After previous successful TV outings as a medico, Mohnish Behl plays a doc again in Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, which continues the trend of a forty-something actor as the lead in a love story. He chats with Sunday Mid day about what is an adaptation of the famous Pakistani serial Dhoop Kinare, written by Kamlesh Pandey of Rang De Basanti fame
Kuch Toh Log Kahenge is about a May-December match, we hear. My character is an orphan who grows up to become a doctor. He has lost faith in relationships.
He meets a woman much younger, and they seem unsuited to each other in every way. Age is just one factor -- their personalities clash too. He is brooding, serious and mature. She is argumentative and full of life. Yet, both of them end up falling in love with each other.
Have you seen Dhoop Kinare?
No, I hadn't even heard of it.
Why did you decide to be a part of this serial?
It is great for a male actor at my age and experience to get offered a script like this. The fact that the story deals with the process of falling in love, rather than the before or after, was a draw too. When my character sees the girl with a younger man, he feels the insecurities a middle-aged man would feel. It's about matching up to competition.
Does age affect real-life relationships?
It depends. My wife Ektaa is ten years younger than me, but she is the mature one. Incidentally, when my wife heard the idea behind Kuch Toh.., she asked me to do it. She presented the audience's point of view. That's when I was sure it would work.
Is Ram Kapoor, who also plays a pivotal middle-aged character on another show, your competition?
Ram is doing a great job in Bade Achhe Lagte Hain. The way he has used his persona onscreen is remarkable. But everybody has their own space.
Any more projects with Sooraj Barjatya?
I owe my career to Soorajji. Recently, I had a conversation with him and he said he was writing a film. I hope I am going to be a part of it.
It's a tribute, not a copy
"Haseena Moin's writing is legendary in Pakistan as well as India. Kuch Toh Log Kahenge is special because it revisits Haseena Moin's Dhoop Kinare. People used to queue up for Dhoop Kinare's video cassettes.
Writing Kuch Toh Log Kahenge is a big responsibility, especially after Haseena sent a video message to me saying, 'I am so glad that you are writing it, in fact, I am your fan.'
This is not a copy of Dhoop Kinare; it is a salute to that serial. Dhoop Kinare ran for only 11-12 episodes. We are running a daily.
So, we need to tweak the story and add new characters. But we are keeping the soul intact. Mohnish Behl is one of the very few actors on television who understands the medium. He underplays his roles, and that is very important."