Their chemistry has successfully managed to keep the audience hooked on to the show for the last seven years, and is still going strong. In fact, lead actors Dilip Joshi and Disha Vakani of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah have often been mistaken as a real-life couple. Call it mutual respect or timing, but this couple has managed to create relevance. In a candid chat, Disha and Dilip — better known as Dayaben and Jethalal — tell us about their journey.
What got you two bonding?
Dilip: I knew Disha much before we began working together on Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. She too has a Gujarati theatre background like me. So, the first time that we met, we were cordial towards each other. In fact, I am sure that we still have mutual respect for each other. Her easy-going nature helped us connect.
Disha: Dilipji is a very good actor. Before our show Taarak Mehta started, I had watched him in other TV shows. When we met, we just started talking. There has been no looking back.
You two are married. Does romancing each other on-screen make it awkward for either of you?
Dilip: We are both professional, and I guess our theatre background helped us. Each and every scene is like a job for the both of us.
Disha: I am just doing my job. As you can see in the show, we don’t have an awkward moment with each other. In fact, I don’t think our show has any scope for awkwardness.
Your chemistry has kept the interest of the audience in the show live…
Dilip: Our comic timing has contributed immensely to our chemistry. We understand each other and that makes chemistry strong. The audiences have loved us through the years. It has been very overwhelming for us. Fans have gone out of their way to meet us. I remember an old lady came to meet us from a far away village.
Disha: This is because of good team work. Every artiste compliments the other actor. And because we have such a good chemistry, our scenes come out well.
Who do you think is the better actor between the two of you?
Dilip: There is nothing to discuss on this. It is Disha, hands down.
Disha: Without a doubt,it is Dilip sir.
Have there been occasions when experienced performers like you have been guilty of retakes?
Dilip: Since we have been from a theatre background, we tend to do a lot of script readings and rehearsals. It’s rare for us to do retakes.
Disha: When we aren’t satisfied with our performance, we opt for a retake. But we have hardly had any retakes between the two of us for the last two years.
Please pick out your favourite scene from the show…
Dilip: It’s been seven years since I took up the show but I don’t think I can ever choose a favourite. It is impossible. Each episode has a story to tell.
Disha: There is a scene where I was holding a gold statue for a holy deity. I felt connected to it. I can never forget that moment.
Have you ever been dissatisfied with a scene?
Dilip: No. Every time we feel like we could have bettered a scene, we immediately opt for a reshoot. So there is no question of being dissatisfied with a scene.
Disha: I have never regretted a scene but I do believe that there’s always scope for improvement.
Is there something that you like and dislike about each other?
Dilip: I like and dislike the fact that she never complains. Sometimes, people should complain if they are uncomfortable or have an issue with something. But she never complains!
Disha: I like the love that Dilipji’s has for his family. There is nothing I dislike about him.
What’s your equation off-screen?
Dilip: We respect each other and are very professional. We have a nice equation off-screen.
Disha: As I said, we respect each other.
Can you share a fan comment that melted your heart?
Dilip: Yes, sometimes fans say we are a real couple. I take this as a compliment. We work hard for our chemistry and so it makes people believe we are a real couple.
Disha: When my sabjiwala bhai says we love Daya and Jethalal, it’s amazing. It’s wonderful when common people love us.