Joined: 30 July 2005
Dear Mr. Agnihotri,
First of all, please accept my congratulations for being part of such a path-breaking and successful show like Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin (JJKN); and for raising the portrayal of Armaan Suri to a status above what was perhaps originally conceived. Though your entire team deserves a pat on the back, I honestly say that it is you who have brought Armaan sir to life!
I wish to raise a point that may perhaps shock and offend you. However, I have been compelled to write this out of desperation—to save the show I have loved for 2.5 years. Please hear me out patiently as I feel you are the only person who can be of help now.
I don't know if you are aware that the entry of your wife, Mrs.Shilpa Agnihotri, in JJKN has caused a great disappointment to your fans. When this news was announced on our Forum, there was an uproar (which is continuing) and two members actually got into a bitter quarrel over this. To quote one of my fellow members , this is the "DEATH BLOW" to JJKN.
You must be wondering "Why so much ill-will towards my wife? What has she done?" Well, Mr.Agnihotri, there have been incidents in which some of us have had the good luck to run into you in public places. All these fans have reported that when they got talking to you, or approached you for an autograph/ photograph, you were very gracious and cordial. However, if your wife happened to be present, she lost no time in dragging you away—quite rudely. When these fans narrated these incidents on our Forum, it quite naturally led to a lot of indignation, and reversed the good impression that we previously had of her.
Given these circumstances, we are very much afraid that Mrs.Agnihotri may not get along well with the other members of your cast, and dilute the comradely atmosphere of your sets. This, in turn, will show on screen. As you must already know by now, there are fans who observe each and every scene very closely and report every minute detail. Any strain or tension will immediately become evident to these viewers.
You may think that you all are professionals and will not let personal relations affect your performance. But let me ask you frankly—is it mere "professionalism" that leads to such scintillating performances with your costars? Don't friendship, understanding, a "comfort zone" play any role? You have done a number of films before joining JJKN. You will admit that your performance in JJKN is far superior to those in your movies. Isn't it because you share a very close and comfortable rapport with your costars in JJKN—especially your leading lady Mona Singh? I quote your own words from an interview in January this year—
As an actor, she (Mona) is perfect and very natural. It's
never difficult for us to can the shots because the emotions and
dialogues come very easily to her.
I am afraid that with the entry of your better half on the sets, this comfort zone might be disrupted. Pardon me for getting a bit personal but I want you to ask yourself—is it possible for a married man to enact romantic scenes with another actress in the presence of his wife, without feeling the least bit of discomfort?
In "Kyunki saas..", Hiten Tejwani enacts intense scenes with Rakshanda, when his wife Gauri Pradhan is also part of the cast, and there is no awkwardness. But then, these 3 actors are very steady mutual friends. From what we hear, Rakshanda is very close to Hiten and Gauri ; we have seen photos of them hanging out at parties at award functions together.
The same does NOT apply to the relationship you and your spouse share with Mona. You and Mona are reported to be very good friends and have given quite a few interviews together. That is why it has puzzled fans for a long time that though you attend the same parties, you are not seen posing together for a photograph once; in fact you barely acknowledge each other. At the Indian Telly Awards, both you and Mona won awards for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively; it is natural for actors to pose together for photographs if they both win for the same show. However, many fans were disappointed that this did not happen in your case—it was a moment the JJKN fans would have cherished.
All this is quite surprising; that is why many of us suspect that the relations between Mona and your spouse are not exactly cordial. And, whether you acknowledge it or not, it will definitely affect your on-screen chemistry with Mona if your spouse is watching your scenes being shot.
And let me tell you Mr.Agnihotri, if the JandA ( Jassi and Armaan) scenes get diluted, NOBODY would watch JJKN anymore. I am serious. These scenes are the USP of the serial and were the only reason we continued watching when the show was not exactly on the right track. If the JandA chemistry gets affected, interest in JJKN is lost forever. So you see, it is a bad move professionally.
Your costars may be silent over this because they are afraid that if they voice their doubts, their relations with you might get strained. That is why your fans' voice becomes more important.
I understand that as a husband, you are keen to act with your spouse. However, you will both get many more chances to act together in the future. But JJKN is ending and we cherish these last few episodes. If something mars their beauty, we will be left forever with bitter memories.
Moreover, as an actor, you have a responsibility towards your fans. If something seriously distresses them, you owe it to them to address the matter. Therefore, on behalf of all DIE-HARD fans of JJKN, I EARNESTLY REQUEST you to have a talk with you producers about this and request them to change their minds. There are many talented actresses who could play this role beautifully. Please request your wife to wait for another opportunity to act with you.
I know you are in a difficult situation. But there are times when professional commitments have to take precedence over personal loyalties. For the sake of your fans, Mr.Agnihotri, please REVOKE this move.
I assure you that my intention was not to hurt you , but to bring out the delicate nature of this situation, which you were perhaps not aware of till now.
Your sincere fan,
P.S. My friend, who is carrying this letter to you on my request, has nothing to do with its contents. If you have any issues with what I have written, you may put them to her , and she will forward them to me.
I have PM ed a copy of this to Tablet. Let's see if she can give it to AA in the presence of You-Know-Who!
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