Ali Merchant dons the role of Akshat in Amber Dhara..

Amber and Dhara have a new friend in their life, as Ali Merchant enters the show as the new Akshat, taking over from Harshad Chopra.. Here is a chit-chat with the actor..

Friday, November 02, 2007 | 1:40:54 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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He represents the ‘New Generation Bloke’ of the Television Industry. The Dashing Ali Merchant rose to fame with his character of Bharat Agarwal in Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki; he has the credit of portraying versatile roles in Sshh Koi Hai and Mano Ya Na Mano. Now this ‘Gen Next’ lad is all set to play Akshat in Sony’ Amber Dhara, and get into the lives of the conjoined twins.

Here is a chit chat with the young debonair star Ali Merchant..

Welcome as the new Akshat, how is the experience so far..

It feels good. I got a chance to catch up on a few episodes, and have been shooting for the last 5 days. I guess I am slowly blending in with Akshat's character. I was briefed about the characters by the team and I have tried my best to adapt to the story line.

How do you plan to fit in as Akshat, with the exit of Harshad now?

Well, it's going to take a while for the audience to adapt to the change, I have brought in my own style to the character, but there are certain parameters that I cannot cross, its like, I have a boundary that I can’t completely do what i want to, since the character was played by someone else till now.

Take us thro’ your other projects..

I was part of the new generation in Kahaani, that was my big break you can say. I used to do Sshhh Koi Hain, and I continue doing that, and for 4 days a month, I shoot for a live game show called Bollywood Bonanza. Kahaani was fun, I got to be completely negative, and I really enjoyed doing that.

Then why did you quit Kahaani?

Well, my one year contract with them got over, and then I just decided to opt out of it, as it wasn’t something I was happy doing.

You played a negative there, and an extreme positive here, your take on both?

I loved playing negative, because you have the liberty to do whatever you want. In a positive role, there are certain rules that you have to follow, and in the extreme negatives, people begin seeing you as negative. My dadi used to always tell me that she has begun feeling that I am like Bharat, but I had to convince her that I am not (laughs)

So, are you trying to break thru the negative image with Akshat's character?

Yes, absolutely!

So in real life, who do you relate to more, Bharat or Akshat ?

I guess I am a good boy from the inside, but I portray a bad image.

How is it working with the girls, Amber and Dhara?

Oh its been fun!! The girls, the director, the entire unit is all simply rocking!

Final question, your take on the concept.

The concept is something that has never been done, I don’t know how long will it go for, as long as the audience likes it, the show will keep going on... See, with a saas bahu show that is like a show like balaji, one can predict that the show might hit a few years, and given a generation leap, it is going to extend, but with shows that are so real like Amber Dhara, one can’t really say...

Harshad Chopra as Akshat had really won the hearts of one and all. Now Ali Merchant is right up there, to give the character of Akshat, his name, flair and his trademark style.. Here's wishing Ali Merchant all the very best for his new role!!

Reporter: Hiral Anju Bhatt
Author: Shagun

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Posted on: 09 November 2007 at 4:37pm
Reason for Harshad Chopra leaving???I loved this article but main thing is missing. Why Harshad Chopra is leaving this show after becoming so popular and loved by audience.

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Posted on: 05 November 2007 at 10:03am
i luv harshadharsahd waz best hez leaving am so sad !! now i will nt watch amber dhara cuz i watch it only 4 HARSHAD
harsad iz the best !!

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Posted on: 03 November 2007 at 9:08pm
good luck to him.....would love to see him as the new akshat

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Posted on: 03 November 2007 at 1:04pm
ummmmmmmmm ... i don't watch amber's a very unrealistic show...well I wish ali all the luck.

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Posted on: 03 November 2007 at 10:25am
For me Akshat will always remain Harshad...No one can take his place...
And ya one person here says that why did he join the show if he had to quit..But Harshad didnt quit..He had to leave due to sum internal problems...U can say that he was asked or forced to quit.
His fans are dissapointed and we will cherish the memories of the few episodes...

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Posted on: 03 November 2007 at 3:20am
we loved him in kahani ghar ghar ki--u guys should see his kahani fans and appreciation threads..he was the most under rated actor there///and now im sure he will rock it here... and u guys will be glad to know that the blue turqoise he wears which is his lucky charm was given to him by SALMANNNNNNNNN KHANNNNNNNNN,ITS THE SAMETHING WHAT SALMAN KHAN WEARS IN HIS HAND... AND his best friends are JATIN SHAH-RAUNAK OF KASTURI,,JAY BHANUSHALI-NEEV OF KAYAMATH...

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Posted on: 03 November 2007 at 1:00am
Oh! god..hes terrible...............

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Posted on: 02 November 2007 at 9:30pm
Nahiiiiinnnnnnn, Harshad is leaving?! :( :( :( I'm cho sad... what's going on!! thanks for the article..

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Posted on: 02 November 2007 at 4:23pm
i want to olddd akshattttttttt backk!!i want harshad backkkk!!!!!!! pleaseeee

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Posted on: 02 November 2007 at 2:22pm
I'll miss Harshad :(

but good luck to ali!

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