So what prompted him to take up this show? "I said OK to Tumhari Paakhi
since the production house is a reputable one. The producer writer duo Shashi & Sumeet Mittal are the best in terms of writing and sensibility. Also the growing popularity of Life OK
was a deciding factor. When all these things were combined it was a very tempting offer."
Talking of offers it is not that there was a dearth of offers for Iqbal, "I feel I have been consistent in my breaks. I have never been deliberately sitting at home. Things happen at the right time and good things have always happened to me. The TV industry has been kind to me and offers were always there. However, due to other commitments I could not take up much work."
Iqbal who plays the main lead Anshuman in the show is excited to be part of the project which has been shot on a lavish scale, "We have had lots of outdoor shoots. The story has a Rajasthani backdrop so we have shot in Chittor, Udaipur, etc to get the real feel to the show. We have also shot at Shimla, Panchgani too and the look of the show is really grand."
Born in Kashmir, Iqbal has done his schooling in Shimla and has fond memories of the place, "I am born in Kashmir but I have schooled in Shimla. I was in a boarding school in Kasauli from my 6th to the 12th std. They were beautiful times and I have lovely memories of that place. By God's grace I was in a nice school and have spent carefree days in that beautiful place. So it was awesome when I got to visit all those places again when I went for the shooting of Tumhari Paakhi
. I tried to visit all corners even though we were busy shooting and on the last day of my shoot I left early to go and visit my school."
While Iqbal says he enjoyed his boarding school days he missed out on food at that time, "During my growing up days I used to miss home-made food since I was in boarding for my studies, so now I love eating good food. Having said that I also want to add that I feel fittest in the month of Ramadan when I keep rozas and fast."
Despite his foodie indulgences Iqbal still looks fit after the break and thinks that God has been kind to him, "As I said earlier I love food and am a foodie but at the same time I have been trying my best to keep fit. All this time during my break I never quit training at the gym and always try to eat ok."
There were reports that Iqbal was mobbed by fans while shooting. However, the humble actor refuses to believe it and says, "I think the minute you put the camera on the road, the crowds gather so it is more for the camera rather than the actor. However, there are some hardcore fans who keep updating my pix and info on social networking sites. I don't know from where they get all the info and some things are such that even I am not aware of but they get to know about it first."
At the moment Iqbal is focused on the show, "I hope and pray that this is good! I get good feelings while shooting for the show and the response that I have got for the promos and also for the song that was released has been amazing."
While Iqbal is happy for his new show, it is also keeping him away from his two year old daughter Amaara, "Amaara has just turned two now and the best thing about my long break has been the time I got to spend with her during her early years. I have been a hands on parent and no one can say that I was not there for her, especially my wife Sneha (laughs). I believe that it was the best time in my life and now when I am back busy shooting, I miss her the most."
We are sure all that will be worth it when Iqbal gets popular yet again and gets unadulterated attention from his fans.
Seema Khot Mattoo