'Common' character

Telly talk

Atul Parchure has been away from the television scene for some time now. But who would decline a role that is nothing less than an opportunity of a life time.

Commoner Atul as the ‘common man’.

“I stayed away from television because, until now, I had never got an opportunity to perform a role that I would be interested in doing,” reasons the actor. In the newly launched RK Laxman Ki Duniya, Atul plays the ‘common man’ and represents his hopes, aspirations, troubles, and weaknesses in day-to-day life, a life that has been depicted by R K Laxman over the years. “Playing the ‘common man’ was like a dream come true for me. Dharmesh Mehta felt that I would easily be accepted as a ‘common man’,” says Atul.

 Talking about his character, he says, “My character is simple. A common man is someone who is always short of everything and yet tries to find happiness in the most difficult phases of life. He lives on the hope that tomorrow will be better than today. He wishes to keep his family happy. He confronts various difficulties to find a solution to his problems.”

Atul adds that he relates with his character as he has witnessed a number of such  similar incidents in his own family. “I have seen people struggling to provide for their children, for their families,” he points out. He believes that the television serial is a tribute to the common man, who is nothing short of a superman to his family. It’s no easy task to essay the role of the ‘common man’, a character that was made popular by R K Laxman through his comic strip.

The challenges are plenty, says Atul, adding that, “This is not a regional tele-show. It’s national and so it becomes a challenge to ensure that everybody feels that he (the common man) is one of us. The edge I hold is that I don’t look like I am from a particular region. I have a common face, but I have to make the character lovable and believable.”
Is Atul a funny man in real life as well? He says with a smile that he tries to be happy, though not necessarily funny.

“In real life, I am very close to what people see on the screen. I do want to be happy and also try to keep those around me happy. I am serious at heart but my looks could say otherwise. I am funny but not just that — a mix of everything you could say.”

Being a theatre artiste as well, Atul loves the stage, but admits that the income from theatre is just not enough to support a family. Having focussed more on his film career, he says he had never imagined he would enjoy television. “Till now I haven’t done any major role on television. But now, I am enjoying this experience immensely. For now, it’s just this show. I have kept aside movies and all other projects to focus on the ‘common man’,” he informs.

In his new role, Atul faces the challenge of making viewers of all age groups laugh. Making an audience laugh is not an easy task, says Atul. “Although people often tell me that making the audience laugh comes naturally to me, I would say it is a difficult task. Comedy is serious business. It involves a lot of hard work and thinking,” he asserts.

His idols in life have been Mehmood and Kishore Kumar. “They were not
just comedians but great actors. It’s humiliating to call any actor a comedian,” he points out. Movies like Padosan and Kunwara Baap have also inspired the actor.

Not very ambitious when it comes to venturing into other fields, the actor
wishes to only act as acting alone gives him immense pleasure. When he is not working, he spends time with his daughter. “As a responsible parent, I try to help her out with her studies, but she asks me not to disturb her while she is studying,” he says with a smile.

During his free time, the actor listens to Indian classical music, reads books and watches Bollywood movies. “I watch a lot of cricket too. I always wanted to be a cricketer!” he says, concluding the interview with a glint of smile.

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