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Anupamaa's Aashish Mehrotra speaks on struggle, father's demise-Newsonnline.com

Aashish Mehrotra is fondly known as Paritosh or Toshu from Anupamaa. In ETimes TV’s Tellyblazer segment, Aashish exclusively spoke about his struggle in the television industry, the ups and downs. He got candid about his father’s demise during the pandemic and how he has been coping with that loss. Aashish also spoke about how he began his journey with Roadies but after a few failed attempts he decided to come to Mumbai and begin his journey into acting. Take a look at some excerpts from the Interview:
I feel blessed to play Toshu in Anupamaa

I really feel that if acting wasn’t challenging I wouldn’t be doing it. If you see the graph, Toshu in Anupamaa has always been on a roller coaster ride from day one. From being drunk to all those fun notes he has explored all the shades. With the current track, I feel blessed and I am really enjoying it. It is a very thin line between overdoing and underplaying the character and I am glad that I have reached the right track. It is overwhelming to receive such a positive response.


I would have packed my stuff and travelled back home but Anupamaa happened

It is an emotional story since Anupamaa happened just before the lockdown. I bagged this role almost a month before the pandemic and that day I gave around 15-20 auditions in a day. I was extremely stressed as I had no work for quite some time. It was a breakthrough moment where I had to make or break. I would have packed my stuff and travelled back home or somewhere else, earned some money and then come back to Mumbai. However, I was lucky to get this role. I wouldn’t have done Paritosh if Rajan sir wouldn’t have sat with me for an hour and made me understand the character. I followed my gut feeling and gave it a shot. Rather than going with preconceived notions.

I still want to prove it to my dad that, ‘Papa maine kar diya’

Honestly, I haven’t really come out of it. I am still in that zone where I miss him every day and want him to see where I am today. I want him to be in Mumbai with me and mom. I want to take care of his expenses and prove to him that, ‘Papa maine kar diya’. I am holding on to that feeling as it makes me feel closer to him and I want to keep feeling that.

I was numb when I got the news of my father’s demise

It was a lockdown and we were in Silvassa. Mumbai was completely closed. It was very hard to travel back to Delhi. I got a call in the morning around 7:15 am and I couldn’t understand because my mom was also crying on the call. I remember I ran to give my shot as I was genuinely late that day and in the middle of the shoot I was getting calls from mom. When I got to know the news, I was shattered. I was numb, I didn’t know what to do, or what would happen. The night before, I had spoken to him and he was completely fine. Rajan sir made it possible for me, within two hours I was at Mumbai airport and I flew back to Delhi. I was able to do the last rites for my father. I will be in debt and forever grateful to sir.

There is a different understanding of the industry in Delhi

Coming from a non Industry background family, being in Delhi it becomes a different ball game to understand how the Industry works. In Delhi, we all think, body bana lo, Mumbai aajao, audition do aur actor bann jaoge. But that isn’t how the industry actually works. Behind all this, there have been many sleepless nights, empty pocket days, and sleeping in kitchen and bench days. There have been days when you are saving money to survive on water and parle G. All this is possible only when you really want to be an actor. At that point, all this doesn’t matter, you will enjoy this. Today, I speak about it proudly and I am blessed and thankful for those days that I am still grounded.


I had locked myself in the room after not getting Roadies

I started with Roadies, I had given auditions for 3-4 years back to back. But those were failed attempts, then I lied at home and went to Chandigarh and gave an audition from there. That is when I got selected, GD got cleared but again I didn’t get selected after the PI so I locked myself in the room. Then I thought, no problem. You want to become an actor so let’s go to Mumbai. I packed my bag and collected all the funds, I used to teach dance so everything that I earned from there I gathered it all and came to Mumbai.

I was jobless in the first four months in Mumbai

First four months, I was jobless but with a good face, I used to get an entry to give auditions. In those days, Balaji used to have those slips so I used to go and give auditions. I wasn’t a pro at acting but now I have gained more experience. I did 14 shows, more than 50 episodics, 25 ads, more than 7 short films and a lot of plays in this whole journey. All of this made me who I am today and all those shows hold the same importance in my life irrespective of fame. That journey made me worthy of bagging Anupamaa.

Casting couch is a part of the industry, I was able to handle it and move on

Casting Couch is a part of this industry. If you are lucky then you escape from it and if you are not lucky then you face it. Ultimately, it is your choice I feel. I haven’t come across such people who tie you and get their work done. There is a perspective too, if you are okay with it then you cannot call it a casting couch. At times I feel that the casting couch is blamed because such people assume they will get a role through that process, despite not being eligible for it and then they put the blame on it. I have gone through such instances but they weren’t important enough to discuss. By god’s grace, I was able to handle it and I have moved on.


I changed to nine different houses in the first year itself in Mumbai

During my first year in Mumbai, I changed to nine different houses. Some reasons from the landlord to a friend, his girlfriend and so on. I stayed in the first house for 6-7 months but in the last 5 months, I ended up changing 8 homes. I have no regrets it did teach me a lot about how I must handle such moments. Mumbai only gives you space when you are constantly working on yourself and growing. If you are lucky enough, then you will survive in this city and keep growing with it.

I would do Jhalak for my love for dancing

None of the above. Honestly, I am not made for Bigg Boss. If I ever want to do it then it would be only for meeting Salman bhai. I would do Khatron for the stunts and Jhalak I would really plan on doing for my love for dancing.

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