He is the alter ego of the most sought after face of Indian telly! He is the man who has been a friend, philosopher and guide to Jasmeet Walia, aka Mona Singh in Sony's popular serial, Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi. Meet Gaurav Gera, the punjab da puttar, who has made a mark for himself by playing Nandu, arguably the most un-assuming character on the telly today. Speckled, carrying a backpack and sporting no attitude, Gaurav 'Nandu' Gera is a guy who has struck a chord with the masses by being simply 'simple.' Ananya Sengupta spoke to Gaurav Gera to know what lies beneath his ingenuous exterior.
So, you are having a great time playing Nandu…
It's been wonderful. I never thought that my character would be liked so much.
Where is the role going from here?
I don't know where the character is going, the only thing that I am concerned about is that it should be liked.
Jassi…has been going on for some time, what after Jassi…?
I am doing The Great Indian Comedy Show and have signed a movie as well.
You seem to be a natural as far as comedy is concerned…
Well, I love lighter moments. In real life you don't have people crying everyday over trivial issues --- drama exists only in the soaps. Who has so much of time in life? (laughs)
You are one of the many men in Jassi's life…
I'd like to think that I am the most important of them all! (laughs) No, seriously, Nandu's character has shaped up very nicely. He is the strength behind Jassi's decisions, he is privy to all her thoughts and the only male she knows, other than her father who doesn't scorn her existence --- only one who has not cheated her. And Nandu's character is growing stronger by the day!
Was there a time ever when you felt sidelined, specially when the other characters where getting popular?
I never felt insecure; Jassi…is not my first appearance on the television. I have done Star Plus' Life Nahi Hai Laddoo, ad films like Nestle Munch, Bajaj M-80, Fair 'n' Lovely, among many others. Yes, playing Nandu has been the highpoint of my career.
Personally, would you ever fall in love with a girl like Jassi?
I am a very emotional person. Falling in love has nothing to do with appearance. If I am fond of someone, for me she is the most beautiful person on earth. Looks matter as far as the first meeting is concerned, but eventually it is the person beyond the look that matters.
How important then are the makeovers that have come into vogue…
Well, there is that element of grooming that is important. One has to work on one's clothes and personality, because first impressions are important.
Nandu and Jassi: friends forever!
What kind of a look will you give Nandu, if given a chance?
Personally speaking, I will leave him as he is --- that is his USP!
You have been playing Nandu for quite some time, aren't you bored?
(Laughs) Bored! Give me three more years! There is not a dull moment on Jassi…
Tell us about your experience in The Great…
It is a show like other! I chose to do this show, because I get to do so many roles within the boundaries of one show. It's amazing. Also, working with theatre actors is a great treat!
You do spoofs on people whom you would meet in parties…
Oh ! They are cool with it. Some people have even come up to me and complimented me on my take on them!