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I aim to portray DJ as a multidimensional character,

Mumbai, : Sony SAB’s Vanshaj is an intriguing family drama portraying a fierce struggle over inheritance between Yuvika Mahajan (Anjali Tatrari) and Digvijay Mahajan AKA DJ (Mahir Pandhi). After the sudden demise of Yuvika, the show took a year’s leap and saw the entry of Yuvika’s doppelganger Yukti Multani who enters the Mahajan house to take revenge from DJ and save her family. 
Recently, actor Mahir Pandhi opened up about playing a grey character, his character’s growth post-leap, and some memorable moments while working for the show. Excerpts:
1. How did you approach portraying a character like DJ in Vanshaj?
To play DJ, I thought about how he grew up and what the people around him taught him. DJ thinks that the sons should carry on the family name, and he doesn't think he's breaking any rules; he believes he's doing what's right for him. I aim to portray DJ as a multidimensional character, who is driven by the sense of entitlement and seeks justice and fairness for himself.

2. What impact can Vanshaj have on viewers’ perceptions of gender equality and traditional family structures? 
Vanshaj has characters who aren't just good or bad; they have many layers and shades. The show spotlights how succession cannot be based on a person’s gender but should rather be considered on the basis of a person’s capability. By showcasing characters like DJ who can go to any lengths to claim his right to business inheritance, the show makes people wonder if things could be different. It makes the audience ask the question if the sons should take the legacy forward or if the daughters can do it too considering they are equal capability too?

3. Any challenges or memorable moments while working on Vanshaj?
Working on Vanshaj has been an enriching experience filled with memorable moments. While shooting in Umbergaon, we encounter minor challenges such as connectivity issues and being away from our families. However, these obstacles are overshadowed by the camaraderie among the cast and crew, creating a supportive and collaborative environment. Another memorable experience is witnessing the evolution of DJ’s character, from his suave persona to a more complex and conflicted individual. It’s been a journey of growth and discovery both on and off-screen.

4. What responsibility do you see when portraying characters challenging societal norms?
It’s a big responsibility. We want to show these characters in a real way, so people can understand and relate to them. Everyone involved in creating Vanshaj is very invested and has to think carefully to achieve that. By showing characters like DJ, who has nuance and depth, we hope to have conversations and make people see inheritance beyond the set gender rules.

5. What do you hope viewers will take away from your character’s journey and the narrative of Vanshaj?
Through the portrayal of DJ, we want to highlight a fair approach that is needed in businesses and families and creating opportunities based on capabilities.
Tune in to Sony SAB's Vanshaj every Monday to Saturday at 7 PM and 10 PM

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