Monday, September 12, 2011


A Heart to Heart with actor Parikshit Sahni
(Excerpts from the Talk)

Q: Tell us about your journey as actor?
A: My journey started from film Anokhi Raat where I was casted as an actor. Although I had come to the industry to become a writer and a director but destiny was having something different for me and Anokhi Raat proved to super hit, it left a impression on audience, after this came Pavitra Papi which was written by myself and I wanted Sunil Dutt to play the lead role but as I said before destiny again came in my way and as Anokhi Raat was successful producer wanted me to do it and Pavitra Papi also was a hit.

Then I got film Samaaj Ko Badal Dalo with famous South Indian actress Sharda and my father Balraj Sahani which was bigger hit than my previous films, also I got opportunity to learn many things from my father. In 1973, my father expired and I was completely in dilemma for many years, then I got a film by Rajshri Productions named Tapasya which starred Rakhi and directed by Anil Ganguli. The film was shot in 24 days and was one of my biggest hits. The film was without any songs, dance or fight which made Rakhi doubtful about its commercial viability at that point in time. Nevertheless it was a big hit.

Thus my journey went on I did some of Yashraj films. The most memorable film for me is Kala Pathar where I was given the role of a Punjabi truck driver. We were all camped up in Loni for weeks together for the shooting of the film and everywhere was there including Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha and others. It was a fantastic experience. It was a realistic film and was suggested to Yashji by Amitabh Bachchan as he probably had an experience of working in coal mines in his early life. It was a fantastic role for me and I realized that just the length of the role is not important but also the strength of the character assumes great importance. We used to wake up at 3 AM, my make up used to take me one and a half hour and then we used to drive down to a particular location for our first shot at about 6 AM. The other film by Yashji was Doosra Aadmi an offbeat film where I starred in along with Rakhi.

I did lots of films after which I was offered a TV serial Gul Gulshan Gulfaam by Prem Kishen son of Premnathji. I loved the character as the back drop of that serial was Kashmir and I am very much attached with that character. After this my friend Romesh Sharma & Danny Denzongpa offered me Ajnabi which was earlier a film but due to its subject they had to change it into tv serial and previously they tried to bring one of the bigger star of Bollywood but nobody was interested in small screen and as I was their close friend I couldn’t refuse them and that serial went on for 5 or 6 years.

Parikshit Sahni with his father, legendary actor Balraj Sahni

Q: What is the difference between the films that were made in past generations and present generations?
A: Huge difference, technically, story wise, production wise lots of difference is there, but one thing I would like to say during old time as raw stock was very costly and budget were string shoe, so we actors practiced a lot and during shooting we would give perfect shot in just one or two retakes, if in any shot there is more retakes we would feel embarrassed, but during shooting of 3 idiots when R. Madhavan gave many retakes I felt how I will work with these actors but finally when Madhavan gave his final shot I was so impressed that I went and hugged him for his dedication.

Q: You have recently opened your production house?
A: During shooting of Kala Patthar in Loni one day Amit Ji {Amitabh Bachchan} came to me and said yesterday a saw Papaji’s film we should do something to keep his name running, I was surprised that which film he was talking about and when did Harivansh Rai ji involved in film so I asked him, Amit Ji said brother I am not talking about my Papa I am talking about your Papa Parikshit Ji, I was so touched by his words that I established a banner in the name of my father and call it Balraj Sahni Productions. We have done a TV serial “Kalpana” under that banner. I love being with the people of the entertainment industry and I love my country as it is the most diverse country in the world.

Q: What is your dream role?
A: My father did films like Do Bigha Zameen, Kabuliwala both were Ravindra Tagore’s creation and Garam Hawa written by Ismat Chugtai, all three films were based on classical literature, I also want to play some characters based on any literary novel.

Q: Any favourite co-actress?
A: Everyone I cannot say anybody in particular, actress like Nutan Ji, Hema Ji, Rakhi Ji, Tanuja Ji, Shabana Ji, Sadhana Ji, Asha Parekh Ji, Sarika all were very good, specially I was very afraid of Nutan Ji because she use to be co-actor with my father.

Q: What about your other co-actors?
A: Again everyone in this current generation of actors everybody is well educated, well cultured and totally professional, you name anyone Amir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt all are superb, recently I worked with Katrina Kaif & Imran Khan in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, there I noticed that Katrina is a totally mixture of east & west, nature wise very humble, well cultured, her dedication is incredible plus she is natural actor, same thing with Imran Khan he is just like his uncle Amir Khan well cultured, humble and down to earth, always respect their seniors and is a gem of person.

Parikshit Sahni & D.K.Shroff

Q: What are your future plans?
A: Besides acting I am planning a film with my close friend D K Shroff & Javed Sheikh based on national integration. I love being with the people of the entertainment industry and I love my country as it is the most diverse country in the world. We should also aim at bringing unity in this vast diversity by the strength of bonding, respect of each other’s religions, sensitivities and love.