Om Puri: ‘Chhal Sheh Aur Maat’ is clean entertainment

The veteran theatre, television and film actor is unhappy with the current standards of programming

Om Puri returns to the small screen after over a decade as a sutradhar or storyteller for new TV show Chhal Sheh Aur Maat. But the veteran actor feels today’s television is frivolous and lacks meaningful content. “Television back in the 1980s had meaningful content. Serials like Hum Log and Buniyaad had much to share, but the small screen has now become very frivolous,” Puri, 61, told IANS. “The usual saas-bahu serials are more like people doing ramp walk than acting. The standards have indeed declined over the years. I miss the charm of television in previous years,” he said.

A theatre veteran, Om started his television career with Mr Yogi, Kakaji Kaheen and Yatra. He admits there is a need for shows that can create awareness about society. “Television is a great medium and has wider reach than other means of communication. We need to have shows that create social awareness, which is rarely a case in today’s era,” he said. Even comedy shows are not up to the mark, he feels.”Previously we used to see some very good shows, but now even the standards of comedy have declined drastically. There are such poor standards of humour in comedy zones today,” said Puri.

Chhal Sheh Aur Maat that airs on Colors channel is a tale of deception, betrayal and mystery. The show is about Neha, a newlywed whose life changes dramatically while on a honeymoon when a stranger stakes claim to her life as her husband. For the show, Om dons the garb of a sutradhaar. He will be seen presenting a weekly roundup of the story in an interesting one-hour format of Kahani Ab Tak.

“The makers of the show approached me to be part of the show as a storyteller. I grabbed the opportunity because I knew this will not harm my big screen career in any way as I have to shoot for it just for four days in a month,” he said. “I agreed to be a part of it because it is not something that promotes superstition or seems frivolous. It is just clean entertainment,” he added.

Om was due to do a rural-based show being created by the rural development ministry. The actor however reveals it is yet to go on the floors. “Work on the show is still on. Everybody knows how the government departments work; I am waiting to hear from them soon,” he said.

Last seen in Chaar Din Ki Chandni, Om is busy shooting for Malamaal Weekly 2 and is looking forward to working with Prakash Jha in Chakravyuh.