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POPULAR ACTOR ARJUN BIJLANI ON WHY HE LOVES BEING ON TV by ASJAD NAZIR Popular actor Arjun Bijlani may have delivered winning performances in a wide array of projects, but admits that he was nervous when facing the camera for the first time. Although the talented star was nervous shooting for that first advertisement, he knew it was his chance to prove himself and took the first step towards what has become a flourishing career. “I had a lot of mixed emotions and wanted everything to be perfect. Yes, it didn’t happen in the first take; I took a couple of takes to get the mood and confidence right. Technically, I didn’t know so many things because I was new. But then you take each day as it comes and you tell yourself that you have to do better the next day. And, even today, I feel the same every time when-ever I face the camera, I want to better myself each day and I want to learn each day,” said Arjun. The talented actor speaks with a heartfelt passion and ever since that first take, he has tried understanding what he is supposed do to as an actor, but also what happens behind the camera. This work ethic has enabled him to carve out a successful acting career loaded with winning performances in serials including Naagin, Ishq Mein Marjawan, Pardes Mein Hai Mera Dil and Miley Jab Hum Tum. Although he has had many career highs on television, Arjun doesn’t look back on what he has done. “I don’t turn back and see my past. I just cherish that I have been working because ‘work is worship for me’. And I wanted to be in that phase where I am constantly working. I don’t think any other thing can give me the kind of satisfaction and happiness I get from work,” he said. When asked about memorable moments in his career, Arjun remembers his breakout serial Left Right Left, award-winning turn in Mile Jab Hum Tum and Naagin, which he describes as a big turning point. Hosting was another big turning point for him. “All I can do is thank god and self-motivate myself to do better every time. The most memorable moment was when I was waiting for Naagin TRP’s because it was experimental. And the promos did not show Naagin. In all the promos it was just me. And when the numbers came and it was declared the number one show, I was the happiest.” The successful small screen star admits to being anxious and nervous at that time of Naagin’s super success, but didn’t need to be. He is unable to single out one character as a favourite and says it is like asking a mother, ‘who is your favourite baby’? “I think each character has its own journey. For me, all have been a ladder to reach where I am today. So every character I played has had some impact on my life. I have learned from each character in my life and will continue to play different roles.” In terms of dream roles, Arjun wants to play a Muslim character, which he has never done before in a film or on television. Other dream roles include a patriotic cop or a person who loves his nation, like a military man. The last TV series he binge-watched himself is American legal drama Suits and his television hero is the character Harvey Spector, who appears in the same show. Clearly passionate about his job, today Arjun is motivated by a will to do better and believes inspiration comes from anywhere, including the small things in life. “You can take positivity from people and learn from their experiences and your own experiences.” He also draws inspiration from reading positive things and believes life is about finding the right balance. “Life is about creating balance, and if you go in one direction you will achieve success, but still there will be an imbalance. So, I think creating the right balance is what really matters and that is how I inspire myself.” Arjun finishes off by revealing why he loves being an actor. “I get to play so many characters. And to actually convince people that it is you is why I love acting so much. You are in a different phase of life and people come to that phase of yours because you are playing that role and sometimes they love you without knowing you. When your work is appreciated because of the characters and kind of appreciation you get, it is wonderful.”