Mohit Raina - The God of all small screen

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“If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature” - Bruce Barton


Playing Mahadev is no small feat yet Mohit Raina carries the mantle beautifully and with a natural ease. His presence on screen is magnetic and has managed to reignite the spark of spirituality in viewers all over the world. He may be tall, handsome and muscular with a bone structure that any leading man will kill for but the magic is in his eyes…his expressions. We feel peace when he meditates, we fall in love when he looks at Sati lovingly, we feel fear when his rage unfolds, we feel victorious when he destroys evil, and our hearts break when he mourns the loss of his love….simply stated…we feel awed and exhilarated every time he appears on screen.


Apart from being one of the best character actors working today, Mohit combines his good looks with hard work and a grounded attitude. How do you portray God? How do you even begin to get into character to play Lord Shiva? “Well, you have to take ownership of your work and your character .You have to assume traits and characteristics and that will allow you to take on the physicality of someone” states Mohit. Tinsel Gupshup talks to the actor who has won the hearts of viewers all over the world and is now recognized as Mahadev. 





TG: How did your journey to Grassim happen, how did you prepare for it? Can you tell us about the most challenging round you faced?

MR: Well, mine is just another story of a small town guy who wanted to be a part of this glamour industry. He wants name, he wants fame, he wants money, he wants everything…but he comes from a non-acting background, belongs to a middle class family and has never left his hometown. So, what should he do to get a break and how can he achieve his dreams and ambitions? At that time I was inclined towards acting so a lot of people advised me that participating in a pageant would be the best way to get my foot in the door. So, I tried for Grassim Mr. India and got selected but when I actually came down for the competition, it soon dawned upon me that my preparation was pretty inadequate and the rest of the participants were way way ahead of me! Luckily, I got selected and in the few weeks we had, I put in a lot of hard work gave it my best shot. Grassim was a great platform to start off with and it gave me a lot of exposure. If you don’t belong to the industry then it provides you with a strong base to start from.


When I got selected for Grassim I did not have much time to prepare for it. I was not very fit and a lot of people told me to give it a pass, take some time to train and try again the next year. Patience…I guess at that time I did not have the patience to wait another year besides I just did not want to lose the chance…so prepared or not, I decided to take a leap of faith and just go for it! The core training was given by the Grassim team. We were given three weeks of training where we worked on our physical attributes, our diction, grooming, the way we presented ourselves etc. The thing with such pageants is that you get a lot of modeling work after the competition so we had to work on the way we talk, the way we walk etc. I did a lot of ramp shows after Grassim and it really helped me set up a base in Mumbai.




The “physique” round was the most challenging round for me because I was just not fit at that time. Now when I look back I really wish I had been more aware of what it took and worked on my physique because as I mentioned before, it’s only when I came down to Mumbai, I realized how much competition I had. To be very honest, fitness was not even a priority for me at that time and believe it or not, going for a morning walk was my definition of fitness! It’s only later that I learnt about flat abs, strong biceps, good lower body etc…but all in all Grassim was an amazing learning experience for me.


“Whether a man is a legend or not is decided by history, not fortune tellers.” ― Amish Tripathi


TG: Playing Mahadev so beautifully is no small feat. Has the role changed you in any way – your attitude, mannerism, the way you carry yourself? Have you become more spiritual?

MR: I don’t think I have changed in any way, I have become calmer…not that I was short tempered or anything but playing Mahadev has made me more calm. I have a different approach to things now and I take more time to think things through. Luckily, since childhood I have always been close to Lord Shiva. The Amarnath cave, dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in my birthplace – Jammu and Kashmir and thousands of devotees make the “Amarnath Yatra” to see the Ice Shiv Linga that forms naturally in the cave. As a child, every morning I would go to the mandir with my father and perform the “Bel Patra” and Milk abhishek of Shivji…so I have always been very close to Mahadev.




TG: In one scene as “Jatta” you had to handle a snake…you looked so comfortable and you really were looking at the snake so lovingly…can you tell us about that scene? Did you have any apprehensions about handling a snake? If so, how did you overcome them?

