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It’s All Arranged

Lead actors of ALTBalaji’s new show Baarish, Sharman Joshi and Asha Negi talk to Anita Britto about the simplicity of the show, discuss the theme of arranged marriage and much more

What can the audience expect from Baarish?

Sharman Joshi (SJ): It is actually a simple love story with two individuals. For these two people, their families are a priority and how, despite keeping family as their priority, they manage to keep their relationship and other relations intact.

Asha Negi (AN): Yes, I agree. Simplicity is the best part of the show. There is a certain beauty in simplicity and this show is a true example of that.

What prompted you to be a part of this show?

AN: I was waiting for something worth doing and had taken a small break from work. That was not because I did not want to work but because I wanted to be a part of something meaningful. Then finally this came along and I felt that this was a feel-good show and I should do it.

SJ: For me, Ekta Kapoor is one of the reasons. She had actually come to see a play of mine and then I got a call from Nandita Mehra, the maker of the show. She just offered the show to me. I was waiting to explore the web world and when I was told the story, it immediately grabbed my attention. Also, the fact that it was on a platform like ALTBalaji was a huge plus for me. I knew then that I would do it.

Also, the shows being made in the digital space are clutter-breaking in terms of stories, ideas and concepts. In the web space, people have a new-found freedom, in terms of putting out bolder, sharper and edgier stuff. So I felt that something like this would be a welcome change.

The show revolves around love after an arranged marriage. In today’s times, how relevant do you think this story is to the audience?

SJ: I feel that arranged marriages are still a part of our society. Also, web shows have made us believe that what we see in the digital space applies to the entire young generation. But that is not the case. There are a large number of youngsters who still believe in the concept of love and they would like to experience that kind of feeling, invest in that kind of relationship, patience, and perseverance. Every relationship needs to be worked upon, whether it is a new one or one that has lasted a long time.

Even though mine was a love marriage, I find the concept of an arranged marriage very charming. There is a different kind of excitement and charm in discovering someone after getting married, after committing to that relationship. I wish I had got to experience the whole Tinder thing, the dating app phenomenon, in my time.

AN: Frankly, when I was in my early 20s I wanted to get married in the same way and understand the blossoming of love after marriage. Of course, that did not happen and it does not seem like it will ever happen. This concept used to really fascinate me and that is exactly what we are doing on this show, and it is beautiful.

How do you connect with the theme of the show which is baarish?

SJ: I love baarish! Yes, we all know that things can get mucky but I enjoy that part too.  I love the rains, from travelling in trains and buses to cycling in the rain. These are fond memories I have of this season. My father used to drive us to Lonavala during the monsoon, it was a must. The best part is that we could sleep a little longer and listen to the sound of raindrops.

AN: I have very fond memories of rains. I always love to eat bhajiyas and vada pavs. I end up eating a lot during the rainy season. (Laughs).

SJ: I remember driving my then girlfriend and now wife Prerna (Chopra) to Madh Island; it was our hotspot. We would go there, take some food along with us and have long conversations. These were lovely moments. Sadly, we do not do that any more.

Sharman, after this show, what is next for you?

SJ: Well, there is a film called Fauji Calling, which I will start working on in May, and the film Mission Mangal, which features Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu. I really want to do a comedy film but I am waiting for a good script. Hopefully, I will get one soon. (Smiles)

Asha, what about you? Any plans to enter the world of Bollywood?

AN: Inshaallah. I would like to. But, as of now, I have nothing planned.

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