Talking about the show Manav says, "Yes, I play an important character named Sanjay in Khelti Hai Zindagi Aankh Micholi
. It is that of Gautami Kapoor
's family friend and I think it will be a lengthy role. It is not a flamboyant but very grounded character that I will be playing. I have just started shooting for the same and I still have to get more details about my role from the creative team. The show has a very real-life feel to it which is what made me interested in taking it up."
Manav is currently also seen as Andhak in Devon ke Dev. Mahadev... so what happens to it? "The role of Andhak is a cameo. We have shot for it and completed the track too." This is his first attempt at doing a mythological show, what attracted him towards playing a blind character? "The canvas of Devon ke Dev. Mahadev is huge and very different from the regular mythological shows. The way it is scripted and presented is noteworthy so when they called me I took a call considering that it was a very popular show liked by many. The language and the sensibilities as well as the way they have tried to portray a secular world is something which I liked. Since I don't watch fiction shows on TV, I had never seen the show earlier but I have been watching it lately and it does look good. When I got into the costume of Andhak it was a different feeling altogether. It was similar to playing a blind man on the street but on a larger than life canvas. I realized it was a huge character to play and gave my full 100% to it."
Since Manav is now busy with his new show, it also helped that his track of Andhak was shot at a fast pace without dragging the story, "It is a power packed, crisp track and I was happy that we finished the shoot bang on with full energy." The show will have a maha-episode which will have a fight between Andhak and Mahadev, "Andhak is shown to be an ansh (born out of) of Mahadev but he does not know of it. Since he is blind and has been pushed in a corner, he turns aggressive and gets powers to destroy the Gods which corrupts his mind. Andhak is cynical, arrogant and very difficult. He falls for a woman who has been kind to him not knowing that it is Mata Parvati, his mother. In the end there is a war between him and Mahadev with Kali Maa too. Symbolically it means that the darkness which is inherent in people needs to be defeated."
Manav's act even though it is a cameo has been noticeable for his acting prowess and even though he comes on screen blindfolded his dimples and fit body make him look ever so attractive. What is the secret behind this? "Well, I don't have to make a lot of attempt to look fit because surprisingly I look very good and fit on screen as compared to real life" laughs Manav who is an expert swimmer and a regular on the cricket field playing in various cricket tournaments. "My dad is an athlete and I have been a sportsperson too so I guess it is all natural. I don't even get time for regular work outs" adds Manav who prefers to spend quality time playing with his one year old daughter Zahra and actor wife Shweta Kawaatra when he is not shooting.
At the moment they both are abroad for a vacation and the family man that he is Manav ends on a wistful note, "I am missing them!"
Seema Khot Mattoo