MR: Ummmm…let’s see…when they narrated this scene to me we knew that the snake would be an integral part of the scene. Snakes are very dear to Mahadev and this scene was all about that bond and affection so we had to have a real snake for the scene. Basically, the snake symbolizes the yogic power of Lord Shiva and just like a yogi the snake owns nothing, carries nothing, lives in forests and mountains and is extremely dear to Mahadev. I was not apprehensive because personally, I always like to do things differently so when I was told that I would be handling a real snake, I was very excited about it! Before the scene, I sat with the snake handler and he instructed me on how to handle the snake. He told me that it would not bite and even if it did, it would only give me a small rash…nothing harmful. The snake’s fangs had been removed so basically we had nothing to worry about. When I handled the snake, I realized it was not too difficult and basically I did not think too much about it and just went with the flow.


As I mentioned, I like to do things that are different so it was an exciting experience for me and I have to give credit to the snake because for some reason, it was very sweet and kind to me…it was very well behaved! The only thing is that we had to put it in an air-conditioned room every 5-10 minutes because snakes cannot be kept out in the heat for too long. Actually, we had always wanted to use a real snake for the show, we never wanted to use a dummy snake but unfortunately, we were not able to get the appropriate permissions from the animal rights division. If you notice, we have always tried to maintain an authenticity, be it the sets, the costumes, the whole look of the show etc. We pay attention to the tiniest details and nuances, and our aim is to do everything in the right manner so that the characters and the show look as realistic as possible.  So it was always in our mind to have a real snake but that was not possible because of the permissions. I suppose it makes sense because our shooting patterns are all over the place and we have very long schedules so if we shoot for 14-15 hours, we would need 4-5 real snakes and they have to be looked after properly. They cannot be in the heat; they have to be placed in air-conditioned cabinets etc. So considering that we could not get a real snake for the actual show, I feel very very lucky to have done that particular scene…it was a great experience.



TG: Now that you have been playing Mahadev, have you noticed any differences in people’s attitudes towards you? For example, do you notice awe or bhakti? Can you share any experiences with us?

MR: (Chuckles) Yes I have…I feel that all of a sudden people are really kind to me whereas earlier they were not! I suppose now, I get extra love because I have the extra advantage of playing Mahadev. Wherever I go, people look at me as if Lord Shiva has arrived and I get a lot of attention and it does get difficult to handle at times. I suppose people start getting emotionally attached to me because they perceive me as a “Godly” figure and then I have to make them understand that I am just Mohit. Lot of people who come to the sets want to get their pictures taken with me and they want me to bless them or give them “aarshirwaad”, they want to touch my feet and I have to stop them and say, “No…please, please don’t do that!” A kid had come all the way from Himachal and he wanted a photograph taken and that was fine but then he told me that his mother had given him strict instructions that she wanted a photograph where he would be sitting by my feet and I should have my hand on his head blessing him!!! I tried my best to make him understand that I am not God, just an actor but he was adamant and he kept saying that the picture was for his mother! So, ultimately I had to give in, put my practicality aside for a mother’s emotions and I said, “Fine, I’ll do it…just for your mother!”



“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ― PierreTeilhard de Chardin



TG: Mahadev is supposed to have the “third eye” or Trinetra…is there any reason why this Mahadev does not have the third eye?

MR: Well, the story is slowly developing and the sequence will be unfolding in the near future. Basically this is a journey and different stories will unfold as we go along. In the first part of the show, we were focusing on the love story between Lord Shiva and Sati and along with that we have established various other facets like the significance of the Rudraksh, the importance of Nandi and how people can whisper their wish in his ears and the wish will be fulfilled, losing sati, the Tandav sequence, the story of Ganga…so as you can see the stories are unfolding slowly and the “Trinetra” or Third eye will be coming up very soon…I hope so! It is a very long story and there are many things to look forward to…I believe that the viewers will find the coming months very interesting.



