Doctored to act
Randeep Wadehra

Dr Ranjit Sharma
Dr Ranjit Sharma

HIS is a familiar face to the aficionados of Punjabi and Hindi television and cinema. As for his name, he started off as Ranjit Sharma, was rechristened Ranjit Riaz when he starred in a Bollywood movie as hero and finally became famous as Dr. Ranjit. He was still a student when a chance encounter started him off as hero in the late legendary director Kedar Sharma’s movie Phool Aur Kante. But his family forced him to abort the nascent career and return to Amritsar.

Despite his thriving practice acting remained his first love. He has essayed a wide range of roles as hero, villain, character actor and comedian. Some of his recent flicks are Hawaein and Mahaul Theek Hai, and serials Sarhad, Tootan Wala Khu, Chandigarh Campus etc.

Nowadays he is busy shooting for ads, movies and television shows. Recently the VCD of first-ever Punjabi murder mystery has been released in which he is having a meaty role. He has also bagged roles in the Punjabi movie Rustam-E-Hind and the forthcoming Bobby Deol-Katrina Kaif starrer Apne.

But he is most excited about his role in Raj Babbar’s Maharaja Ranjit Singh—a Hindi serial of epic proportions being produced for Doordarshan. The shooting is going on in various locations in Chandigarh. Kila Bahadurgarh and the countryside in Patiala’s vicinity. Directed by Chitraarth and Sikander Bharti, it begins with the period before Maharaja Ranjit Singh arrived on the scene and shall end with the demise of his rule.

Ranjit plays the character of Diwan Kaura Mal in this mega-serial, a political advisor of Sikhs during the pre-Maharaja period when they were at loggerheads with Muslims. Kaura Mal himself did not hesitate from joining battle. This earned him the ire of Muslim warlords even as he got kudos from Sikh chieftains.

Already 30 episodes of the serial have been shot. It is scheduled for telecast this month.