasi. Looking back, even in that, I had Lord Shiva’s blessings as I played his disciple,” shares Malkhan, who also played a warrior, with his lean mean physique, in the popular Hindi serial Maharaja Ranjit Singh. “When I switched to Vignaharta Ganesh, I was playing God again. Intriguingly enough, there is this temple that I have been going to for the past 14 years, every day. I have been practising yoga and meditation for many years as well, and have now realised that Shiva lies in everyone. I feel blessed to be playing this role in the serial.”
Malkhan considers this serial as a turning point in his career as it has taken him inside the living rooms of people across the country, and beyond, and has made him a household name. He has fans mobbing him everywhere he goes, from airports to malls. “My biggest fan is Anushree Sharma from Bhopal. She has been sending me blessings every day and even came down to Mumbai last month to meet me, sweetly gifting me chocolates her mother had made for me and my family. Such incidents touch me deeply and make me value all the love and affection that my well-wishers shower on me. I feel grateful for where I am today.”
However, it hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses for Malkhan, who had been trying to make his mark in tinsel town. He dabbled in modelling, and then in theatre under the tutelage of renowned Maharashtrian theatre artiste Mukesh Jadhav. “Theatre and modelling gifted me with confidence in front of the camera and a live audience, better body language, posture and command over the language. For the past 10 years, I had been struggling with movies and serials. Since a year ago, when I started playing Lord Shiva in Vignaharta Ganesh, I have begun to feel much stronger and successful. My life has virtually taken a 360-degree turn. I think when you play a powerful character, it has a huge positive impact on your personality and on the way you think.” Malkhan is pretty anchored for someone who started out as a model, struggling to find a footing in Mumbai, and then gradually learnt the ropes of acting through several workshops. “The workshops were an excellent learning ground. I always believe in the saying that the more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in the battle.”
It isn’t a battle though for him to stay fit as Malkhan practises yoga with enviable ease every day. A martial arts enthusiast, he places a huge premium on fitness, and despite his manic shoot schedules, makes time for his work out on an everyday basis. “For me, fitness is most important because it is not about having a six-pack. It is all about agility, flexibility, and being able to tune out the tension. There have been days when I have had to be on my feet for 13 rigorous hours on the sets. My fitness routine helps me to stay energetic and active. Of course, diet is also very important. But what is vital is a positive attitude towards life.”
He counts his mother as his biggest strength, apart from his friends who form his support system. “They have stood by me through tough times and good moments. My friends are an enthusiastic bunch, always honest in their opinion,” he shares, happy in his space professionally. “My biggest lesson until now is to never ever judge anybody as you never know what they are going through. If you can help them, lend a hand, but never demoralise anybody. I try to be as humble and polite as I can be. I believe I will never stop learning. I will simply keep learning till I die, because even the last breath you take teaches you how to die. Life is a gift of God, so I am living life by the day,” he signs off.