How awkward would it get when the quintessential father figure of Bollywood, Alok Nath aka Babuji starts talking about sex? Viraj Sawant finds out!
When you use words like Sanskar, Ashirwad and Samdhan in a Bollywood reference, you are bound to talk about the Babuji of Bollywood, Alok Nath. Being stereotyped as the ideal father of the actress in most of Bollywood’s family drama films, Alok Nath saw a rebirth when the digital world started using him as a meme about good mannerisms. Alok Nath, being a sport, played along and made a few more videos about being the sanskari father. With his new adult chat show ‘Sinskari’ being aired on the web, he is all set to make his guests awkward by asking them some of the silliest and wildest questions! Excerpts from our chat…
How apprehensive were you to try something like this?
Initially yes, definitely I was apprehensive. Then I was briefed and was told that it’s for a different audience. I was told that the audience I have on television or for films is different; here the target audience is the younger crowd. The audience that made me Babuji, might be a part of the whole audience but it’s not that audience we are catering to.
How do you consider the new digital audience to be?
When the Twitter memes came up, I didn’t oppose it and I played along with all those jokes and enjoyed it to a certain extend. So when they realised that this guy isn’t taking much offence, those jokes died a natural death. Then they took some new bakra!
If I am catering to a similar kind of an audience who knows me a little bit and knows that I am being sporty about these jokes, I thought why not do something that’s in their domain? Hence I agreed. I was skeptical about the show and the jokes were indeed a little under the belt types. But then along with the producers and co-artistes we made sure it stays ticklish and sexy but not going on the vulgar side.
Do you think this could hamper your original audience?
Not really. I quite enjoyed working on it. It’s definitely very different from what I have been doing. But why not? After all the work I have done till date in television, films, stage, everything – this is like an experiment for me. And practically when I am at the fag-end of my career! It’s like an experiment that I wanted to do earlier on but wasn’t allowed to or wasn’t given the choice of the kind of roles I wanted to do. I was slotted in that image. So I thought, chalo jatejate kuch alag kar te hai. So I took the plunge.
Is this an attempt at breaking the ‘Babuji’ mould?
It is something that is not expected of a guy like Babuji, not Alok Nath. He had got trapped into performing a certain job. And since he’s signed a contract and now he cannot withdraw from it, he is there stuck in a situation like this and he has to perform reluctantly! According to Babuji, these uncouth and uncivil people are trying to destroy the sanskar in him. Keeping all these things in mind, I am doing all these things forcefully, and feeling awkward about and getting through these interviews!
After working in television and films, you’ll be stepping into the digital space with this show. How tech-friendly are you?
I am not very tech-friendly or even gadget-friendly. I have recently been active on Twitter. I am enjoying it no doubt. It’s fun to talk to people but of late it has become very political. Everybody has their sides. Instead of it being a happy place. It’s become very Kurukshetra types. You can’t run away from it.
What sort of questions will be done on the show?
It’s a one-to-one conversation with people. A chat show with young, good looking, well built, sexy people. And you have Babuji in his sanskari avatar. According to who he is, he’ll start off very biased, and ask questions awkwardly. Like there is a section called as Quickie Round. I announce that we’ll be doing the Quickly Round and my director shouts, ‘Babuji it’s Quickie Round and not Quickly’! And I say ‘Whatever, let’s get on with the questions’.
When it pours…
I love the rains in general; it’s such a beautiful feeling. When it rains you feel like the sky has come down on you. Water, as we all know, is an important element for humanity. When the heaven opens up, it gives you a new life. Rejuvenates you. The weather turns cool breezy and wet especially after a hot summer like this one. It’s very vegetative and beautiful and also romantic.
I love watching the rain from the window. Maybe get wet and go for a long drive. We usually drive to our farmhouse in Karjat.
If I was allowed to, then I would have eaten kuda. My mother used to make it for me. It’s made out of flour and you have to soak it in water overnight. You can make it into a dosa or fry it like a pakoda. You have it with mango pickle. I miss having that.