Sourabh Raaj Jain on Patiala Babes: Excited to break free from the costume drama mould

Sana Farzeen
sourabh raaj jain

Sourabh Raaj Jain is currently seen on Patiala Babes.

Sony TV’s drama Patiala Babes recently witnessed a five-year leap that led to the exit of lead actors Paridhi Sharma and Anirudh Dave. The show now focuses on Ashnoor Kaur’s character Mini and her step sister Arya (Saisha Bajaj). Joining them is Sourabh Raaj who plays Chef Neil Oberoi, the new hero in the daily.

Raaj, as readers would know, started his television career with the youth show Remix. After playing a baddie in Uttaran, the mythological genre came calling for the actor. He aced his performance as Lord Vishnu in shows like Jai Shri Krishna and Devon Ke Dev Mahadev, Lord Krishna in Mahabharat and Lord Shiva in Mahakali: Anth Hi Aarambh Hai. He also tried the historical genre recently playing Dhanand in Chandragupta Maurya.

In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Sourabh Raaj Jain shared how it’s refreshing to play a 'normal' character in Patiala Babes. He also spoke about playing a chef, participating in Nach Baliye and his hopes from the coming year.

Here are excerpts from the conversation:

What was it about Patiala Babes that made you take up the show?

What made me take up the show was the role, storyline and the backstory of my character, which actually interested me the most. Also, it was mainly after meeting Rajita Sharma and Vivek Budakoti of Katha Kottage, who are the producers and writers of the show, I was truly convinced to take it up. The way they explained my character and the show's storyline was what made me take up the role.

How excited were you to get a normal character after so many costume dramas?

(Laughs) It has been quite a refreshing change for me. It is something different from the shows that I have done in the last few years. So breaking free from that mould of costume drama and entering a new space altogether after so long made me quite excited. My character Neil Oberoi is a passionate chef and is quite an intriguing and interesting personality. He has a tough exterior but is quite soft-hearted from the inside.

Have you followed the show? What's your take on it?

My mother has actually been following the show right from the time it started, due to which I was always updated on how it was doing. I personally feel that its concept is quite lovely. The message it has been putting out about empowering women, especially with a daughter pushing her mother to stand up for herself is quite impressive.

Patiala Babes started off as the story of a mother-daughter bond but has now shifted to showcase the bond between step-sisters. As an actor, do you feel its right to change storylines mid-way?

This kind of a call to change the story is the director and producer’s decision.

You are paired with Ashnoor Kaur in the show. Do you feel the audience will be able to connect with the jodi?

Irrespective of our age gap, we are both actors at the end of the day. How we portray our roles on-screen is what will eventually count.

Since you are playing a chef in Patiala Babes, how much of training did you undergo? Can you cook in real life?

When I first shifted to Mumbai years ago, I was living a bachelor’s life and so I do know the basics of cooking. In simple words, I can 'cook to survive'. So there wasn't any kind of training.

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Talking about your wife, you recently participated with her in Nach Baliye 9. How was the experience, especially working with your better half?

Participating in Nach Baliye really helped me show people who Sourabh Raaj Jain is outside the mythological space. And about working with Ridhima on screen, well, it was her very first time on television and it was a happy moment for me. Other than that, I was also so proud of the fact that we both did so amazingly well in the competition.

The year is about to end. How has it been and what can we expect from you in the coming year?

2019 has been an amazing year for me. I am now just hoping that 2020 brings in a lot more happiness, luck and good opportunities my way.

Patiala Babes airs Monday-Friday at 8:30 pm on Sony TV.