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Peninsula Grand in Sakinaka is popular for its mouth-watering food and friendly service. Its ongoing Pind da Chaska festival with a harmonizing décor of sugarcane pillars, pictures of Punjabi mundas and kudis in bhangra attires, lanterns, bells and waiters donning Punjabi lungi –kurta set the mood for a robust eating out session. While I waited for on-screen bhagwan’s darshan, I indulged in pet-puja of sorts with a soup of velvety spinach soup with corn kernels (Palak de Makai da shorba) and crunchy, tangy Chinese Bhel, a Peninsula specialty.
My 6’ 3” guest Saurabh Raaj Jain came in an indigo blue shirt which reminded me of Anand of Parichay (I remember weeping when the most lovable character died in the show) and you know what? It turned out to be the same shirt he wore in the serial. “Yes,” he affirmed, adding further before I could ask if he used his own clothes, “I associated it so much with the personality that I bought it off. And when you told me you liked Anand so much, I thought I will appear in this shirt.” Really sweet of him but this time I was happy to see him in person more so as he plays my fave God – Lord Krishna in Mahabharat on Star Plus.
The colorful menu read tantalizing items like Albeli Chaat, Machchli Sarson Tikka, Gosht Boti Dahilwala, Murgh Taati Kebab and …. Uff! I had invited a Jain to do the honors of tasting this food festival…. “No worries,” assured the dapper Fnb Managers Syed Shahid Nasim and Prakash Kotian, “We have an even more tempting array of vegetarian dishes.” Since the proof of the pudding lies in tasting it, we started with Akroth Kishmish ki Seekh of herbed paneer with nuts and spices glazed in tandoor, Tandoori Aloo Sarsonwale of mustard coated baby potatoes, Patiala Subz Kebab and glasses of Ganne ka rus (sugarcane juice). “Full marks to appetizers for their yummy zest,” poured the comments from Saurabh’s vaani.
An IT grad, the towering Delhiite was spotted by Shrishti Arya (Producer) and was cast in Remix pronto. Being a shy person he never imagined he could face the camera but now after eight years in business after Remix, Meet Milaye Rabba, Parichay, Mahadev and Mahabharat, he is a pro at it, as we can see. When and how did he meet his software professional wife Riddhima?
“Before Mahabharat actually went on the floors, there was a pause period during which actors signed for the show were not supposed to take up any other serial. As I had time on hand, I decided to pursue my dancing passion and enrolled into Ashley Lobo’s dance classes. There I met Riddhima,” enlightens the actor.
Have u played God to anyone? “I try to be a human first,” is the humble reply. At a recent event, some people wanted to click a picture with him but were shy and finally when they got close to him, the first thing they did was touch his feet. Playing the Lord Himself comes with its perks as Saurubh recounts once being caught for breaking traffic rules and on realizing that the cop recognized him, he quickly asked, “Bhagwan ka bhi chalaan katoge kya?” and Lo! The cool guy was let off.
One thing the lanky actor hates is high sound decibels, gets irritated with screeches and shrieks which explain his rare visits to discos or lounge bars playing loud music. Creepy things like lobsters and crabs put him off, “On a visit to a restaurant I noticed they were presented alive to guests to be selected for preparation. Seeing them I got goose bumps.”
The mama’s boy relishes his Maa ke haath ka khana… and at Peninsula?
“I loved Sarson ka Saag with Makki di roti besides Bhendi Chaatwali, Dal Makhni and Pulao, in fact everything is excellent here”, certified the foodie. The restaurant’s signature dessert Madhur Milan was brought in and the sweet-toothed actor rightly scrutinized it, saying, “It consists of my favorite boondis, jamuns, rabdi and cherry. Yummm!” After photo ops with the staff, it was time to bid adieu to this wonderful artist and human being. Here’s wishing he reaches greater heights in life!.
Rapid fire questions with Saurabh Raaj Jain
Foodie….. Fave cuisine…. junk food…. Sweet
Yes! Chinese….. Dahi Puris and Pizza….. Gajar ka Halwa and from now on Madhur Milan at Peninsula Grand.
A reality show you would like to take part in…
Jhalak (he loves dancing) and Khatron ke Khiladi (He is an adventure freak).
High point of your life…
When Shrishti Arya called me to Bombay with a role in Remix.
When my car got burnt down (in Delhi).
When you get angry…
Your priceless possession…
The corals I found in Koh Samui Island.
To portray Rabindranath Tagore.
Exercise and I avoid eating fried or heavy stuff after 8pm.
A gizmo freak…
Not exactly but I like to have hi-end products.
5 years hence…10 years hence….
A better actor…an even better actor…. But always an actor.
One thing only a few know about you…
That I am claustrophobic and also get irritated with screechy sounds.