The best thing about the show is that it does not target a particular age group. Some time back, I was speaking to an entire family and the conversation started with the grandmother who said that when she prays to Lord Shiva, she pictures me, so when she closes her eyes she can only see my face. Then I spoke to her son who must be in his 60’s and the grandson who is in his late 20’s and works in an IT company. He told me that everyone in his office watch the show and they have started going to the mandir regularly. Lastly, I spoke to the youngest member of the family, a small kid and he said that I look very hot in Shivji’s avatar…so I was like, thank you very much. So the show is not targeting any one age group…the kid loves it, the teenager loves it, the person working in an IT company and his colleagues loves it, the uncle and aunty love it and the grandmother loves it! That makes me extremely happy. The other day, my friend’s son kept telling me that he wants me to get him a “Trichool”! I found it so adorable and I was teaching him how to pronounce it properly and I kept saying, “Bache it is Trishul not trichool.”  It was too cute! I told him that the day he pronounces it properly, I’ll get him one. So it gives me immense pleasure being appreciated and getting so much love from all age groups all around the globe!



TG: We know you work out rigorously to maintain yourself and your current look. Can you tell us about your fitness routine and diet?

MR: I have been given this lovely opportunity to play Lord Shiva and I consider it a huge responsibility to be the chosen one so, I try to give it my 100% in whichever way I have to. Working out and keeping myself fit is an extremely vital part of the role and I take my fitness regime very seriously. I always try and do things differently so each time around I push myself and try and raise the bar so that things don’t get static. When I was told that I was going to be playing Mahadev, I realized that I would need to put on weight so I started working out rigorously and gained 4-5 kgs. I work out for approximately an hour to an hour and a half, 4-5 days week at least. At times when I am not able to work out due to the schedule, I compensate for it by working out on the sets…we have this temporary make shift gym with weights and other equipment there.




I am extremely particular about my diet. Long hours and crazy schedules mean that I have to be extra careful about what I eat. At the end of the day, I have no control over the time, sometimes I can’t work out, I don’t have time to sleep and my body does not get enough rest but my diet is the one thing that I can control. So, I make sure I eat healthy, home cooked nutritious food at the right times.



TG: What has been your favorite scene or perhaps the most challenging scene in Mahadev so far?

MR: I think the Tandav sequence was the most challenging for me. Again, it was something different that I have never tried and I did not have much time for rehearsals. I have never learnt Bharatnatyam or Kathak in my life so I had to give it my best and ensure that it looked good. There was a lot of pressure on me but more than that it was a huge responsibility because I knew that people would dissect and analyze my performance and I did not want anyone to say – Arrey, what is he doing? Yeh koi Tandav hota hai kya?? Tandav is associated very closely with Mahadev and everyone was waiting for the sequence so I had to do the best I could with the limited amount of rehearsals…I think we rehearsed for 4-5 hours. Once I had performed it, I felt that I was not that bad and people actually liked it. So, it was the most enjoyable and the most challenging sequence for me…but I absolutely enjoyed it.




TG: From Grassim, to television to movies, how has your journey been so far? Given a chance would you go back and change anything, choose differently?

MR: Ummm…not exactly, I would not like to change anything. As a person and as an actor, I try to do things differently and for some reason I just don’t like doing regular stuff. I thoroughly enjoy taking the road less travelled…gives me immense satisfaction to be different. So in a nutshell I enjoy challenges and even if I have to do regular stuff on television tomorrow, I will try and do it differently…in my own way and in my own style! I get bored with the regular stuff very easily…just does not go with my personality. So, I would not like to go back and change anything because I have learnt from all of it and whatever I am today is because of all the small projects I have done and been associated with. Some projects may have been fruitful and some may not have done too well but I have taken something with me from each and every piece of work. At the end of the day it is my journey, with the ups and the downs and it has made me who I am.



“Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson



TG: What would be an ideal week off for you (IF you got one week off)?

MR: I would catch up on lots of sleep and watch movies. I absolutely love playing snooker so that would be high on my list of things to do as well. So sleep, snooker and movies!





