Gleefully yours

Gleefully yours


Gleefully yours

Hilarious: Deven Bhojani in a still from ‘Mrs Tendulkar’.

Deven Bhojani has an innate sense of humour. And this is not just limited to his personal space, but his performances on television reflect the same. Be it his iconic portrayal of Gattu in Baa Bahoo Aur Baby or directing the insanely humorous and witty Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. Deven has had a long and notable career ever since he debuted as a child artiste (Nitya) in Malgudi Days and later as Kareema in Dekh Bhai Dekh. More than a decade later, Kareema is now Mr Suhas Tendulkar on SAB TV’s new show, Mrs Tendulkar, from the house of Hats Off Productions (people who gave us Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Khichdi, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby). The actor is back from the US, where he was busy pursuing a course on filmmaking, and is now ready to tickle our funny bone yet again.

While Bhojani has garnered a lot of success on the small screen, he has not been a part of many films, apart from playing Aamir Khan’s buddy in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. Was it a conscious attempt on his part to stay away from Hindi cinema? “I would not say it is by choice. I would still like to do films. I was offered a few roles but because of my prior commitments to television, I could not take them up. However, let me tell you that the appreciation and recognition I have got through my television shows is no less than films. So, from the rewards perspective, I have no qualms for not having worked extensively in films,” explains the actor.

Interestingly, while all his performances (Dekh Bhai Dekh, Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka or the recent Baa Bahoo Aur Baby) have won tremendous audience acclaim, as an actor, he has never been awarded by the fraternity. Bhojani laughs and responds, “It has been more than 20 years now since my debut as an actor, right from Malgudi Days to Mrs Tendulkar. However, I never got a single award as an actor!” The first time Bhojani went on the dais to receive an award was as the director of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai. So, is an immensely talented actor enjoying direction more than acting? “I feel I am in the best phase of my life. I am enjoying both, acting and directing,” he says.

After Baa Bahoo Aur Baby went off air, Bhojani went to the US to do a course in filmmaking. “After portraying Gattu on television for a long time, I realised that I needed a break. I needed to get out of Gattu’s skin and do a course that would help me further my career and I am glad that I had an enlightening experience,” reminisces Bhojani.

 After he returned to Mumbai, he was bombarded with a plethora of offers (including serials and reality shows). “Sadly, none of them were good. Not a single concept appealed to me and so I chose not to be a part of these projects.” That is when his trusted partners of 27 years — JD and Aatish Kapadia (owners of Hats Off Productions) — called Bhojani. “They wanted me to play the lead role in Mrs Tendulkar. I was taken aback for a moment. How could I play Mrs Tendulkar? But when they briefed me on the storyline, I felt that this was exactly what I wanted to do!” he says.

The show is a story about Mr Suhaas and Mrs Vibhavari Tendulkar, set in a middle class locality. While Suhaas is a househusband, Vibhavari is a bank manager. Since he is the person who does all the household work, people in the locality call him Mrs Tendulkar. “To get into the skin of the character, I lost nearly 8 kgs and also worked extensively on my look. JD and Aatish also chipped in with their creative inputs. I play Suhaas, who is a writer, and therefore I will be wearing glasses and dress up like any other guy from a metro. I am glad that people have liked my look and accepted me as Mrs Tendulkar,” says Bhojani.