In a career spanning more than a decade, Paras Madaan has played a variety of roles on television. Some of his most popular projects include Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil, Qubool Hai, Nisha Aur Uske Cousins, Beyhadh 2 and Divya Drishti. In this exclusive interview, the actor talks about his plans of getting married this year, how he managed to keep himself engaged during the lockdown, why Qubool Hai proved to be a turning point in his career, bond with Sushant Singh Rajput and more.
Your ‘roka’ is scheduled to take place on March 7. Have you finalized a date for the wedding as well?
No, we have not finalized a date for the wedding yet. We were thinking that the ‘roka’ should happen first and then, we can plan the wedding slowly. Both Soumita and I were clear about the fact that we would avoid the summers and get married sometime in the winter. As of now, we are thinking of scheduling the wedding closer to November.
You had to go through a lot of difficulties during the lockdown.
Yes, I had a very tough time. Before this, there was never a time when I was completely dependent on myself for all the household work. I have been a decent cook, so I managed to cook for myself. I also learnt a lot of things during the lockdown. I tried my hand at baking and made a few things like curd cake. Soumita helped me a lot and we actually got closer during the lockdown.
How was it being away from the sets for a long time?
As an actor, it was tough to stay at home and do nothing. It is very easy to get into depression in a time like this. I got into affirmation and mediation and that helped me remain calm. I made it a point to take care of my health. I would speak to my parents and Soumita on phone every day. After a point, some of my friends from the industry and I started making our own videos at our home. It was a lot of fun and it helped me keep myself engaged too. At the same time, you cannot deny the fact that you need somebody’s physical presence around you. I know a lot of people did not even have access to basic amenities during this period and that was very unfortunate. In that sense, I consider myself to be very fortunate.
Just before the lockdown happened, your show ‘Beyhadh 2’ came to an end. You had expressed your disappointment over it.
Yes, none of us had imagined that the show would come to an end abruptly. The producers were trying really hard to improve the TRPs. The channel had also contemplated shifting the show to the web but Jeniffer was not too keen on it as she had signed it as a TV show. Then, the Covid-19 crisis happened and made things worse. I guess, there was no other option left with them apart from bringing the show to and end.
Your first show as an actor was ‘Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil’. That show also marked Sushant Singh Rajput’s debut as an actor. Did you get to share the screen with him while working on that show?
No, unfortunately I did not get to share the screen with him on that show but he was a good friend of mine. We used to meet often and bump into each other at cafes and other places. I am not sure what really happened. When I heard it, I could not believe it. I remember calling up a friend and telling him that it must have been a case of misreporting. When I finally realized it was true, I was in shock. It took me a long time to come to terms with this.
One of your earliest shows was the very well-made but underrated ‘Keshav Pandit’.
Yes, it was a very good show. I was a part of the last three episodes. The show did not get the desired ratings and the channel had to pull the plug on it.
Do you think ‘Qubool Hai’ was a turning point in your career?
Yes, it was a turning point for me. I was called for an audition for the show. I went for the audition and got the part. When I informed my parents about it, they were very happy as they were fans on the show. Gul (Khan, producer) ma’am directed the first episode which I shot for. I will always be thankful to her and Zee TV for giving me the opportunity to work on the show. In the show, I was a con man and my track ended after a while but I received a lot of love for the show. After the show, people would often walk up to me and address me as Anwar, the name of the character I played in the show.
The character you played in ‘Beyhadh 2’ was a bisexual. TV has often been criticized for portraying alternate sexuality inaccurately.
I think things are different now. TV as a medium has evolved in the last couple of years. As the society is changing, content is also changing. I feel the content that is made is a reflection of the mindset and attitude of the people living in the society. When people start changing, the content in TV and films also turns around.
Last year, you purchased a car which you were very happy about. Which are the some of the other dreams you have?
I wish to buy a house in Mumbai someday. I would want to give the best life possible to my family. Things like luxury cars come and go but a house is a big and important investment. Having my own house in Bombay is the next big dream. I am about to get married and start a family, so it has become all the more important to buy a house. I would like to paint my dreams on the walls of a house that I can call my own.