Instead of discussing marital problems with relatives, Actor Cyrus Sahukar tells Siddhika Prajapati that people should consider visiting therapists instead. Breaking the trend of typical Indian family dramas dealing with love, hate, betrayal, separation and what not, Mind the Malhotras is a forthcoming Amazon Prime web series of a modern couple trying hard, with the help of a therapist, to figure out their never-ending disputes.
For actor Cyrus Sahukar, who plays the character of Rishabh, it’s a “flawless mishmash” comic family, which is very relatable. There are two categories of people, one fall under being normal and another being ‘screwy.’ These Malhotras have a blend of both. They are the craziest of all. Mini Mathur, who portrays the role of Rishabh’s wife, and Sahukar are working hard on their marriage so that the spark remains alive. In the mid of all this, they are also trying to be friendly yet disciplined parents to their three children.
Sahukar apprises us, “In India, marriages have become very complicated since the world we breathe in has too many options. Couples go through a lot of issues like communication gaps, compatibility problems and various misunderstandings. So, sometimes seeking a therapist works well since conversing with someone who is anonymous, helps in sustainability of the relationship.”
Mini completely agrees with Sahukar. She says, “There were days when people used to seek advice from their close relatives but now they have been replaced by counselors and therapists because their job is not to be judgmental while counselling.”
Like any other typical Indian relationship, Rishabh and Shefali’s marriage is also not breaking up. They are still in love with each other but they just don’t want to fall into the situations similar to their friends, who have recently got divorced. “Their therapist suggested them to try acting like the characters of Sholay. Mini played Basanti and Sahukar portrayed Thakur but failed wretchedly,” says he.
The series is an Indian adaptation of Israeli comedy drama, La Famiglia. Being single, Sahukar was suspicious whether he would do justice to the character of a father. What helped him to work on his character was to discuss about the parenting tips with his friends and family. He sarcastically says, “Rishabh became a father at the age of 19 so basically he has grown up with his kids. Actually, I think I have become an expert in parenting now and of course, would be getting loads of marriage proposals too.”
He doesn’t understand the unusual world of Indian marriage, in-laws, society, kids, etc. He finds Rishabh a fascinating character, who chooses indirect methods of educating his daughters about sex. It is definitely relatable as we have often gone through this awkwardness with our own parents on these subjects.
“It’s important for a father to share a similar comfort zone with their kids. Sometimes, staying busy with their lives leads huge communication gaps, which is quite common these days,” he adds.
Sahukar has done it all, be it anchoring, comedy or acting in Bollywood films — Aisha, Love Break-ups and Zindagi. He is mostly known for his comedy roles but won’t mind experimenting with various genres. He says, “ I want to get out of my comfort zone. I want to experience something intense and portray darker characters. I need to explore myself since I believe that aspect of me is so strong which is yet to be discovered.”
He apprises that anchoring is his first love and he can do it anytime but acting in a web series, which offers a funny take on the marriages of contemporary world was a whole new era of exploring relationships and bonds. “I remember when the therapist asked us (Rishabh and Mini) to converse with each other more often, we had nothing much to talk about. I believe the feelings of anxiousness exist in every relationship whether it’s a marriage or not,” says Sahukar.
It presents the idea of new ways of celebrating marriage and love to sustain in a cynical society. Mini firmly believes in marriages, she says, “There’s always an advantage when you are in love, due to which this show is exceptional. We can’t stay being a perfect soul-mate always. Any relation would only survive if there is constant understanding among those two people. I have seen single individuals, they are lonely and it’s not easy. So, it feels great when you know that there is always someone right behind you.”
Sahukar sums it up by sharing his experience with the cast. He says, “Mini and me are best friends, so we can work anytime. Of course, until and unless we would get the right script to frame both of us. Our Malhotra family is super cool and welcomes everyone whoever is trying hard to fix things rather calling off when they are not falling in place.”
Writer: Siddhika Prajapati
Courtesy: The Pioneer