He came from Baroda aspiring to be a model, but it didn't fetch him the desired success. Not dithered, Manav Gohil tried his luck in television with Choodiyan (Sony) and found his true calling. Not just this, he also found a soul mate in the same industry, Shweta Kawaatra.
The actor has quite a few successful shows to boast about, namely Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kkusum, Kassauti Zindagi Kay, Kahanii Teri Meri, Mansha, CID, Saara Aakash and Fame Gurukul. Currently, he is proving his histrionics in Sony's Vaidehi and is eagerly waiting to put on his dancing shoes on the much awaited Nach Baliye 2.
Prashant Golecha engages this talented and handsome man in an exclusive heart-to-heart chat, where he discusses his life, wife and of course NB 2!
|"I love the fun element of NB 2"
How high are your spirits now that you are a part of this dance show?
I love the fun element. Compared to Shweta, I am more inclined towards dancing. She has to put in more efforts during the rehearsals. I hope post NB 2 I can still be friends with the participants. Glory and money can be earned otherwise; friendship is something which I can't afford to lose!
Weren't you offered Nach Baliye last year?
Yes, we did want to participate, but my dates were blocked as I was anchoring Fame Gurukul.
What made you take up an unusual role of Neil in Vaidehi?
The screenplay, which is very strong! Neil is out and out positive, as of now.
And how was it working with the CID team?
Excellent! CID was like an institute. I got to do action sequences, which normally doesn't happen on TV shows. Also, their team is very knowledgeable.
Inspite of having great potential, don't you think, as compared to your contemporaries, you haven't got your due yet?
I understand what you mean. Frankly, I don't think I have arrived. The definition of success is subjective. In this industry success means being visible on a high TRP show. But that's doesn't mean that an actor's calibre can be judged by that. Today people become famous by the character they play. But if the audience recognizes you by your original name, your talent, and not for the success of x, y or zee character, that is real success in my opinion.
According to you, why didn't Kahaani Teri Meri click?
Expectations from the show were too high. Also, there was a lot of stress as there was no sufficient bank of episodes. Things somehow didn't fall into place.
|"Frankly, I don't think I have arrived"
We believe you had a fall out with Ekta Kapoor ?
There's nothing official about it. After Kahaani Teri Meri, I was offered a comeback as Vishal in Kkusum, but I declined it. Besides, I have done a cameo in Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai. I have a normal-formal relationship with Ekta, there is no bitterness between us, though I am not in touch with her anymore. She did attend my wedding but off late we haven't attended any of her parties. In terms of work, nothing has materialized since a long time. If Balaji offers me something substantial I will definitely consider it. No hard feelings!
What factors do you consider before taking up a show?
The screenplay, positioning of the show (channel and marketing), significance of my character and of course the moolah offered!
Which TV characters have been closest to you?
It has to be Jatin of Saara Aakash and Dhruv of Kahani Teri Meri.
You did a Bollywood stint with a film Chori Chori where you played Ajay Devgan's friend. Any news on that front?
I am doing a children's film which is being produced by Percept Picture Company. Shweta is also doing it and she is almost done with her part of shoot.
Have you worked with Shweta before?
Ya, a year back. It was a ten-episode capsule of Kahani Shuru With Love Guru for Zee Smile.
|"We'll think about starting a family next year"
Was it love at first sight for you'll?
No, we were acquaintances who turned friends on the sets of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki. From there on, we became better friends, which became a habit and later we realized it was more than a habit. In fact people were not aware that we were seeing each other. We kept it under wraps for a long time. We had gone through bad patch in our previous relationships. With time we started caring more and more for each other and finally got hitched in 2004.
So how's life post marriage?
It hasn't changed our relationship. We had a long journey and have become more accommodating. Shweta used to be short tempered, but now she has mellowed down. And let me tell you, she is more organized than me.
When are you planning a family?
We'll think about it next year.
We've heard that you and Shweta are deeply into Buddhism.
Buddhism is a way of life for me. It has changed our life's perspective, has added to our spiritual growth and has added value to our life.
What else are you passionate about?
Cricket, playing as well as watching it. Also, I'm into photography and bikes.