Manoj Pahwa and Supriya Pathak have been friends for a very long time, and have also worked together. And this year, their relationship evolved one step further as their children got married to each other. In February this year, Manoj Pahwa and Seema Pahwa’s son Mayank Pahwa tied the knot with Supriya Pathak and Pankaj Kapur’s daughter Sanah Kapur. Now, Manoj and Supriya are starring in Disney+ Hotstar series Home Shanti.
In a conversation with indianexpress.com, Manoj Pahwa spoke about how the wedding arrangements were being taken care of during the shoot of the series. He also joked that the parents were just mere “producers” as Mayank and Sanah were pretty much clear about everything they wanted at their wedding.
“We were shooting for the series in December, and during the same time, we were preparing for the wedding. Wo (Supriya) bhi alag phone pe lagi rehti thi. The kids wanted to have a destination wedding. So because we were shooting in Dehradun, we went to Mussoorie to do recce for the wedding venues,” Manoj said, adding about his bond with Supriya Pathak, “Before we became samdhi-samdhan (in-laws), we were very good family friends. Pankaj ji, Supriya ji’s kids and our kids studied together. We used to go on vacations together. So, there is not a very big difference between us. Sometimes, it strikes hard that we are also related as samdhi-samdhan now. But we are mostly friends.”
In his career so far, Manoj Pahwa has played a father several times. But now, he has stepped into the role of a father-in-law in real life. But in his words, “Aisa kuch feel nai hota.”
“Shaadi hue, shaadi ke 3-4 baad Sanah ki shooting shuru hogayi, even son got busy with his work. Sometimes I joke with Seema, ki aisa laga ki hum kisiki shaadi ke function me gaye aur acche se khaa pee ke aagaye (I joke with Seema that it feels like we went to someone else’s wedding as guests). Whenever Sanah comes home, we don’t feel like bahu aayi hai. She used to visit us before the wedding too. So, nothing has changed. Life me fark nai aaya (Life has not changed),” he said.
Since most of his family members are a part of the film industry, we were keen to know how filmy they are in real life. In response, Manoj Pahwa said, “Not at all.”
He continued, “Our whole family, including our kids, has worked in the film industry, been a part of the theatre but we are not filmy at all. We are very simple people. We don’t go to filmy parties. You won’t even spot us at premieres until we are extremely proud of what we have done. For instance, I personally enjoyed working on Home Shanti as the character has a lot of elements that I have. I could identify with him.” Talking about Home Shanti, Manoj explained how it is a “light-hearted” series. “Back then, I was getting offers to be a part of series that were dealing with dark subjects like gangsters, underworld, crime and so on. Today, OTT is very dominated with such content, which is also full of abusive language. This is very light-hearted series that you will relate to,” he said.
When asked if he thinks there is dearth in family-oriented content, Manoj agreed and spoke about how these days art has become only about realism.
“There is a dearth. Look at how Gullak and Panchayat performed. People loved it because they could see themselves in the characters. So, I am very sure that even Home Shanti will be loved by the audience. These days, content is full of abuses, aggression. Nowadays, every film or web-series has a list of must haves. It should feature a gay or a lesbian relationship or some sexual scenes. Yes, times have changed. Yes, we are much more liberal now. But art also means to treat a subject or a relationship subjectively. Today, we are deep into realism, which gets difficult for Indian family to watch together,” he concluded.
Home Shanti will stream on Disney+ Hotstar from May 6 onwards.