Kamna Pathak On Happu Ki Ultan Paltan Turning One: Never Imagined Myself In This Avatar

As Happu's Paltan grew a year older, we did an exclusive interview with Kamna Pathak about the perks and challenges of becoming Rajesh Singh.

Kamna Pathak - Happu Ki Ultan Paltan

&TV‘s Happu Ki Ultan Paltan recently grew a year older. The comedy show, which is a spinoff of Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain, revolves around the life of police officer Happu Singh. Happu and his family, consisting of his wife, nine kids, and his mother, always find themselves in the middle of chaotic situations. The star cast of the show consists of Yogesh Tripathi, Himani Shivpuri, and Kamna Pathak. The show has garnered a massive fan following, thanks to the different flavors every character brings to the show. Happu’s wife Rajesh is also a hugely beloved character. This role is portrayed by Kamna Pathak who has been a backbone to Happu as well as the show. While the cast and crew were basking in the success, we had an exclusive chat with the actress during which she revealed interesting insights about the show.

Watch the latest episode of Happu Ki Ultan Paltan here.

1. First of all, congratulations on your show Happu Ki Ultan Paltan completing one year. So, how was your experience playing Rajesh for the past year like?

I was just chatting with the team about it. I honestly cannot believe how one year flew by. I remember my first shot. It was 2nd February, the first ever day of shooting. I was dressed in a yellow nightie for the scene. My heart was beating hard as I was a little scared. However, Shashank sir (the director) told me to be calm. He just wanted me to give my best. I already knew the language so it was a bit easy for me. The role also brought along with it a set of challenges. But as an actor, it was just what I wanted. What I am is easier to show but portraying what I am not is a tough task. So it was a learning experience for me to overcome these hurdles and reach this stage of success.

2. In your one-year Happu journey, who would you like to thank?

First of all, it’s very difficult to name a single person. However, there are a number of people that I want to thank. Shashank Bali sir, Benaifer Kohli ma’am, Sanjay sir, Harshada ma’am, Manoj Ji for giving a chance to portray this role. It wouldn’t have been possible without Happu’s (Yogesh Tripathi’s) support and co-ordination. Himani Ji has also been equally supportive. So, this is a team effort. Ritwik Mukherjee for introducing me to the show. He was the one who had asked me to audition for the role. And that’s how I landed up with this role.

3. Any memorable incident/experience that you would like to share with us.

Like I said earlier, my first scene itself was a memorable experience. During my first shot, I was dressed in a yellow nightie. The scene was directed by Shashank sir and I was supposed to say “Sun rahe hai, dhup nikal aayi“. I had grasped the tone already as I knew the Bundelkhandi language. During the mock shoot itself, I had got the tone right. However, unlike my personality, which is shy, I had to be as bold as possible while shooting the romantic scenes with Happu. While doing these scenes, one has to be comfortable with their co-actor. I was a bit hesitant at first. So Shashank sir asked me to do the scene more freely. There’s also this promo we shot for the show, where I had to make naughty little gestures at Happu. These are the two scenes that I absolutely cannot forget as I had never imagined myself in this avatar.

Rajesh Singh - Happu Ki Ultan Paltan
Rajesh Singh of Happu Ki Ultan Paltan

4. What quality of Rajesh do you relate to the most?

I’m just as bold as Rajesh. Just like my character, I like to put forth my opinion without any fear, stand for the truth, and shoulder responsibilities.

5. Your look has been inspired by Sonakshi Sinha’s look from Dabangg. What do you have to say about it?

First of all, the look was not pre-decided. We never intended it to be based on Sonakshi’s look from Dabangg. It happened automatically. Harshada ma’am just wanted me to have my hair parted in the middle with flicks on the side. On my first day of the shoot, people behind the camera confused me with Sonakshi Sinha. So, the credit goes to Harshada ma’am for coming up with this look.

