Shakti Anand is seen in one of the prominent roles in Yash Patnaik and Mamta Patnaik’s ongoing TV show Channa Mereya. He plays the character of Amber Singh, father of Aditya Singh (Karan Wahi) in the drama that is high on family and romance.
“The title Channa Mereya reminds me of mera chaand. Being from a Punjabi family such things always brings back childhood memories. Also, there was a song called Channa Mereya from Karan Johar’s film. I think it’s a nice title. In Punjabi songs the word Channa is used a lot of times,” he says.
Sharing about his character, Shakti adds that he does not relate to Amber. “I don’t relate to my character at all because I’m not so aggressive, abusive or rude to my child or any of my family members. I think it’s a challenge being relatable to what you are in reality your character doesn’t challenge you as an actor. If I'm going to portray what I really am on screen then that becomes like a cakewalk. So it’s better that Amber is not like me,” he explains.
Channa Mereya has already become the talk of the town. And, Shakti says that what adds to it is the fact that it has been shot well.
“Even when I watched the first few episodes I liked it, found the content interesting. What I like is the fact that they not only show what actually happens in a rich household, behind all the glitz and glamour, but also the Dhaba sequence is interesting. And, you end up connecting with the girl, who runs this dhaba. If you start watching this show you won’t feel like switching it off or changing the channel. The cast is excellent, be it Puneet Issar Ji (Amber’s father), Karan Wahi, Shardul Pandit, even Niyati Fatnani who is playing the character of Ginny in the show is also a good cast. Karan is like my friend. I know him already. I met Niyati at the airport in Amritsar. She is a nice find. Ginnie’s brother and mother are also very good. Vishavpreet Kaur, Mamta Verma and Ashish kaul are also really fantastic actors. Getting the right actors on board matters. I haven’t worked with the entire cast yet. What I also like is that in between the shoot, when you are waiting for your shot, you do not get bored. That is the best part of the show,” he adds.
He praises the Patnaiks and Beyond Dreams. “Yash is my friend. And, we would keep on bumping into each other and also meet up whenever we got time. But as far as working is concerned, this is my first show with him. I haven’t worked with Yash and Mamta before. They are nice people. I haven't interacted with Mamta a lot though,” he says.
Unique storylines always attract the audiences. “It's the story that keeps the show alive. Especially in the last few years there is much more emphasis given to writers. In the middle it was lost as writers were not given a preference, which isn’t good. But because of the OTT platforms coming into the picture, it’s the writers who are shining bright. Otherwise the boy meets the girl, the family opposes and then they finally marry each other is what we have been seeing for years. Unique storyline is what writers bring to the table. I think it's a very important job as far as any of the creative work is concerned. The writer has to be good, the story has to be good and the presentation has to be good. The writer's job is more difficult than the actor and production house,” he adds.
About the changes that he has seen in the entertainment industry over the years, Shakti shares that not much has altered. It’s the same industry for him.
“99% of the shows are still saas bahu shows. As far as the content on OTT platform is concerned we are Indians. We sit with family to watch a film, television or OTT. We are not like after the age of 18 a son or daughter goes out and starts living their own life. Talking about the freedom which OTT gives, they can show a lot more things which cannot be shown on TV. You don't need to go to the cinema hall and pay extra for tickets. The same movie you can watch on an OTT platform at a lower price. The show that I recently enjoyed watching is Saas Bahu Achaar Pvt. Ltd. It’s a web series on ZEE5, which is a family based show. I also liked the crime based series, The Family Man. Somewhere down the line there has to be emotion in the content. I also agree that OTT definitely gives a lot of opportunity to the new actors and new content,” he says.
Daily soaps will always have an audience, no matter what. Agreeing, Shakti adds, “Daily soaps are not going anywhere. It is not a bubble which is going to burst, it is there to stay. Housewives who have all day to themselves after household chores are going to watch television. We have to make content for them.”