Khichdi, the Hindi sitcom that won a place in the hearts of thousands of Indians, has made a successful comeback after a 12-year hiatus. Featuring in the cast for the latest season, is none other than Hyderabad’s very own Farhad Shahnawaz.
Farhad, who is known for his portrayal of Rammy in the soap Sanskaar — Dharohar Apnon Ki, is no stranger to television. He is elated to have been given an opportunity to act in a comedy this time around. “Even though I look rough and tough, I have a comic side. The Dubsmash videos and spoofs of the movie 300 and the Barbie Girl song that I made a few years ago were huge hits. I’m glad that I’m able to explore more of that aspect of my personality,” says Farhad.
Explaining the character that he plays on Khichdi, he says, “I play Tony, a guy who has an OCD about keeping his clothes clean. He ends up going to jewellery stores, costume parties, and even funerals, with nothing but boxer shorts on!”
Interestingly, Tony is not the character that Farhad auditioned for. “I auditioned for the role of a model who just had to look good and play dumb. All he had to do was say haan or naa. I wasn’t sure if it would be right for me because I was afraid of fuelling the notion that models can’t do anything but look good. Luckily, that role got scrapped and the producers felt that I would be a better fit for this role, and I agree!”
Farhad, who has shot four episodes so far, says that he was extremely nervous on his first day on set knowing that he was in the presence of senior artists known to get their shots right in the first take. “I confided in them about my fears and they made me so comfortable that even I started being able to do most of my scenes in just one take. Once, it needed three takes because I was fumbling. But they were very good-natured about it.”
Ask him if he foresees any criticism of his character for trivialising the issue of OCD, he says, “Everyone who has seen the show so far has only had compliments to share. People know that Khichdi is a fun show, so I don’t think it will be a problem.”