The BR Chopra version of the Mahabharata was allowed to break into serial format by bringing a movie version of the epic from Doordarshan. He gave a lot of insight on how to present this epic to the people. Quotes like “Joe Kahani Mahabharat Mein Nehi Hai, Jini Kahi Nahi” and so on, the team later decided to have a narrator in the serial whose face would not appear on the screen but who should have a compelling voice portrayed. Their initial choice was actor DILIP Kumar. For some reason, his name was dropped and Chopra seemed fascinated to see my voice over in a television commercial that later called me.
How are you spending your time in lockdown?
The style of lockdown is not new to me. I have a studio in my house which is why I supply clients around the world so I have to maintain several time zones. Over the past few years, I have managed mostly from my home where I have a separate office, study room and a studio. However, in this lockdown, I have learned some additional skills, such as washing dishes and cleaning my house.
Any plotline of the Mahabharata that has touched you.
It is very difficult to say because the Mahabharata is one of the rarest epics in the world because the author Veda Bhasa himself is an important character of it. He is the father of Drishtirastha, Pandu and Bidur who later took the story forward.
Who is your favorite character in Mahabharata?
Krishna is my favorite character because he represents love, philosophy and diplomacy at the same time.
What kept you busy for so many years after the Mahabharata?
I run two voice websites that provide clients with recorded audio content across 38 countries. Currently, I am working on audio content for a client in the United States. I have also written 5 to 2 serials including Khandan, Sukanya, Grahan, Chhota Bau Baten and many more. I have also directed movies like The Final Solution to ISIS – the Enemy of Humanity and Kashmir. I wrote a biography of Lata Mangeshkar with her after participating in 140 events across 21 countries and the book was translated into three more languages. I have also written mini books on Asha Bhosle, Amitabh Bachchan, RD Varman and Muhammad Rafi. By the grace of God I have 25,000 recordings to my credit so far.
Politicians often use the Mahabharata as a reference, what do you think?
I am often asked why the Mahabharata has been made 4 times, why it has been shown over and over again, why we are so popular today when we have made so many technological improvements. The reason is very simple – Mahabharata is a story from Pittabhakti (respect for father) to Putramoha (love for son). It keeps a mirror for the do’s and don’ts of life and instructs us to rise above the dangers of emotion and be righteous in life.
When someone speaks negatively about the Mahabharata. Does it affect you?
There are people who will talk negatively about everything just to get media space. As we all know “When a dog bites a person which is not news because it happens often a but if a person bites a dog it is news” “So if you keep talking good no one will listen to you. Mahabharata A symbolic epic and BR Chopra’s Mahabharata has analyzed it so well that Draupadi was born from fire and it is female power (no Ri Shakti) so the people who criticize them did not understand the epic and did not even try to understand it.I feel pity for those who criticize the Mahabharata.