Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Upanishad Ganga will inspire you to do bigger and better in life

So says the actor Vineet Singh who has donned more than 12 roles for this 52 episode TV serial. Directed by Dr. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi and Produced by Chinmaya Mission Trust, Upanishad Ganga is apparently flowing with immense knowledge from the past which will be shown to us by some very talented actors from TV industry, every Sunday, 10:00 am on DD.

How did you land into the remarkable characters of Upanishad Ganga?
The first few schedules of Upanishad Ganga were shot in Benaras. And I belong from there. So my Hindi as well as Sanskrit is good. Director, Dr. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi met me when I was there, and as he is very particular about the dialect, I guess he found something in me that I could do justice to the roles.

A lot many actors are playing more than one character in this serial. What about you?
I get to play more than 12 characters. My first character is that of a Narrator, a Sutradhar. Then later, I played Arjun whereas Abhimnayu Singh played the role of Krishna. Interestingly, I also play Tansen and have learnt many songs that make so much sense! BuddhGupt, Shaista Khan were among the others that I played.
Tell us a little about acting under Dr. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi and the producers Chinmaya Mission.

Working with Dr. saab was a boon for me. I played more than 12 characters in this serial, and learning different scripts for each was a task. But Dr. Ji made it very easy for all the actors, as the script was given to us much in advance and we could approach him if we had any doubts. All the members of Chinmaya Mission were helpful as well.

How was the atmosphere on the set?
On set we would all be charged up to play the various roles. Many a time we actors would sit together and discuss how lucky we were to be given this challenge and opportunity to play such distinct roles. We could explore so much through one platform. And Dr. Saab always had something interesting from our history to share with us that kept us all engrossed. The set was very lively and energetic.

How do you think will the youth be able to connect with a serial like Upanishad Ganga?
There are a few things that don’t leave us behind. Like, there are so many songs that one listens to, but if you ask anyone of Twinkle Twinkle Little star, they would remember it. It’s because you’ve been hearing about it since childhood, and we may not listen to it often but when you do you can instantly relate to it. Also, so many of us like to watch Malgudi Days and Mowgli till today! So, its the same with Upanishad Ganga. It has a message to take with us in this lifetime. The attire and language have changed, but the difficulties are persistent even now.

What made you choose to work in Upanishad Ganga?
The script, idea and concept. It’s a mix of various stories of great Indian historians who have made a difference in this world through their thoughts, acts and teachings. It was necessary for all of us to be aware about them. The stories show us that one common thing which puts all the successful people together that is the spirit to do something different. So there’s a lot of motivation and inspiration to gain from this serial, which is why I liked it so much.

Any good memory you take from working in Upanishad Ganga?
Yes, for an episode I was playing the character of Budhgupt. And everyone present on the sets that saw me said I resembled Naseeruddin ShahJi, because of the get up and look I had on for the role. That was quiet something! Being compared to veteran Naseeruddin ShahJi even if it were the looks!

How did you get into acting?
I had studied to become an eye surgeon. After completing my studies, I didn’t wish to pursue it as a career, as I wanted to become an actor. So I pursued my acting and have landed with some great roles.

What are your upcoming projects? 
I’m acting in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur and Issak. Have also worked in Me Shivaji Raje Bolte and Lal baug cha paral.

What do you have to say to the audience about Upanishad Ganga?

Well, all I have to say is, if you want to know about your nation then watch Upanishad Ganga. You will realize what it takes to become such great people. The ordeals and struggle that they have to overcome. It talks about our history, touching topics like math, philosophy, science, geography etc. Upanishad Ganga will inspire you to do bigger and better in life. You will come to know what was there in India back then.

That makes sense, but shouldn’t the language be toned down a little to cater to the audience?
Today, people watch Iranian, Russian, Japenese and so many other international films. Though they don’t speak their language, an effort is made to understand their tone, body language and dialect. Compared to those, I think Upanishad Ganga will appeal to them as it is our own language. And of course, it has been made keeping in mind today’s generation. The credit of which goes to the director and the writer.