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Sun, 27 Apr 2014 18:15:00 GMT

Nakuul Mehta Blog: Pyar Ka Dard... 500 times LOVE

As I write this some 30,000 feet above ground level, on a long flight from Mumbai to Tampa, looking forward to what promises to be an exciting week at the IIFA, my heart remains with my team in Mumbai as we look forward to our landmark episode that goes on air on the 25th.

Nakuul Mehta Blog: Pyar Ka Dard... 500 times LOVE

Yes, 500 episodes of Pyar Ka Dard Hai, just one away from Brian Lara’s world record first class score against Durham. Sorry, the cricket fan within me never sleeps! 500 episodes roughly means around 10000 minutes of programming spread over 15000 work hours. But what do they know of passion who only knows statistics. The countless blessings & love that we have received has been the greatest pay back for every technician and artiste involved in this journey.

I vividly recall my first audition for the show, way back in the month of June 2011, to our first pilot shoot in Gujarat in August of the same year & then eventually the first day of filming for PKDH in the chilly environs of Manali on the 10th of April 2012 under the aegis of the wonderful Kavita Barjatya & Kaushik Ghatak. They gave me the confidence & belief that I would do complete justice to this fantastically conceived role of ‘Adi’.

We started with the simple ambition of bringing to life the story of two individuals (Pankhuri & Aditya) from absolutely diverse upbringing & value systems and see how their worlds & relationships would collide when emotions meet practicality, love meets logic and selflessness meets aloofness. The former outweighing the latter in each case! Little did we know then that in return we would find so much more.

Two years have whizzed past and they have also been some of the best times I’ve had professionally & personally. Laughed, cried (TV soaps make you do that very effortlessly), loved, learnt, grew, ate (a lot of food), drank, put on some weight, then lost some, met some incredibly warm people, made friends for life and received countless blessings.

This show would not be what it is if it wasn’t for the amazingly talented cast & crew. Every actor & technician working on it has brought so much gravitas & positivity that truly makes this show tick for me, personally. The show is indeed what it is because of the cumulative efforts of the light boys, the spot team, the hair & make up team, the art team, the camera team with Sanjay Da in command, the wonderful production team headed by the most soft spoken man you’d ever meet – Rakaji, the direction team heralded by Ashish Shrivastava, no one beats his one liners between takes, the wonderful writing of Rahul Modi, the beautiful costumes put together by Kriti, the creative team headed by Fatima and the post production which gets taken care of by Pankaj ji. A huge shout out to every actor who has ever been part of this show, including walk on parts, all of you really make us. And these are just some of the unsung heroes of the show.

I have had the good fortune of working with them over the last two years, many of whom have taught me things, inspired me & given me the comfort and freedom to make mistakes and grow into a better artiste with each passing day. It also wouldn’t be the show it is, if it wasn’t for the commitment, integrity and positivity of the Rajshri family. The vision & belief of our mentor Sooraj Barjatya and the amazing platform we get to play on – The Star Network.

On a side note, I often wonder that actors are selfish beings and I might be making a sweeping statement but I know it holds true for most of us. Often we do what we do for the pure love of wanting to live & behave as characters we are not in real lives. It gives us a unique joy & thrill which very few people achieve in this world to my mind. Of being in the moment, of breathing life into some brilliant lines which get written for the character & feeling the highs & lows of another life. Yet in return, we get paid for what we do, sometimes handsomely & even more amazingly, we get such love and affection which we entirely don’t really deserve in my humble mind.

It has been an incredible journey thus far. I have found such incredible warmth & love for the show all across my travels in the last couple of years. From meeting emotional audiences in London to the love which has been bestowed on us in Kashmir, Punjab, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad & Shimla, to being mobbed in the streets of Delhi, to being invited to desi homes in Barcelona for ghar ka khana to being followed hundreds of miles in Australia for a picture to requests for a phone conversation with somebody’s grandparents.

All of these are treasures & memories will stay with everybody associated with PKDH for the rest of our lives and this doesn’t mean we are done yet. Not even close. I believe we have only begun! But the biggest contributor and the Raison d'être for all of us and this show is the generous audience we have in ‘you’. Thank ‘YOU’ for so graciously accepting & loving our show and making each character your own. None of us or our characters would exist without the love you have showered on us.

And as we speak, ‘fasten your seat belt’ sign has come on & the captain has announced our descent into New York. My ramblings need to stop now but you please keep that love going! It’s in the love, appreciation, critique & disappointments you share with us that we find our true selves as artistes and human beings. Huge gratitude!

My love for you is not 99.94 but a complete 100 percent. The cricket fans amongst you will know what I mean.

Nakuul Mehta

MSN Mobile Entertainment

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