He has worked in the Indian television industry for over two decades and given memorable performances in numerous roles that came his way. Rajesh Kumar, currently playing Sanam Harjai in comedy-entertainer Excuse Me Madam, shares insightful pointers on what strikes a chord with the audiences, drawing from his own experiences and success in the industry.
"The memory of a TV viewer is very short lived. If one likes the story, the characters will work. Sometimes, the characters are good, but the story falls flat and the show doesn't work. Thirdly, if the channel's viewership is limited, the project does not lift off despite everything falling into place. Today, the entertainment market is very big, so in between, for a TV show to work, luck also plays an important factor. You have to engage the audience on a daily basis. For an artist working in the TV circle, there isn't any 'choice'. Getting work is their priority."
While Rajesh left a lasting impression on the viewers with character roles in Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Neeli Chatri Waale, Mrs & Mr Sharma Allahabadwale among others, he even worked on non-fiction shows like Comedy Circus, Dekh India Dekh and Comedy Ka Mahamuqabala. But, he disassociated with them after a while.
"When I did Comedy Circus, it was a competition based show. From there onwards, some artists went their separate ways and even tried humour that was below the belt. I was not comfortable performing such content. My kids should not feel let down watching me on TV some years down the line. I personally did not see myself fitting into the sort of distorted humour that began during the time, so I pulled back."
On his decision to not actively venture into Bollywood, Rajesh gets candid and says, "Television kept me busy. The roles that I got in films were not promising enough which would have helped me in my career. I fit the bill in films like Student of The Year and Super Nani but TV world treated me well. I played main lead in 15-16 shows, which seldom happens for any actor. The genre of comedy never let me rest for long and frankly I did not spend my time looking out for movies. I am here to play my role and I am playing it pretty well till now."