Drashti Dhami and Arjun Bijlani have always harboured a desire to work with each other. But the two got an opportunity to work together only when Pardes Mein Hai Mera Dil on Star Plus came their way. The pair has been drawing an impressive rating of 2.3 since the time the show has gone on air. We caught up with the lead pair and got them to spill the beans on their chemistry and more. Edited excerpts from the interview:
Arjun and Drashti, you guys have known each other for the eight years. But it is only now that you have been cast together…
Drashti: I don’t know how. We were always looking forward to working with each other.
Arjun: Both of us were busy with the projects offered to us. But destiny was finally in our favour, and we got a chance to work together.
Drashti, you seem to be close to Arjun’s son Ayaan more than him…
Drashti: I am really fond of Ayaan. I keep poking fun at Arjun as to how lucky he got with his son because Ayaan looks nothing like him!
You guys have been shooting in the afternoon heat in winter clothes and gloves on. It must have been an excruciating experience?
Drashti: Arjun was suffering more than me because he had to layer his outfits. I am still okay, I am quite happy and I can manage well.
Arjun: On the sets, it isn’t that troublesome to wear warm clothes because there are air conditioners. However, shooting outdoors did prove to be a task since the scorching heat took a toll on us. But we were prepared for it since we had to ensure a sense of continuity. I am glad that winters are here as things will get better for us.
You are close friends. How awkward was it romancing each other?
Drashti: We are good friends but we are also two people who want to get done with the shoots on time. We are focused on what needs to be done so it doesn’t really get awkward.
Arjun: We haven’t shot many romantic scenes yet but we will be shooting them soon. We have been friends for a very long time, and we are thorough professionals. It is all fun and laughter here on the sets with Drashti.
Drashti, how did you break the ice with your co-stars?
Drashti: I met everyone for the first time during the narration. I thought Laksh Lalwani was full of attitude. But the next time I saw him, he was dancing, and that completely took me by surprise. He was certainly not what I thought about him. Alok Narula and I hit it off in the first go. There was no pressure about getting along with people.
Is there any scene that has got you emotional?
Drashti: Every scene with my onscreen mother make me extremely emotional as they remind me of my mother.
Arjun: There’s this scene where daadi (Surekha Sikri) and I have a fight and she asks me to get out of the house — this one is pretty close to my heart. A lot of scenes that have been shot with Naina (Drashti) are special since the characters have matured with time, but have retained their innocence.
What is that one thing you dislike about each other?
Drashti: He is a child. It isn’t a bad quality, but I am mentioned this only because you have asked me to name one.
Arjun: She cribs a lot on the set. I detest this quality, but otherwise she is a darling. Also, she is never away from her mobile phone. There are times when we have to wait for her to complete her calls so that we can narrate our stories to her.
Your favourite corner on the sets:
Drashti: My room.
Arjun: The sofa on our sets.
Your favourite food on the sets:
Drashti: Vada pav and Maggi.
Arjun: The salad my wife Neha Swami sends for me.
Your 2 am buddy on the sets:
Drashti: Alok and Arjun.
Arjun: Drashti and Laksh.
Things you cannot do without on the sets:
Drashti: My phone, and Kishore, my spot boy.
Arjun: My phone and the script.
Your favourite line on the sets:
Drashti: “Ganpati Bapa Morya,”
which means pack up on our sets.
Arjun: “Jaldi pack up karo.”
Your stress buster on the sets:
Drashti: Arjun and Alok.
Arjun: Watching my son’s videos on loop.