‘Saare Jahan Se Mehnga’: I love to make people smile, says Ranjan Chhabra

Mekhla Singh

Making a place for oneself in Bollywood – sans any influential or industry backing – is in itself a commendable job worthy of being appreciated. For this actor, who is making his debut in Bollywood – which is ruled by the likes of Shah Rukh and Salman Khan – with ‘Saare Jahan Se Mehnga’, it is all about connecting with the common man and being able to bring a smile upon their faces merely with one of his biggest assets – his acting.

Even though Ranjan Chhabra never thought of becoming an actor, somehow events took a sudden twist and this is where his destiny has brought him. “I came to Delhi for my college projects, for which I was assisting a director. It so happened that they fell short of a few actors and I got a chance to try my hand at that, which proved to be pretty interesting. There was also a talent hunt organised in Noida in the year 2005 for which I’d asked my father’s permission to participate. Although he said all of it was fixed, he advised me not to lose hope; and luckily for me, I won the competition and that is when I decided to get into acting.

When asked about ‘Saare Jahan Se Mehnga’, the actor said, “This is my debut film, which is a satire on inflation. The best part about it is that throughout the entire film, the audience will keep laughing. The story revolves around a family of 4 members – Puttanpal (Sanjai Mishra), Nagpal (Vishwa Mohan Badola), Gopal (Ranjan Chabbra) and Noori (Pragati Pandey). This family is struggling against inflation and all four of them – who belong to different age groups – are trying to do something. I am targeting the youth, Noori is targeting the women, Puttanpal is targeting everybody and Nagpal is targeting the elder audience; thereby giving us an opportunity of connecting with all the viewers. The best part about the movie is that even though the actors in the movie have not tried to make the audience laugh, the situations in themselves are exceptionally hilarious, and hence the audience can automatically connect with everything that is happening. The Pal family finds a way to fight inflation, but it backfires, and sadly they’re trapped in it. However, they try to get out of it, but are caught again and the circle goes on…”

Considering that it is his first commercial movie, the role played by Ranjan ought to be a special one. When asked if he liked his role in ‘Saare Jahan Se Mehnga’, he said, “I loved my role in the movie, maybe because I did not want to foray into Bollywood as a romantic hero. When I see the career graphs of successful actors like Abhay Deol and Emraan Hashmi, they have done something exceptionally different, which made me grab this opportunity at the first instant. Additionally, the audience may like to watch Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor romancing their leading ladies on screen, but you can’t be so sure about it with a debutante, and hereby lies the risk due to which I decided to get into the comedy genre.”

Talking about his future films Ranjan said, “I have signed one film, the shooting for which is scheduled to begin this year – ‘Bach Gaye Re Obama’. It is a sequel to ‘Phans Gaye Re Obama’. I am also in the process of reading two more scripts but nothing has been finalised yet. I will be choosy as far as my future films are concerned because I want to select the right script even if it means going slow.”Asked if he would like to continue working in comedy movies, Ranjan added, “Yes you could say so, because I love to make people smile. I believe that is the best thing an individual can do!”