A complete package

telly actor

A complete package

It is a simple format, yet it unfolds beautifully as I narrate and knit together different stories from everyday life. Everyone can identify with these incidents and episodes,” says actor Rithvik Dhanjani, busy promoting his mint new show Ae Zindagi that is being aired on a music channel on the telly.

“It is an exciting first for me and am happy the way it is panning out.” Of course, everyone remembers him as the dishy Arjun from Pavitra Rishta, and as Jai Khurana from Pyar Kii Ek Kahaani, two iconic serials from the house of Balaji.

He is young, spiffy and witty. Rithvik Dhanjani has an unbelievable youth connect. Add to that chequered career, with multiple outings in the dance, acting and theatre arenas to his credit. Dhanjani has figured in telly specials including Dare to Dance and V Distraction, and starred in the popular serial Yeh Aashiqui for three years. “I have been closely associated with the young gen through my work and I truly love it,” he enthuses. Why not? It has brought him name, fame and mean moolah. Ritvik has even starred in two short films, Jo Hum Chahein, and Aftermath Mumbai, that didn’t really create an equal amount of zing on the silver screen.

But, he isn’t cribbing. “I have always given 200% to my work. My work fulfils me in many ways,” he says candidly. An honest admission for the simple guy who was born and brought up in Madhya Pradesh and studied in Dubai. “It was always my dream to make it big in the entertainment industry,” he shares. Since coming events always cast their shadows before, Rithvik was always busy acting, modelling, hosting shows and organising events during his college days.

What about Plan B? “There was never a Plan B,” he confesses a little sheepishly. “See, it was a case of either do or die. I had to make it. If I failed, I would have had to return to Dubai and take over my father’s business. Since that was never an enticing option for me, I put in all my hard work and determination to make it big. God has been kind to me, undeniably. Today my parents have also relocated from Dubai to be with me in Mumbai. That in itself is a big reward for me.”

It isn’t easy, looking good on screen. “Of course, it takes immense hard work. I have just returned from a holiday, and am working hard to knock off the vacation flab. I have been grossly overweight during my earlier years and choose to stay fit now. Being a mix of Punjabi and Sindhi genes, I do love my food though. Butter chicken and bhindi are yum picks, but I have to make sensible food choices to stick to a healthy routine,” he says with his signature smile. Obviously, it is worth it.

The journey has been a laborious one, and Rithvik is reaping the rewards now. He stayed as a paying guest when he first arrived in Mumbai to do the drill — of multiple auditions a day — then got to finally shoot for adfilms including the Airtel commercial for FIFA in 2010, followed by adfilms for other brands including Sprite, Lipton, Lays... He even choreographed filmstar Sonu Sood for a performance. Quick to capitalise on his innate sense of rhythm, Rithvik performed mean dance moves with his beautiful partner, Asha Negi, to clinch the first place in Nach Baliye 6. And Rithvik being the audience magnet that he is, ended up hosting Nach Baliye 7 as well.

“I feel it is very important to accept change and move along with the flow, professionally. My advice to all aspiring actors and anchors out there would be to keep going. Always maintain the momentum in your passion and dedication towards your work. You are bound to shine!”

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