Dehati Ladke takes viewers on a journey through the eyes of Rajat, brought to life by Shine Pandey. Rajat’s story is far from a solo act, as he is joined by a vibrant ensemble cast that includes Kusha Kapila, Aasif Khan, Raghav Sharma, Tanish Neeraj and Saamya Jainn in pivotal roles. Streaming exclusively on Amazon miniTV since December 15, the series explores the universal themes of friendship, first love and the hardships of life.
Tell us about your character in Dehati Ladke
Pandey: My character Rajat, comes from a small town in Uttar Pradesh and goes to Lucknow to prepare for his UPSC exam. In this journey, he experiences life’s ups and downs and ends up meeting people like Chhayaji and Prashant bhaiya from his hometown. As he continues to make new friends, Rajat falls for a girl, Prerna (Saamya Jainn). He has a really fascinating story and I’m excited for the audience to watch it unfold.
Khan: My character Prashant bhaiya is the first guy from his district Gonda, to move to a bigger city and has sparked hope for every household that agar main kar sakta hun toh tum bhi kar sakte ho (if I can do it then you can do it too). Prashant Bhaiya is Gonda district’s ‘Sharmaji ka ladka,’ where every parent points to him and says, tumhe Prashant ki tarah banna hai (you must become like Prashant). Prashant represents what today’s youth is dealing with: the struggle between choosing what your mind says and what your heart wants. The show portrays the burdens that a typical youngster carries in terms of expectations from society, parents as well as life partners and the million-dollar question of who you should actually listen to.
Kapila: I am playing Chhaya who is a professor at the university Rajat goes to and she is Prashant’s girlfriend. She is someone who is very sure of herself and has a personality that lights up the room she is in. In the show, she is going through some relationship issues with Prashant because he is preparing for UPSC and cannot give her enough time. Rajat is very important to Prashant so Chhaya is always looking out for him in the series. Whenever Rajat is confused or is a bit guarded, Chhaya tries to open him up to newer possibilities in life. The Dehati Ladke (small town guys) in real life have a guilt of enjoying life in big city so Chhaya keeps reminding Rajat to enjoy these things in life without any guilt.
How close are your characters to your real-life persona?
Khan: I was a back-bencher in my school days and Prashant is the complete opposite, he is at the top of his class and does things perfectly, which is very different from my real-life personality. I can never imagine myself like this but playing this character has made the impossible possible.
Pandey: My character Rajat is also very different from my personality because I have never been to college and I have definitely not been a top-ranking student like Rajat. But I found myself connecting with the character in other ways and found a middle ground to play him as real as I could.
Kapila: Chhaya is very mature which I don’t think I am. When Chhaya gets angry you can see it in her eyes, not in her actions—she isn’t impulsive. The way she expresses her anger is very elegant whereas I am from Delhi and can be very expressive when I’m angry (laughs). It was fun playing Chhaya, she is brave, and that’s probably the only thing I have in common with her, which is what I tapped into when getting into character.
What is the one thing your character does in the show you wish you had done in real life during college?
Pandey: I would definitely not want to do the things my character does, in real life (laughs). As you watch the show, you will know what I mean. The major learning from the show for me was to never do what Rajat was doing in the show.
Khan: In the series, you will often hear the phrase ‘neeli batti’ like, ‘Neeli batti mein jayenge toh aisa hoga, neeli batti milta hai toh yeh hota aur woh hota hai’ (When you commute in an official car with blue beacon lights, so and so will happen). Since wrapping the shoot, I feel very fascinated when I see someone in an official vehicle with a blue beacon. So, if I could, I would have loved to do the IAS preparations that my character, Prashant Bhaiya, did in real life.
Kapila: I was born and brought up in Delhi and have never moved to another city. I feel I should have done that to expand my worldview. I see my perspective changing now in my 30s and I wish I could have experienced that in my 20s, maybe then I would have been a bit more like Chhaya. Even if it was going just till Lucknow whose culture and life I really admire, I should have stepped out of my comfort zone.
What is on your Amazon miniTV watch list?
Kapila: There is a show called Staffroom which one of my friends, Srishti Dixit is a part of and I want to watch its second season. Srishti was really good in the show and I wish Amazon miniTV makes a show with Srishti and me.
Pandey: Dehati Ladke is on the top of my watchlist.
Khan: Because of my work, I am unable to watch too many shows so right now even I have Dehati Ladke on my watch list and I hope I get to watch it with my co-stars and director. But another show I have been meaning to watch is Yeh Meri Family.
Amazon miniTV is a free video streaming service within the shopping app, and also available on the Playstore, offering a host of exclusive shows and series.