Avinash Mukherjee: I had never imagined Balika Vadhu will ever come again on air like this!
For an actor, having a fan following is a common affair. However, it is always thrilling when it happens for the first time. For actor Avinash Mukherjee, this was when he was part of the Balika Vadhu. Although he was very young at that time, Avinash rose to popularity with his portrayal of Jagya. “I didn’t really know at that time the show was a huge success. Most of the time, I used to be on the set and the people there used to treat me as their child. They used to also scold me. In fact, my director Pradeep Yadav and Siddharth Sengupta used to have a stick in their hand, and whenever Avika (Gor, actor) or I would forget our lines, they used to lightly tap our hands as a punishment! We were very disciplined. We never knew that our’s was the number one show and had a TRPs of 11 to 12, that never reached us. We only came to know when we saw 4000 to 5000 people cheering for us at events. I can never forget that!” he says.
The actor says he owes it all…his career, fame and popularity… to that show. “The show actually literally created history, it’s in the Guinness Book of World Record. Even for me, it was a major turning point. There are a lot of memories from Balika Vadhu. The lessons that I got from (actor) Surekha Sikriji are something that I still follow. When she used to get the script, she would light inscense sticks would take the script and a pen and write each and every line in Hindi, right next to the English dialogues. I asked her once why she did that, and she said she liked to read her lines in Hindi. She told me the difference between khaab and khwab. Because in English, it is Khwab, so you say Khwab, but originally, the pronunciation is Khaab and remains the same when you read it in Hindi. She also told me she rewrote her lines in Hindi as she knew if she did this, she would never forget them. I still follow this advice,” he says.
The actor says that he always wanted to enter the industry. “I was very afraid of the mortality of human beings, even as a child. I wanted to be remembered. I wanted to do something which would make me live forever. Or if not that, then at least write my name in history. Even as a four-year-old, I always wanted that for myself. I used to think that people go to the moon, Neil Armstrong was the first man who went to the moon. And I thought, even as a four-year-old, that I will go to the sun and make history. When we shifted to Mumbai, I was around seven to eight years old. And when I saw this industry, I realised it was the best place to be remembered. That’s when I knew I had to become an actor,” he says.
In fact, Avinash has literally grown in the industry. “After Balika Vadhu, I took a break for my 9th grade and 10th grade. Then I did a show called Sanskar. Then I took a break for the 11th and 12th grade and I did a show called Itna Karo Naa Mujhe Pyaar. And then again, I took a break for my third-year graduation. And then now, I started since my education is complete. I am back on TV! It’s been almost a good 10 years that I have spent here. This is my 11th year,” he says. He signs off saying, “I fee lvery happy that Balika Vadhu is on air again. I had never imagined Balika Vadhu will ever come again on air like this”