All things Bong

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By KN
  • Published 2.03.09
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Harsh Chhaya with Grohon co-star Gauri Karnik. Picture by Pabitra Das

Harsh Chhaya is not a Bengali, but he speaks the language fluently, watches Bengali films and is married to a Bengali actress (Sunita Sengupta). So, you wonder why it has taken him so long to sign a Bengali film. In town to shoot for Arindam Nandy’s Grohon — The Eclipse, Harsh reveals his Bong connection to t2...

How do you speak Bengali so well?

My father was a professor at IIT Kharagpur. I lived there for 10 years before moving to Delhi. That’s how I picked up Bengali. I am a Gujarati. Since my wife is a Bengali, we always fight at home over phuchkas. She insists that Calcutta serves the best phuchkas, while I say that Delhi’s golgappas are the best.

Why did you take up Grohon?

I met Arindam (the director) when he was working on Via Darjeeling. He had offered me a role in the film, but I couldn’t do it for some reason. He offered me Grohon. I liked my role and things fell into place.

What is your role?

I play someone who has been through a lot in life and can see through people and things. But whatever he sees is not what it is! It’s a well-rounded character. I don’t like doing the same thing. I try to break away from an image. That’s why I did Fashion.

What you said about your character is almost a riddle…

Yes, but I am not supposed to talk much about my character. My wife Sunita plays my wife in the film. This is our second film together. The first was Ramji Londonwaley.

Do you watch Bengali films?

Yes, that’s the advantage of having a Bengali wife! I have seen a lot of films by Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Goutam Ghose and also Anjan’s (Dutt). I thought Rituparno Ghosh’s Titli and Unishe April were fantastic.

Are you doing any kind of homework?

I am trying to get familiar with the script, so that I can get into the flow from Day One.

Shooting apart, what else do you plan to do in Calcutta?

I plan to visit Tangra after Sunita joins me in a few weeks and we will definitely try out phuchkas together!

What’s keeping you busy in Mumbai?

I am doing Sunny Deol and Niraj Pathak’s film The Man. There are two mega serials, Ghar Ek Sapna and a new NDTV series called Dehleez. I am also doing a 14-episode serial for Sony, which will be presented by Anurag Kashyap.