I don't see myself playing a naag or a bhoot: Iqbal Khan

Although he has been to Lucknow several times before, this time it was different for the actor. Iqbal Khan . The famous 'Fun2shh ... Dudes in the 10th Century' actor was in town to shoot the film 'Indoo Ki Jawani', which features Kiara Advani & Aditya stamp . Iqbal, who has also been seen in the show Tumhari Pakhi, says he always tries to explore the city in whatever time he gets from his late nights shoots. Taking time out for us, Iqbal talked about his favourite food in Lucknow, his absence from TV serials, trends on TV & a lot more. You have been to Lucknow before also to promote your TV shows, but this time you are filming for a movie here. How do you feel?

I think the last time I came to Lucknow was several years ago to promote my television show. Tumhari Paakhi . It must be some five years back. I wasn’t able to explore the city at all then but this time while shooting for Indoo Ki Jawani & staying in Lucknow for almost half a month, I was able to see quite a bit of Lucknow though there is still so much left to explore about this city. However, this time although I am staying here for such a long time, I wasn’t able to know the pulse of the city. I was shooting for my scenes till late in the night till early morning. But yes, I went to Dadamiyan ki Mazar, which was a really serene place. I spent time there with the kids of the near-by place & it was really a well-spent evening. Also, I was really happy to see that the metro has finally paved its way in Lucknow.

So what did you explore in Lucknow?

My connect with Lucknow is primarily with the food. I have this school friend of mine Ishanveer who is from Lucknow. He had taken me to this very regular looking place in old Lucknow & he made me eat Nihari there with sheermaal. Being a complete foodie, that is my major connect with Lucknow. Lucknow mein jaise nihari milte hai waise kahin bhi nahi taste kari. The whole taste, the tenderness of the meat & the sheermaal in Lucknow is very different from the ones served anywhere in India. When you talk about sheermaal, everywhere in India where I have eaten it, it is same from both the sides. But Lucknow mein

aise bilkul nahi tha.Yahan pe sheermaal ek side se tandoori tha & doosri side se ekdum roti type ka tha. I found it amazing! Iqbal Khan  at the Gomti River Front (BCCL/ Farhan Ahmad Siddiqui) Iqbal Khan at the Gomti River Front (BCCL/Farhan Ahmad Siddiqui)

Haven't we seen you much on TV these days?

There is a phase which television is going through where the makers have not been experimenting much with good content. Even if they have experimented with something, it has gone wrong. Most of the broadcasters today think that Indian audience needs spoon feeding of concepts like daayans, bhoots & makkhis. But the best part is that even today top shows on television are neither mythological or folklore stories.

They are regular family dramas. Never say never but I somehow don’t see myself playing a naag or a bhoot. I have not done any such kind of stuff before & God has been really kind to me that I have got shows which have not been typical drama types shows that we have on the small screen today. Television has seen it best phase when shows like Shanti, Hum Log, Kyunki... were made. People used to start watching TV from 8 pm & sit till midnight. But ab kahan aisa hota hai.

What about mythological or historical shows, aren't you open to them too?

Well, to be frank, I was offered to play Lord Shiva & I did my homework for that & I was excited to play one but at the last minute I didn’t do it for the only reason that such shows require a lot of time even in the making. But TV today, after a month or so, it doesn’t give you that much of time for such a show. I feel on television, even today, romance, relationships, family these things always work. There are so many good shows which are approved for their uniqueness but by the time they go on air woh ek dum badal chuke hote hain & mostly for the worst.

Is that the reason why they blamed you for closing a program after you were dissatisfied with its history?

It is very easy for the makers to say that actor chala gaya iss wajah se show band ho gaya. I don’t believe television actors have that kind of power. There are so many shows which have worked wonderfully even after the main lead’s exit. So yes I was blamed for leaving two of my shows after I was not satisfied with the storyline, which was not what was originally narrated & promised to me. But I have done a show like Karam Apna Apna long time back which I left after sometime, but even after that it worked for two years. So it is because the story was going downhill that the show couldn’t garner TRPs, not because I left it.