Sumeet Raghavan stands up to say “Jay Hind”
For years, we have been thinking who will replace the likes of Satish Shah and Rakesh Bedi on the small screen. Here is the man. Sumeet Raghavan. He established himself with Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai and with Ghar Ki Baat he has proved that he is the new prince of sitcom. Now he is testing new waters with Jay Hind, where he is doing stand-up comedy. “It is not anything earth shattering. It is more like the second edition of what Shekhar Suman used to do in Movers and Shakers. We comment on the real life situations. The real difference is that the show is on the Internet. So there is no tension of censorship. You can keep the comments as biting as you want,” says Sumeet. But Internet? “Yes, I had apprehensions about the reach of the medium but the way the show has been written it is meant for the urban youth, who have access to Internet now. I have been told we already have more than three lakh hits.”
Produced by Undercover Productions, the show is available on buzzintown website. For those who don’t know Undercover Productions is run by Abhigyan and Mrinal Jha. Mrinal has scripted many popular soaps including Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Abhigyan is known as the man behind the success of Movers and Shakers.
“The writing is of the same mettle where we are making use of our freedom of speech, perhaps the only freedom we are left with! It is powered by Intel and has more than a million subscribers. The revenue model is strong. We are primarily targeting the call centres employees and IT people, who don’t have time to watch television,” says Sumeet.
Sumeet says his activism is not limited to acting. “When I am in a traffic jam, I don’t keep honking. I come out and help in managing the affairs. Similarly when I see somebody throwing garbage, I stop and ask the person to dispose it at a proper place and if he is not in a position I offer to do it on his behalf. Everybody doesn’t need to fight an election or participate in a TV debate. You can make small contributions in day-to-day life.”
A Mumbaiite, Sumeet started as a child artist when he was noticed by renowned theatre personalities Arvind and Sulbha Deshpande. “I learnt acting at their theatre group. Soon I was offered Faster Fene on Doordarshan. Then I became busy with academics but never left touch with Marathi theatre. I was always clear that my future lies in acting. So the day I passed my graduation, I closed my books. Television lapped me up but I have been mostly offered comic roles. I enjoy them but I am waiting to show that I have got more.”
Indeed, we saw his singing talent in the only reality show he participated. He walked away with the first prize in “Say Shaava Shaava”. “Singing has always been my passion. I learnt Hindustani classical music from Suresh Wadkar and won the Marathi edition of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. I have sung the title track of Jay Hind as well.”
He impressed in Ajay Devgan’s “You Me Aur Hum” and is now looking forward to Barnali Shukla’s film where he is playing Shefali Shah’s husband. “It is a triangle with Rahul Bose as the other protagonist. I have a substantial role but the film focuses on Shefali’s character. I am biding for my time but I won’t go begging.”
Hasn’t Shah Rukh noticed his performance considering Ghar Ki Baat was produced by his company Red Chillies? “He has. I am playing a small role in My Name Is Khan. But?.” We know he is hungry for a bigger bite.