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Exploring the uncharted

Updated on: 07 November,2023 10:35 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Naveen on exploring the world of IAS, a realm often overlooked by mainstream media, with Aspirants 2

Exploring the uncharted


When TVF rolled out Aspirants in 2021, it was an instant hit with its compelling storyline and exceptional performances. The second season, on Amazon Prime Video, has taken the narrative of IAS and IFS aspirants to new and unexpected heights. For Naveen Kasturia, who plays a district magistrate in the series, it was about exploring a whole new profession that’s often peripherally covered in mainstream media. “It was fun and an opportunity to explore something new. Our industry is so less research-oriented. We don’t explore beyond the familiar realms of crime, cops, and politics,” says the actor, adding that even when they depict businessmen, they are often portrayed superficially, with limited attention to detail.

Interestingly, Kasturia acknowledges his own limited knowledge of the IAS and IFS fields before taking on the role. “I don’t know much about the UPSC end of things. Before I did this show, I didn’t know about the hierarchy, the terms, or their job profiles. In a way, I got to learn a lot about it through the script,” he says. However, the thrill for him lay in learning the language and the distinctive way an IAS officer communicates in professional settings, which is at odds with their casual conversations with friends. “I have never used such words in my life. The word 'Sthaantrit' [meaning relocated], which I have used multiple times throughout the series, was something I couldn’t even pronounce in the beginning.”

He emphasises that the role was far from easy, and the preparation involved a significant amount of hard work. Crediting show writer Deepesh Sumitra Jagdish, Kasturia says, “I ensured that I didn’t improvise the lines. I was so fond of Deepesh’s writing that I used those exact same words. I was worried about delivering my lines when the shoot was starting; since I was so scared, I worked very hard on it. In an interview, I said I wanted to play the owner of a big company or a don with calm energy like Malik Bhai [from Company 2002] and that is what I did.”

Kasturia also humorously credits his parents for their support during rehearsals, acknowledging that their involvement was a far cry from a time when they were hesitant about his move to Mumbai. He shares, “I also have to thank my parents for this because they were the ones I rehearsed the lines with. When they watched the show, they remembered the entire thing I had done.”

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