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Meet Varun Badola, the new heartthrob of the small screen

Photo:P.V.Sivakumar

EXIT AMARR Upadhyay a.k.a Mihir Virani as here comes the new heartthrob of the small screen. He is the versatile Varun Badola, who can play a country youth lost in a city to an erring husband — one role demanding a bemused appearance and the other void of any expression, with equal ease. How does he manage such a versatile canvas?

"Observation power. It sure helps," says the movie buff from Garhwal who grew up reading Ghalib and Zauq, which accounts for his diction and in depth portrayal of the character he plays. Talk slapstick, he exudes plenty of it. "If you have a sense of humour, you have a sense of humour. There are no two ways about it," he says.

Some of his successful soaps include Banegi Apni Baat, Koshish - Ek Asha, Aroona Irani's much talked about Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand and finally, the popular Astitva... Ek Prem Kahani. Astitva... has a high TRP, reason, one, the story is different from the regular saas bahu dramas — it's a stirring progression of a doctor's life married to a guy ten years younger replete with insecurities, heart break and trauma. The second and equally critical factor for its high viewership is the gripping portrayal of the characters by the artistes.

"Believe me, playing a loser is the most difficult thing to do. Abhi is a very challenging role especially when Dr. Simran's character is very well written and Nikki Aneja is doing an excellent job," says Varun who has been a dialogue writer and director as well. "I started off as a costume coordinator, then worked as writer-director for eight years. I have assisted Tigmanshu Dhulia in Haasil and Charas, apart from acting in the two films. I decided to take a break from directing to do some acting when I was offered Astitva," he says and the rest is history.

Today, he is one of the most sought after artistes on the tube. Choosy about his serials, he'd rather give his best shot to the work at hand, he feels. Likewise, he received rave reviews for his brief role in Haasil. There have been more offers from Bollywood as well but Varun has other plans.

"I do plan to go back to directing. You are constantly acting from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. all through the month. After some time, doing daily soaps becomes difficult," he says.

A witty, sensitive and industrious pro himself, his directorial work will be one to look out for.

SYEDA FARIDA

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