Sumeet Raghvan on shooting a comedy show Wagle Ki Duniya during Covid-19: ‘The show must go on’

Wagle Ki Duniya actor Sumeet Raghvan feels that people can stop going to restaurants, malls or even theatre, but when cocooned at home during lockdown, television is the only respite.

With filming still not allowed in Maharashtra, television shows have moved out of town to shoot new episodes. With most states still under lockdown, people are at home, and their screens have become the go-to entertainment source. Sumeet Raghvan, who plays the junior Wagle in Wagle Ki Duniya, feels that the decision to shoot outdoors in a bio bubble is a brilliant call by makers. The actor has been getting messages from his fans on how the show has brought them smiled amid the tough times. But how tough does it get for actors to spread laughter when everything is gloomy around them?

Comedy is said to be the toughest genre to crack and for Sumeet, it’s the commitment that gets an actor to forget his personal emotions in front of the camera. “The line ‘the show must go on’ holds a lot of water in such situations. I remember, many years ago, I worked with an actor who had just lost his father. He came and performed on stage and when the show got over, he just broke down. However, no one could ever make out from his performance that he has just cremated his father. We do have our personal lives, we are worried but when it comes to work, we live the character’s life.”

The actor added that he is also relieved that the cast is working together and supporting each other. “These are terrible times. As actors, we may be able to survive but my heart breaks thinking of the daily wagers on set. No one worked throughout last year, and it was important for shoots to resume to give them a chance to earn. We are stationed together here and looking after each other. We are family in the true sense.”

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Talking about the shooting experience, the 50-year-old said that the writers are doing a wonderful job by churning out stories with limited resources. With just a handful of cast and crew around, they also follow a strict bio-bubble to avoid any lapses. “JD Majethia and Aatish Kapadia are such wonderful makers and producers. We are getting tested in intervals and also making sure everyone is protected. The have created stories very smartly and I must also bow down to the audience, who have accepted the changes in Wagle Ki Duniya whole heartedly.” Sumeet also shared that the team indulges in housie sessions and plays game to keep themselves entertained. “One of the spot boys won a cash prize recently. Our producers definitely know how to keep the spirits high.”

The Sarabhai vs Sarabhai actor has been away from family for more than a month, shooting in Silvassa. Given such times, you find solace among closed ones and we wondered if the distance cause any mental anguish. He replied, “I think technology has helped us a lot. It would have been probably tough 10 years back. Now you can be on video call with your partner, kids and even pets. On the other hand, I feel blessed that we are getting a chance to work and earn. All that we can hope is things to get fine soon so that we can all be back home. Honestly. we got this upon ourselves, as people really let their guards down.”

Sumeet Raghvan himself had tested positive for Covid-19 in April. He shared that while he was shooting, his eyes started burning and he realised there was something wrong with him. “I was shooting for another project and got the test done on the set itself. When the reports came positive, I knew I wouldn’t be able to work for the next two weeks. Given we are the leads, the entire show gets affected. However, I recovered well, and could be back to work.”

The actor concluded that while one can stop going to restaurants, malls or even theatre, when cocooned at home, television is the only respite. “Entertainment plays a very big role in keeping people happy and I am thankful that as actors, we get a chance to spread some happiness and positivity around.”

Also starring Aanjjan Srivastav, Bharati Achrekar and Pariva Pranati, Wagle Ki Duniya launched in February. It airs on Sony SAB.

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