Zee TV’s latest primetime offering Piyaa Albela that has hit television screens on 6th March is already touching a chord with the audiences, given its unique modern-day interpretation of the classic Vishwamitra-Menaka love story and its fresh, charming leads. The talented Akshay Mhatre who plays Naren has had to transform himself significantly in order to play a differentiated male protagonist on Indian television. Unlike any other hero whom you may have encountered on Indian television, here is a poor little rich boy who is lost on a spiritual trail, seeking answers to radical questions about life. Studying psychology more in the classroom of his mind and soul than in college, Naren is a mystery even to his own parents who can barely decipher his motivations, aspirations and course of life. In order to play Naren convincingly, Akshay has adopted a fairly reclusive existence and done away with any source of entertainment. With a complete stop to partying or going out with friends, he has also done away with any entertainment, be it TV shows or movies. He has also lost 8 Kgs to look the part of a man into Yoga, penance and one who is detached from any form of indulgences. What’s more … he has even started reading books on philosophy. The actor draws inspiration from his mother who is a Yoga teacher to get the postures for the various asanas right.
Akshay reveals how this show and his character helped him transform not only on-screen but also in person. He shares, “Naren’s character is a product of Sooraj (Barjatya) Sir’s vision. He was very clear about the way he wanted Naren to look and behave. Appearance-wise, he is a lean guy rather than a gym-chiselled muscular hunk. It has been eight months of working on my look, mannerisms and body language to play this character. I am learning Yoga from my mother. I had to understand the depth of the character from Sooraj Ji to bring it alive on screen. I have lost 8 kgs of weight after staying on a strictly monitored diet, mainly comprising salads and soups. Along with it, I also learnt how to ride a bike which Naren is seen riding. Also, my character Naren is an animal lover while in real life, I was always scared of them. So I gradually developed a soft corner for them.”
Piyaa Albela is the story of Naren, a poor little rich boy lost in the pursuit of answers to some of life’s unanswered questions and Pooja, a practical girl with a warm, sociable and charming personality. Watch what happens a worried set of parent’s approach Pooja to awaken him from his spiritual slumber and wake him up to the practicalities of the real world.