BR Chopra’s epic saga Mahabharat is among the most iconic shows on Indian television till date. While it enjoyed immense popularity in the late 80s when it was released, people are loving it as it airs once again on COLORS.
Mahabharat enjoyed such popularity among the masses that every actor associated with the show became a star and had a fanbase.
One such actor is Chetan Hansraj who played the young Balram.
Chetan, who was a child actor back then recalls receiving a ton of fan mail. He shares,
“I was 14-years-old when I played Balram in Mahabharat, and it was completely magical. All of us used to get lots of feedback and messages from fans via letters. I was in school and every day I used to receive gunny bags full of letters. Back then, there was a photograph-autograph system with fan mails. So, fans would mail me an empty envelope with a return stamp attached and had to sign the picture and send it back with the letter. It was my daily routine. Before going to school, I would sign my pictures and put them in the envelopes. Every morning my father would give me a stack of envelopes with pictures to sign. It was a wonderful time and I have so many memories attached to the show and I am glad I am getting the opportunity to relive it on COLORS.”
Another popular actress Varsha Usgaonkar who played Uttara in the show. She takes a walk down the memory lane to share her experience.
She revealed that it was absolutely coincidental to bag a role in the show and was not a part of the plan.
Commenting on the role that changed her life, Varsha Usgaonkar said,
“Mahabharat in those times was very popular and people would plan their schedule around it. It so happened that I had guests over and they requested to watch the shoot. When we visited the sets of Mahabharat, they were shooting a sequence with Abhimanyu and they were on a look-out for someone to play his wife. The only condition was she should be a classical dancer. Gufi Paintal who played Shakuni and was also one of the production designers approached me to play this character because I had done good work in Marathi movies and was also a good dancer. It was as if it was all destined and I had no reason to turn them down. More than me, my parents were very excited and that’s one of the reasons that helped me succeed as an actor and I will always cherish it.”
There were many actor in Mahabharat. However, there is one more actor who essayed the character of adolescent Sudama and was recognized later for his role – Sumeet Raghvan.
Sumeet played the character of Krishna’s friend, Sudama on the show. While he was just 16 years old back then.
The actor shares that he had no inkling that the show will create history. He shares,
“I was very young when I bagged the role, and as excited as any new kid on the block. I was quite skinny at the time, probably that’s why I got the role! (laughs). We had barely shot for 3 to 4 days and I remember shooting the Sandipani Ashram portions in Film City and the rain dance sequence at Chena creek. Back then, I did not realize that I was going to be a part of history. But I do remember seeing Mukesh ji and Nitish ji on the set. They were in their prime then, and I was completely in awe of them. He also adds, “Once the episodes were aired again, there was a flurry of questions on my social media. People were taking screenshots of the episode tagging me, asking, ‘Is this you? We never knew you were a part of this epic show!’ I am happy that I got to work with such revered actors and be a part of a classic like Mahabharat.”