The last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for DKDM viewers and Mahadev . Right from the day He lost Sati he has gone through vivid and extreme experiences. Testing times for Mahadev but an extremely fruitful period for Mohit Raina, the actor : The opportunity to showcase the versatility he can bring to a character even as ambiguous and contradictory as Mahadev, who hasn’t been figured out in his entirety by anyone, has been fully utilized.
This Monday, Let’s look at Mohit’s best moments as an actor after Sati’s immolation: The assertive scenes where yet again Mr Raina proved effortlessly that much like the God among Gods that he is playing, he is the Actor among actors.
So when after a heart wrenching attempt at making the arrogant Daksh see the folly of his ways, Sati realizes the futility of her birth, she immolates herself in protest of the insults heaped on her husband by her father. The sight of her burning body leaves us shocked and breathless. But the exact moment when we viewers realize the actual impact of the just witnessed tragedy, is in the scene that follows: Mahadev, the ever calm, sublimely controlled God, lets out a blood curdling scream and every tissue on his face wreathes in agony. That’s when our own grief, having just witnessed this scriptural tragedy , dawns on us in entirety and we don’t hold in the tears anymore. We cry along with Mahadev and take a moment to feel for Him, someone who had just been a wishing well for us till now. Amish Tripathi, the now famous author of the Shiva Trilogy tweets right after: “Just saw the 1st sight of Lord Shiva’s righteous anger in Devon ke Dev. Mohit Raina looks like he has the Mahadev living within him.” Oh yes. We agree wholeheartedly Mr Tripathi. Mahadev is definitely personally taking interest in Mohit’s portrayal: how else do you explain such an authentic representation of an abstract God who has only been felt, but never seen?
But that is just one of the examples of how he has mastered impeccably the character he is playing. More exemplary sequences follow. I think it is a very daunting task for an actor to display different emotions at once. The sequence where a deeply sad Mahadev, almost lost in an agonizing trance, orders a very wrathful and destructive Veerbhadra to kill Daksh is Mohit’s second winning moment. The juxtaposition of the mourning Mahadev preoccupied with Sati ‘s death with the eager blood thirsty Veerbhadra about to go on a killing rampage, is perhaps another reminder of why Mohit Raina is known today in our circles as the Master of Expressions. The Rudra Veerbhadra is like a split personality of the ever patient Mahadev, who , even though representing emotions extremely opposite to his creator, reflects the essence of Mahadev completely, even through vengeful anger.
After Daksh ‘s slaying, when Mahadev walks in at the “crime scene”, the unimaginable extent of his grief is conveyed by a heavy silence, a betrayed pair of eyes and a broken walk. Now there’s an actor who expresses copiously without even uttering a syllable. The unattachment and indifference to everyone else around him is portrayed impeccably by his lost and hurt eyes, which remain fixed on the corpse of Sati even while he carries her lifeless form out the door.
And as we watch the grief stricken Mahadev helplessly and wonder about his state of shock, he gives us and the culprit gods all answers in three words: Shiva sans Shakti is Shava. And then begins the maha degradation of Mahadev as he quits his “Devatwa” and transcends into the mortal realms to suffer all the pain like a human.
It is here that Mohit Raina makes slipping into different characters seem as easy as slipping into different clothes. The ever encompassing, all pervading Devon ke Dev suddenly becomes pitiable in his sorrow. The God whose one tear could move the world, is now screaming in agony at one moment and sobbing in despair the next. This homeless wanderer is a mere shadow of the God that he was and creates sympathy and pity in our hearts, emotions we never though a God could entice in us. But such is the magic of Mohit’s strong portrayal: If he wants us to believe that God can be pitied, he does so…and with remarkable ease
By the time, he takes back his role of Mahadev on Sati’s insistence, we have spent various nights awake , worried at his condition. So naturally, when he returns to his Mahadev roop again, it’s celebration time for us. It’s our own little Diwali day.
Ofcourse by pointing out some of the master piece scenes above, I have only scratched the surface. There were plenty of other admirable moments. I am sure you guys have to add a lot. Go ahead.
It is not a news anymore that the image Mahadev conjures up in our minds these days is of Mohit Raina but what needs to be recognized here is the versatility of this extremely talented actor. We have had legendary portrayals of divinities before. Arun Govil as Ram and Nitish Bhardwaj as Krishna had personified these Gods forever but unfortunately they , as actors, got stuck with the image. Mohit Raina is blessed in this respect because DKDM has given him a platform to showcase almost every aspect of divinity and humanity: He can play a God, but he can play a forsaken pining lover too. He can calmly smile at your follies but he can sob and cry at his loss like a child too. There is no doubt that He can play a hero, a lover, a father, a husband, a villain and everything else with extreme perfection. He can be anything that you want him to be on screen and he can make you believe it. And that’s the biggest gift an actor can give to his viewers. That’s why Mohit Raina is special. And That’s why we hail him as a never ending inspiration.