Q: Please tell us about your character in Mangalam Dangalam?
Manoj:My character, Sanjeev Saklecha, is an owner of a wedding trousseau and accessories shop. In his shop, he sells a variety of things related to weddings for both, bride and groom. He is possessive about his daughter to an extent that he cannot tolerate a guy looking at or even being around his daughter. Every father is usually like that, but Sanjeev is over-protective to another level.The show tells the story of a family in Indore in MP, however, one can definitely find such fathers in every 5th or 6th house. Every person and family in India will relate to the show and its characters.
The main reason for such an attitude is something that happened in the past with his sister, which makes him worry about his daughter too. He is, however, a very lovable and ambitious character who is also the main pillar of the entire family. Hispossessiveness for his daughter, way of speaking with his wife, love towards his mother are few things that set him apart, portraying him as a loving and also an ambitious character. The relationship between Sanjeev Saklecha and his son-in-law resembles that of cat and mouse. Sanjeev actually considers him as the ‘10thgrah’.
Q: How do you feel this show is different from any other show on television?
Manoj:I would say there are all kinds of emotions in this show. Of course, there is humour which is the main element of this show. There is sadness, courage, romance and more, making it a complete package. Sony SABis not a channel that has only comedy shows. There is comedy, but it is not overdone. Mangalam Dangalam will touch your heart, while making you laugh.
Q: Any special reason that you agreed to do this role?
Manoj: The main reason is that I have never seen such a character on television, despite having been associated with this medium since the time there weren’t as many channels. I have worked for serials with a different touch. I am doing this show because I had never played a comic role in a television show,especially a character with so many layers and emotions. I feel television has indeed made me a mature actor. My base is theatre, but this medium has taught me how to deliver productively in limited time. Sanjeev Saklecha is a very different character, which I feel, represents a typical Indian father who can be found in every 5th or 6th house, and hence I agreed to do it. He is very emotional on the inside and tough on the outside. I have never played such a character on Television.
Q: How well do you relate to Sanjeev Saklecha?
Manoj:There isn’t much similarity but I am definitely protective about my kids. Even today if they come after 10:30 / 10:45pm, I call them, just like Sanjeev Saklecha would. I trust them but I worry.
Q: Would you like to give any message to your viewers?
Manoj:I would like to tell viewers that this show is definitely different from all other comedy shows they would have seen until now and they will relate to it somehow. I would request everyone to watch ‘Mangalam Dangalam’ Monday to Saturday because this will surely do ‘Mangal’ in their lives. (laughs)