Is it odd to ogle god? Well, not if he’s being essayed by the unbelievably well-built Mohit Raina.
The actor who swept various television awards for his lead role in 'Devon ke Dev – Mahadev' this year, is very comfortable with the praise that has come his way for his looks.
But what he continues to be touched by is the way he has affected people’s lives. “I have realised people expect a lot from me. They have seen a Shiva inside me. I have had people come to my doorstep, my gym, on my sets seeking blessings. Once when I was in Varanasi, a man in his mid-40s came to meet me. He touched my feet and asked for blessings. I was so stunned. I hugged him because I found it heartwarming. That was a memorable moment.”
Playing god is not easy, but Mohit found the transition from portraying dramatic characters to that of Lord Shiva smooth; largely due to his own belief system. “I have been a big devotee of Lord Shiva even when I was (back home) in Jammu. When I was selected to play Mahadev, I knew it was a huge responsibility. Playing Mahadev was no easy task but my belief in him gave me a kind of confidence that people have grown to relate to. The best part is that apart from Mahadev, I get to play his avatars as well. I have portrayed more than 18 avatars; some godly, some human. It has helped me a lot to grow as an actor.”
From being a 108-kg youngster to shedding almost 30 kilos in a year in the run up to his Grasim Mr India participation in 2005, Mohit hasn’t had it easy. His early steps into the world of acting weren’t all that impressive. He had roles in films like 'Don Muthu Swami' and the TV shows 'Chehra' and 'Ganga Kii Dheej'. Yet none of them catapulted him into the league of super successful protagonists the way Mahadev did.
Did he ever imagine that a mythological show would be his claim to fame? “Honestly I did not think about it. All I knew is that I had to put more than my 100 per cent. I shoot almost all seven days a week and I try to give my 100 per cent every day. I will not say I am a fan of the show, but I am a big fan of Shiva.”
In 2013, Mohit was also lauded for his negative portrayal of an avatar of Lord Shiva, Jalandhar. While playing an avatar of the deity was not unusual for the actor, juggling both Mahadev and Jalandhar was a feat. “It was challenging to play Mahadev and Jalandhar at the same time. I received an award for my role of Jalandhar. This year has been promising and I hope I can better my performance in 2014. I also hope my fans continue to envelop me with love.”...