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Manish Raisinghani's Unconventional Romance With The 14-Year-Old Avika Gor
"I Was Shocked About Wooing Avika… But As An Actor, It's My Job To Romance Even A Piece Of Wood"
It is difficult not to be charmed by Manish Raisinghani. With his enviable good looks, striking personality and affable nature, he can charm his way into your heart. But to say that, that is the only reason for his huge fan-following and his rising popularity over the years, would be unfair. Because the guy is as talented as he is attractive, as dedicated to his job as can be. Guess that's the reason he has won more and more appreciation with each of his portrayal – be it as Nirvaan in Betiyaan Apni Ya Paraaya Dhan or Rahul in Rang Badalti Odhni or the recent Siddhant in Sasural Simar Ka. This month, Showtime gets up close and personal with Manish and finds out that he is indeed more than just a looker.
From Grasim Mr. India to a meaty role in Sasural Simar Ka, Manish has come a long way. But the actor insists that he isn't satisfied with his career just yet. "A part of me, who is always hungry for more and unsatisfied would say, 'No! I'm not happy with the way my career is shaping up'. But ideally, if you see, it has been very good. I am pursuing acting and modelling together. And touchwood, I'm doing well in both of them.
So the monotony of shooting for TV minimum 12 hours a day and 30 days a month, doesn't get to me. I'm enjoying my Sasural… shoot, ramp shows and fashion shoots."
He sure has no reason to complain at the moment given the way his career graph is rising. After all, he recently made his entry in Sasural… and has already won over the audience. "I'm more than glad that my character has created an impact in such less a time. Usually in television, it takes a lot of time to undo the image of the previous character you have played. But thanks to the strong storyline of Sasural…, Siddhant has wiped Rahul (his character in Rang Badalti Odhni) out of people's minds," he analyses.
A clear indicator that his role is being appreciated by one and all is the fact that what started as a parallel track has now become the show's focus. But Manish downplays this development. "I have read such articles. And it's best to ignore them instead of letting them enter your system and inflating your ego or causing silly insecurity. The point is to stay grounded because in television, the script is the star. You can only get as big as your character. All you can do as an actor is put in sincere efforts that add value to your character and entertain the audience. However great a performer you are, if the script doesn't hold the audience's attention, they have the remote in their hands and their finger on the button," he smiles.
But the truth is that the audience has accepted him with open arms. Which is quite a surprise considering that his character is one with grey shades. So is that what attracted him to the role? "It's fun to play Siddhant because it's challenging! He is an anti-hero, Siddhanth does ethically wrong things but for the right reasons. He is someone whose every wrong deed is justified by a strong reason, so the audiences can't afford to hate him. It's a challenge not just for me but also for my director to hit the right note, so that Siddhant comes across as strong but not negative," Manish explains.
The audience may have accepted his anti-hero character. But the serial now shows romance brewing between the characters of Siddhant and Roli, played by Avika Gor. Ask him if he finds it odd to romance the 14-year-old actress and pat comes his reply, "When I was told that it's Avika who will be opposite me, I almost fell off the chair! I was so taken aback. I had never met her and had this image of a small, little, less-than-four-feet-tall Balika Vadhu girl. My brain whispered to me, 'Yaar, yeh kya Chini Kum bana rahe hain'. To clarify my doubt, I even asked them her age and ting, came the shock of my life when they replied, 'She is 14'. And I was like, 'Oh my God! Are you serious? I'm turning 32 and she is 14. So she is not even half my age. What am I doing? Am I romancing her or adopting her in the show?'"
Laughing, he elaborates further, "But that was just my first reaction, rather an initial panic. My creative then very sweetly explained the plot to me. She also told me that Avika is not the small child that I'm picturing anymore. She is playing an 18-19 year old and my character Siddhant is a 23-24 year old guy."
So is he not apprehensive about wooing a girl on screen who is not even half his age, as he pointed out? "Like I said, a love story between a 23-year-old boy and a 19-year-old girl is very normal, so it shouldn't be awkward at all. Romancing Roli is probably as normal as it would be to romance an adult because Roli is an adult in the show. Besides, as an actor, it's our job to romance even a piece of wood with same conviction. As far as Avika and I are concerned, as professionals, we shall try our best to do our job – which is to entertain our audience. And Avika is too mature a performer to let the audience down just because she is 14."
Having said that, he is not discounting the fact that the audience may have a hard time accepting them together initially. "See, if I was a Balika Vadhu watcher, I would have also had this kiddy image of Avika. And it would have also been hard for me to digest the fact that she is playing an adult and romancing another adult. But I would say give it time. Have faith in this little wonder called Avika Gor and see how she even makes you believe in the Roli-Siddhant love story!"
Manish is all praises for his co-star and thinks that it is their off-screen camaraderie that helps in essaying the on-screen chemistry. "Avika is a lot of fun. Just that she is too grown up to be my friend," he grins and adds, "You won't believe, but her favourite line to me is 'Manish, grow up' as I'm into gaming and gadgets, which according to her is kiddish. So she plays the mummy when she is with me! And of course, she is a powerhouse performer as we all know from her Balika Vadhu days."
While he is more than happy to talk about his professional life, he maintains that his personal life has taken a backseat for now. Choosing to remain non-committal about his supposed break-up with actress Risshma Rochlani, he states, "I'm not single. I'm dating my work at this point of time. I'm too occupied to spare any time for my personal life. I barely get to sleep for four hours a day. I don't want to date someone in a situation like this where the poor girl has to adjust to my tight schedules."
Although single at the moment, Manish has a fair idea of the kind of woman he would like to date. "I'd like simple, sweet, easygoing kind of a girl who likes to keep life simple. Someone with whom I can grow old and have endless conversations about anything under the sun even at that age. Someone who can be my buddy, my friend," he muses.
Quiz him on marriage and he says that the responsibility lies with his parents. "I have left this task up to them. But marriage is not possible anytime soon as I have too many commitments at the moment. Once I finish them off and when my parents find a right person for me, I shall have the shaadi ka laddoo," he laughs.
But for the time being, he is more than happy to concentrate on his work. While his TV career is going great guns, he also aspires to make it to the big screen someday. Ask him his dream roles and he rattles off, "I can think of so many at this point of time. But what tops my list is the most clichd answer of all times, the role which Shah Rukh Khan played and became the heartthrob of the nation – Raj of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. That is one movie I would've loved to do. And the other one is the role of Ethan Mascarenhas played by Hrithik Roshan in Guzaarish."
This guy sure knows what he wants. And given his talent and determination, it won't be too long before he turns his wishes into reality.
The following 7 member(s) liked the above post:
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Age no bar! --Manish
Author: Armu4eva Replies: 7 Views: 3416
|Armu4eva||7||3416||30 December 2011 at 12:09am by aoishi_2006|
TOI: avika is manish's muse
Author: Armu4eva Replies: 3 Views: 2843
|Armu4eva||3||2843||09 December 2011 at 12:19am by upra|
our favourity manish
Author: isca Replies: 0 Views: 793
|isca||0||793||04 December 2011 at 1:36am by isca|
TOI: Dream house- Celeb Speak-Manish
Author: Armu4eva Replies: 3 Views: 2484
|Armu4eva||3||2484||06 November 2011 at 10:08am by -RH-|
Retail hunt for stars-- Manish
Author: Armu4eva Replies: 2 Views: 1601
|Armu4eva||2||1601||29 October 2011 at 10:10pm by avivakirk|
And it does seem amazing..
Long awaited, don't you think?
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