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Westernisation has impacted 'Hindustani sanskaars': Alok Nath

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
By Raju Venekar

Actor Alok Nath, shot to fame with his role Haveli Ram in Hindi TV serial 'Buniyaad' (1986) and then displayed his versatility in soap operas as well as films. He made his TV debut with 'Rishte-Naate' (1980) and film debut with 'Gandhi' (1982), which won the Academy award for Best Picture of the Year. He has been in the field of entertainment for over four decades. He spoke exclusively to The Afternoon D&C. Excerpts:

It's been over 30 years since India's TV serials like 'Hum Log', 'Buniyad' mesmerised audiences. How do you rate present day serials?
They are okay. But today viewers are offered a buffet of infotainment. It is easily available even on cell phone. Eventually, the excitement to watch TV serials is waning. People are addicted to mobile phones so much that everyone, is seen glued with bent neck to the cell phone. In this era of information revolution, even the household ladies cannot be taken for granted as “captive audience”.
 
What do you think should be done to retain the old charm of TV soaps?
People have moved on from “Sas Bahu” sagas and are tired of elongated serials. Surprisingly, the TRPs of some of the supposedly popular serials remains as low as 1.9/2.8. As such the serials should be absolutely story-based and restricted to minimum number of episodes.
 
You had played the character of “Babuji” in a couple of serials, including your debut serial 'Rishte-Naate'. We don’t come across such characters nowadays. Why?
Now society is westernised. The pizza/burger culture has over taken the Vada Pav and Haldiram Bhujias. Hindustani Sanskars are eroding. That is the reason we find hardly any film/serial focusing on elder characters.
 
Which TV serial you liked most?
I term 'Buniyaad' as the best serial, in which I got opportunity to play the role of Master Haveliram. Ofcourse other mega serials like 'Ramayan', 'Mahabharat' too created history in those days.
 
How do you look back on your long journey in acting?
I began my career with a Hindi drama in 1974. I am from the National School of Drama, New Delhi. After coming to Mumbai, I joined a drama group 'Ekjoot'. I am also involved with Prithvi Theatre. It has been a long journey. Fortunately, I am still continuing because in this field one should have patience.

Which is your forthcoming film?
'Sargoshiyan' a travel drama, shot in Kashmir, seeks to explore the never  before seen breathtaking places, is my upcoming venture. The film is expected to be released shortly. Besides, I am playing the important role in an untitled venture by the maker of 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' which will be released in August this year.

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