“What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” ― Hans Urs von Balthasar

Every evening, “Devo ke Dev Mahadev” enthralls viewers all over the world. It is a show that manages to bring an entire family together for 30 minutes and we applaud and thank the efforts of the entire team who work so hard to give us this epic show! As Mahadev, Mohit Raina lords it over the airwaves with effortless élan. Who would have thought the young boy who prayed to Mahadev and dreamt of entering the glamour world would end up entering the hearts of millions…portraying none other than Mahadev himself!!


Photo credit: Mohit Raina and Life OK


Interview and article: Anjalika Gupta

© Tinsel Gupshup

Apr 07, 2013
Wonderful interview.Almost made me cry as I want to meet him so badly.M sure u had a great journey Mohit.Wishing u a lifetime of fame,stardom and happiness. Mohitized for Life! @mohit_FP

Feb 06, 2013
Congratulate Mohit, Priyanka choose a right men. You are the Best, and King of small screen..!

Jan 20, 2013
u r fabuls actor ....

Jan 08, 2013
Mohit, You rock. When we close eyes to pray lord Siva, in the mind, we only see you.

Ajay Kaul
Nov 17, 2012
Great actor. You and me belong to same place and that makes me feel proud.

Oct 22, 2012

Sep 20, 2012
You have wonderful actor.and very very very very very good job sir . Hamara careeur bhi yahi hai aur ham. 1din jarur suckess ho jayenge 1din .but i like you sir ek baar ham jaroor milna chahenge

Sep 08, 2012
You are the best Mohit .. I hv loved you not just in DKDM but also in GKD .. you were awesome as AGUNTUK! May God bless u always!

Secret Admirer from USA
Sep 07, 2012
Mohit: You have a magnetic voice. Your performance in Lord Shiva role is very elegant and expressions are so natural and simple. Excellent work!! Best wishes for continued success!!!

Aug 16, 2012
U are doinga very good job... god bless

Aug 12, 2012
u r awsom bro..................u r very lucky 2 have dis role..........may lord shiva bless u............

Sangita Acharya
Aug 06, 2012
You are just amazing....out of this world...MAY LORD SHIVA BLESS YOU ALWAYS!!

Aug 05, 2012

Jul 30, 2012
i am very pleased to hear that u belong to a kashmir bcz i am also kashmiri. U r my fav. seriel actor & i love to watch u in DKDM.

Jul 28, 2012
Thanks for a beautiful interview,amazing portrayal of lord,difficult to separate him from Shiva now...

Jul 28, 2012
Thanks a lot Tinsel Gupshup for this in depth interview.looking forward to seeing the Trinetra track.Mohit,you are doing an awesome job.Keep up the good work.

Jul 22, 2012
Thanks, Mohit for being you! You act so well that we feel that you are the real Mahadev-I am sure Lord Shiva has given you His blessings. We are also KP. Take care and best wishes always.

Jul 20, 2012
Mohit, you have the charisma, the looks and most important, the talent to become a top star. I wish you all the very best. Please retain the humanity and warmth in your journey though!!!

Nikita Kanade
Jul 20, 2012
You are the Best Mohit. It shows how much effort you put in your character. You got this role only because of Lord Shiva's blessing. I wish him he always bless you. Love you. :-)

Sudeshna Banerjee
Jul 19, 2012
A journey from a middle-class family boy to a star is really amazing.We've learnt so much from it & it inspired us for struggling in life. Thank you.......

kanika marwaha
Jul 19, 2012
Mohit, Many thanks for letting ur fans know your heart. You are a great Human Being and that is the reason, you are able to portray the character of Lord Shiva in magnificant way.........

Jul 18, 2012
Thanks for posting this Fantastic interview, its amazing how Mohitji has portrayed Lord Mahadev, his kindness and humbleness amazes me!! Rock on! sonakii

Archana Nanda
Jul 18, 2012
Cant believe its an actor playing Mahadev. To me Mohit is Mahadev!!

Jul 18, 2012
O Lord of Lords!!!...... we love you as ever........ keep Mohitizing us all the time!!!!!!

Jul 18, 2012
superb interview...though i dont watch this show but i know its immensely popular ..and it was good to know more from the man himself..loved the questions and also the answers !

