Small screen, big dreams

Ashok Nayyar.

Ashok Nayyar.  

BE IT commercials or television serials, Ankur Nayyar's face is not so new, though he has yet to make it big. After commercials like Maruti Alto, Nivea Cream, Kodak, LML Freedom, NIIT and others, and TV soaps like "Kasauti Zindagi Kay" and "Kashmeer", this graduate from Delhi's Shaheed Bhagat Singh College is yet again featuring as one of the leads in Star Plus's brand new prime time serial, "Jeet".

"Yes indeed, I am excited about the serial. The role of Vikram Mall I am playing in `Jeet' is quite different from the roles I did in `Kashmeer' and `Kasauti... ' I think this serial will give television a hero to look up to."

Vikram is "a young, idealistic vagabond" who leaves a conventionally successful life and returns to his alma mater to teach. But his radical thoughts come in his way, setting off spiralling reactions.

Though Ankur says he "is not a very TV person," he still misses "the time when serials on the idiot box gave a whole basket of choice."

"Remember the time when we had serials like `Malgudi Days' and `Fauzi.' Now, I can't make out the one from the other," comments Ankur only to add that `Jeet' would offer viewers an option. An ardent fan of Amitabh Bachchan and Tom Cruise, Ankur also dreams of leaving footprints in tinsel town. "Hopefully, films would become the next step," he beams.

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Neeru Bajwa.

Neeru Bajwa.  

COME FRIDAY and you can spot Neeru Bajwa in, "Jeet" at 9-30 p.m. But, if you have not watched "Astitva - Ek Prem Kahani," on Zee TV lately, then you might have to wait for the serial's credits to identify her. For, "Jeet" is Neeru's second television venture.

"Soon after coming back from Canada, where I grew up, I did a couple of Punjabi music videos before getting into television," informs this former Miss India Canada runner up.

Describing her character in "Jeet" as "much more emotional" than the role in "Astitva... ", she says in her Anglicised accent, "I am playing the role of Nandini.

She parts from her love interest due to some misunderstanding between the two and is full of feelings of retribution. But, she becomes not too completely black or white and that is interesting."

Being first from her family to venture into acting, Neeru feels "absolutely comfortable doing drama."

She adds, "I am also doing a Punjabi film, `Asani Maan Batnada' right now opposite Harbhajan Maan. It is a Manmohan Singh film. We did its shooting in Canada and it is getting released in March next year."

Any Bollywood offer? "Not yet. But I am hopeful."

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Aparna Tilak.

Aparna Tilak.  

HER LATEST screen persona is Janki, in "Jeet", and this is Aparna Tilak's third appearance in a TV serial.

"It is something new for me," says Aparna, whose other television roles in "Family No 1" and "Kohi Apna Sa" do not focus so much on her. "Janki's character is interesting. She is a girl from a poor family, the soul breadwinner. A colleague of the lead character Vikram Mall, she opposes his every radical move but gets drawn to him eventually. But then, all does not become rosy for her as Vikram's scarred past catches up with him," Aparna gives a peep into her role in the serial.

A serious couch potato, Aparna watches most serials, saying, "I like so many serials. Apart from the K brigade, I also watch `Kohi Apna Sa' and `Karishma - A miracle of Destiny'. I also watch all the comedy serials. Pity that we do not have many."

Already featuring in commercials like Pepsi, Santoor, Head `n' Shoulders, Pantene, etc., she ventured into films through Mahesh Bhatt's "Footpath." Though nothing much could be reaped out of it, Aparna says, she has not lost hope.

"At present, I do not have any film. But I am hopeful. I sign on the dotted line after a lot of thinking and that also delays things." After experimenting with advertisements, TV serials and films, Aparna now wants "to do a bit of theatre," saying, "It is the toughest medium."

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