“Koi pyaar kare toh tumse kare, tum jaise ho waise kare, koi tumhe badal kar pyaar kare, toh woh pyaar nahi, sauda kar raha hai, aur, pyaar mein sauda nahi hota…” remember this iconic dialogue from the film,’Mohabbatein’ and also Saurabh Shukla aka uncle Tom, who played the innocent, happy-go-lucky and a loving father to the character portrayed by Kim Sharma? Today, as the Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Anupam Kher, Amrish Puri, Helen, Uday Chopra, Kim Sharma, Jimmy Shergill, Preeti Jhangiani, Uday Chopra and Shamita Shetty starrer film turns 20, we got in touch with the ace actor Saurabh Shukla, who has entertained the masses with his powerhouse performances in films like ‘Satya’, Jolly LLB, ‘Bala’, ‘Nayak’ and many more.
In a free-wheeling conversation, the veteran actor shared his memories associated with the film, experience of working with Aditya Chopra for the first time and his love for the characters he has played in his three-decade long career. Excerpts from our conversation:
The multi-starrer film ‘Mohabbatein’ has completed 20 years today. The dialogue ‘koi pyaar kare…’ became an anthem for youngsters and gained immense popularity. How does it feel to be associated with such an iconic dialogue and also the film?
Firstly, I am feeling very nice as the film has completed 20 years today. Secondly, I think the credit for the dialogue goes to the filmmaker because the actors just deliver the dialogues but the art comes from a nice director, so the credit goes to Aditya Chopra.
How relevant do you think this dialogue is in today’s time?
Whatever you say in this world is relevant. Everything is relevant, even today and all times. It all depends on how you perceive it, how you go through it. I think love is not something which was started yesterday or 100 years back because it was started when humans were born. Yes, there are different ways of saying it and this dialogue is just one of the many.
Uncle Tom was a small character in the film but your screen appearance enhanced the entire scene. Any memories attached to the role?
The only memory of the film which I have is when Aditya called me. He insisted that he wanted me to play uncle Tom and I was touched as he had said that it was very important for him that I portray the character and I did it. It was the only time when I worked with him. He was the director and we shot the entire scene in one night. It was nice talking and knowing him and his passion for his work. That is something I will always cherish.
Describe your experience of working with Kim Sharma and Jugal Hansraj
It was very nice to work with all of them. It was practically Kim and Jugal’s launch film. They were very excited for ‘Mohabbatein’ and it was very nice to see them start their career with a big film.
Tom uncle, Kallu Mama or the judge from ‘Jolly LLB’, which character is close to you and why?
I don’t know why this question is always asked (laughs). On a serious note, you don’t discriminate between your children. So I think it is wrong to ask an actor which character he likes the most. An actor loves and respects every character he plays. The only thing is that some films work, so your character gets noticed. The characters you mentioned are from films that did wonders at the box office but there are many movies I have worked in . Just because the films did not work, those characters are not much known to the audience, but I am completely in love those characters as well.