Gaurav Tyagi
Jul 18, 2012
You are great in Mahadev's role . Love u sir..........

Jul 18, 2012
One of the best interviews and excellently answered by Mohit Raina. He's truly simple by heart that's why he's able to potray our Bhola bhandari so well. Kudos to you sir.

shana joshi
Jul 18, 2012
what an incredible interview!..mohit, you have a great potential as an actor! you potray the role of mahadev with perfection!..n you are truely inspirational! :-)

Jul 18, 2012
Superb article.. A treat to Mohit fans:) Love u Mohit:)

Jul 16, 2012
very sad that mahadev is not nominated for gold awards.these awards shows r so rigging.i was laughing when i saw mohit was nominated for best fit actor,is this a fitness show.

Jul 15, 2012
Fabulous interview. Loved every bit of it. Hope to see more like this.

Aparna T. Spinthakis
Jul 15, 2012
Mom had called all the way frm India and told me to tweet Mohit " the most amazing Mahadev she has ever seen till now".I in Greece and not much aware where to find MR interview. Thanks to Tinsel and M

Jul 15, 2012
Thank you So Much.. Awesome interview....Mohit you ROCK

Jul 15, 2012
Loved your interview. No wonder you played this role so well, you were close to Shiva from your childhood. I did not know Mohit Raina until Mahadev you have proved hard work always pays off.

Marinos Spinthakis
Jul 15, 2012
We don't know how god looks like but it gave immense pleasure Mr. Raina portraying Shiva, we can relate Shiva through him. I a greek christian follows n worship durgama n Shiva. Thnx Tinsel n Mr.Raina

Jul 15, 2012
Thank you for such a wonderful n brief interview of MR now he becomes more inspirational than ever we adore u MR-Mohit Raina FAN PAGE@FB

Jul 15, 2012
hello mohitji..u r a grt actor.. really u r dng a fabulous job..i prsnly like u a lot..

Jul 15, 2012
Thank u for this awesome article I hope to see more intervieuws of Mohit Raina in the future.

Jul 15, 2012
Loved the way the questions were chosen and the depth of those details. And loved the humility and honesty in the answers given by the the man himself, Mohit Raina!

Jasika Saluja
Jul 15, 2012
I think the usage of quotations at various places enhanced the overall reading experience. Besides the interview is so beautifully conducted and the answers have actually given us the insight of him.

Jul 15, 2012
What a fabulous write up & inetrview..!! Thank you so much..!! This man needs a special award he cannot be categorised is my opinion..!! He & Mouni as Sati..are embeded in my soul forever..!!

Jul 15, 2012
Thnx a ton 4 dis interview! Hope v get more n more n more n more interviews.... Thnx again

Jul 15, 2012
Waited for this type of interview from Mohit for a long. You are fantastic. So much hardwork going into ur "act" . Makes it look so real. Here is wishing u only the very best for the coming years.

Jul 15, 2012
Mohit, I have adored you from the GKD days for your powerful expression and acting. It was great to read the interview that gave all your ardent fans inside that we never knew. Continue rocking...

Jul 15, 2012
bade bhaiya namaste

Soumyadip Bhattacharjee
Jul 15, 2012
You are my small screen Shahrukh khan....................

Tulika Dubey
Jul 14, 2012
I loved the descriptiveness of the interview. The choice of questions were amazing! And ofcourse the answers from our Man , as always honest and genuine. Thoroughly enjoyed it. love, @Mohit_FC

Jul 14, 2012
Thank you very much. Actually, we waited quite a long time for this kind of interview from our MR. Hence, thank u very much. He is a very hard working person and he deserved more than this.

Aparna T. Spinthaki
Jul 14, 2012
Superb wishing you all the best in life.hoping to ee more n more work of u Mohit.

Ashok jadhav
Jul 14, 2012
Excelant Performance,Manmohak...!!!

Jul 14, 2012
Mohit sure does a superb job in his portrayal of Lord Shiva. Mahadev has become my new Superhero :) kudos to the entire teams hardwork

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