6. What according to you are the three qualities every wife should have?

One, she is protective of her family. Every wife should be as caring as Rajesh is. Two, she likes to put forth her opinion. She knows what her rights are and therefore fights for it. I have also noticed in the scenes I’ve done so far that Rajesh doesn’t like to discriminate between a guy and a girl. She treats every child as equal. This is a quality I would like every wife to have. She’s also sharp. No one can make a fool out of her. She knows exactly how to get things done. Every wife should also keep a check on her husband just like Rajesh does.

7. Out of your nine children, who’s your favourite kid?

Hritik is my favorite. He’s someone Rajesh loves the most, as he’s always on my side, unlike Chamchi.

8. There’s a new film on Zee5 called Shukranu based on forced sterilisation during the Emergency era. After nine kids, do you think Happu should get nasbandi?

Yes, I think Happu should get a nasbandi done. As the show is a comedy serial, the ridiculous idea of Happu having nine kids could be digested. In today’s time, one doesn’t even think of going beyond one kid because of the growing inflation. The concept of a nuclear family makes it difficult for one to think of having too many kids. Happu made a mistake by having nine kids. But Happu (Yogesh) himself has one child in real life.

9. Describe your co-stars in a word.

Happu (Yogesh) is an amazing actor. He grasps and understands everything in a jiffy. Amma (Himani Ji) is carefree. Hritik (Aryan Prajapati) is a naughty little kid. Kat (Ashna Kishore) is a drama queen in the true sense of the word. Malaika (Zahara Sethjiwala) is as strong as her on-screen character. Chamchi (Zara Warsi) is a foodie. Kamlesh (Sanjay Choudhary) is silent. He’s always on silent mode. Ranbir (Somya Azad) is a simpleton. I also have a word for the triplets which are never shown on TV: serial weepers.

10. Tell us about your journey, from Indore to Delhi to Mumbai. The struggles and hardships you faced to finally find your foothold in the TV industry.

Firstly, no one points out your mistake. Luckily for me, my mentor Barry John was there to guide me. My theatre circle was there for me. I have worked professionally in theatre for 15-odd years. However, I didn’t give auditions for 5 years because of my fear of rejection. When I did give auditions, no one told me what I was rejected for. During this period, I took part in the reality show Sabse Bada Kalakaar where I was the mentor of Virad Tyagi who ultimately went on to win the show. I got shows back-to-back after that. It was those early rejections that empowered me so much that I could reach the stage where I’m at today. That rejection itself is the reason why am basking in the success of the show. I was fortunate to be a part of the lovely production house Edit II and also the channel &TV. The channel put faith in me. My family was there to support me. Therefore, I never stopped and constantly kept on doing shows.

Happu Ki Ultan Paltan - Rajesh, Katori
Happu Ki Ultan Paltan – Rajesh and Katori

11. You started your career as a theatre actor and then moved to TV. What was the transition like?

It wasn’t difficult for me to switch from theatre to TV. During the rehearsal of a play, I was asked by Saurabh Shukla to be as natural as I can. He thinks that I’m a natural actor. He even asked me to overact as it looks natural on me. Voice is the key thing in theatre. On the other hand, it’s different from TV. While doing theatre, the stage is open for the actor to explore. I took time to learn about the camera movements on TV. Thankfully, the directors were very supportive and helped me with the technicalities. The look shift was difficult for me to grasp. In retrospect, it doesn’t look that difficult for me compared to my early days.

12. Even though the show is praised by many for its humorous content, there’s also criticism. So how do you deal with negative comments?

Everything that is shown on the show is meant to be taken in a comic way. Questions were being raised about the nine kids. How can I be a young mother? But when there’s criticism, one gets the scope to improve and better oneself. When people tell us things it gives us an opportunity to improve ourselves. As an actress, I like taking up challenges like these where I was supposed to play a mother of nine kids even though I am still single. I take it very positively.

What do you think about Kamna Pathak’s role in Happu Ki Ultan Paltan? Let us know in the comment section below.

Meanwhile, catch all the latest episodes of the Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain, streaming now on ZEE5.