Anang Desai Decodes Khichdi’s Success: ‘Even though the show was about the idiosyncrasies of a dysfunctional family, it had a logic’
Anang Desai has worked in several mediums during his 40-year acting career. But the veteran actor believes his fan favorite character of Tulsidas Parekh aka Babuji in the Khichdi TV series is his historic role.
“When I started my television career, I had mostly positive roles. Then there was a phase where I played a lot of negative roles. Then Khichdi arrived and I received a lot of love. Post that I started to have comedy roles. Today, I am more famous in the comedy genre. Although I am happy to have been able to play various roles on television, Khichdi gave me a new identity, ”Desai exclusively told indianexpress.com.
The actor, who is celebrating his birthday today, has revisited the way he landed the hit TV show. He shared, “I was already doing TV, mostly serious roles. One day, the writer-director of the show Aatish Kapadia and the producer JD Majethia called me to offer Khichdi. They wanted me to hear the script for the first episode and then take a call. They insisted that I play this role.
“Aatish’s storytelling is brilliant. It was so good, I was surprised by its unusual concept. We had never seen such a spectacle. Even though these were the peculiarities of a dysfunctional family, it made sense. I immediately accepted. Khichdi has become a blockbuster, a brand. You don’t often play such roles, ”he added.
Khichdi’s USP is the comedic timing of his characters and dialogues. Desai revealed that the entire cast is talking to the beat of Aatish Kapadia’s writing.
“Aatish’s writing is very specific. He visualizes the character very distinctly and definitively. The humor comes from the way his lines are written. We haven’t changed it much. The fun is when the characters speak at this rate. So each actor tried to improve the performance, but obviously in consultation with the director, ”Desai said.
“In the beginning, all we wanted to do was make a good product. We didn’t think about his popularity at the time, ”the actor added.
Khichdi premiered on television in 2002 and aired two seasons – Khichdi and Instant Khichdi (2005). He had a third race in 2018 titled Khichdi Returns. In the meantime, Khichdi: The Movie (2010) was also made, which became the first Hindi cinema film to be based on a television show.
Commenting on the fact that many thought the film did not measure up to the TV show, Desai said, “The popularity of the TV show was the reason we came up with the idea to make the film. Of course, we can not compare with the collections of films with big stars. Overall, the film performed well. Even today, when it is shown on TV, people watch it with joy. “
So how does he compare today’s humor with that of Khichdi, or similar sitcoms back then? “Until he has good characters and a good script, that’s good. But even comedy has to have timing and flavor, just like the identity of any show. Comedy doesn’t just mean making faces.
Commenting on the change he sees in the entertainment industry from the early 2000s, Desai said, “There has been a great technical advancement, whether in any medium. People are reaping the opportunities of digitization. Professionalism has also improved.
But Desai also has his preferences when it comes to embarking on an OTT project. “It’s a good opportunity and I’m open to it. But I won’t do anything in foul language or in nudity. I’m very specific about it, ”he said.
As a tip for aspiring actors, he stressed, “There might be new opportunities, but there is uncertainty about working in the entertainment industry. So, have the strength to handle any dark period in life. It is good to pay attention to appearance and body, but comedy training gets better every day. No one has time to train you on the set. It is also important to understand the language in which you plan to play. “