Unless you have been living under a rock, you would be familiar with the story of Mikesh and Tanya — the protagonists of TVF’s ‘Permanent Roommates‘ — who, though a couple, are poles apart. The chalk-and-cheese rom-com of two unlikely individuals was received well by fans, when it was released as a web series some years ago.
Then, Permanent Roommates arrived in the audio space with ‘He Said She Said‘. Lead actors Sumeet Vyas and Nidhi Singh reprised their roles as Mikesh Chaudhary and Tanya Nagpal respectively.
In October, 2021, Season 2 of Permanent Roommates: He Said She Said was released on Audible. Narrated by Sumeet and Nidhi, it explores the beautiful-yet-unpredictable phase of the lead couple living together for the first time. While they’re excited to share their space, their journey is filled with highs, lows and bittersweet experiences.
During a recent interaction, Sumeet spoke about the experience of working on the show, bringing his character to life in the audio format, whether he finds similarities with the lovable character that he plays, and his own personal experiences in the pandemic. Excerpts:
In your personal life, are you as doting and devoted as Mikesh?
Sadly, no. Mikesh does not have any complexes. He’s a space where you want to be in. That’s why I love playing him so much, because I get to be this person who is free from all issues — of living in a city and pursuing a career. In that sense, I am not as fun as Mikesh is.
We have seen Permanent Roommates as a web series. How different was it to bring your character to life in the audio format?
The first thing that I understood was that I don’t need to do anything different. I didn’t have to put in any extra effort to create emotions with sound, because that could actually be jarring — when someone is over-expressing themselves on audio. We had the advantage of people already knowing the characters very well. We are assuming that most people [who will listen to this] would know Mikesh and Tanya.
And even if they don’t, it is fine. But, essentially, I didn’t change anything, and it clearly worked because we did two seasons. I was glad we had some really good scripts. TVF has an eye for good writers and they give the script a lot of importance and respect. I blindly trust them when they come up with an experiment, because they genuinely know what they are doing.
How do you think Mikesh and Tanya would have behaved if they were stuck together in the pandemic lockdown?
Most of the season is about that. They are stuck together, living in an apartment. And it is mostly Mikesh experimenting with life. Sometimes it is a lot of fun, it is entertaining, and other times it is unbearable (laughs). They would be quite mad at each other; I think Tanya would be really mad!
How has been your own lockdown experience? Anything that you did to keep yourself productively busy at home?
I listened to many audiobooks and podcasts. In the lockdown, I watched a lot of series, some which were quite popular, but I hadn’t had the time previously to watch them. I took this time to educate and update myself.
Is there a routine that you follow for your health and well-being?
I do have a routine. During the lockdown, I was doing intermittent fasting, because I thought I won’t get to go to the gym. But generally, I am quite fit — not as fit as Tiger Shroff, though. I walk a lot, play cricket with a bunch of friends, and go to the gym on and off. I have to do some sort of an activity every day. I also watch what I eat — that’s the discipline that I follow.
Is there a lockdown activity that you have enjoyed doing as a family?
As a family, we have tried not to fight. (Laughs) That was the first activity we tried, to not get into each other’s way. We had our own routine. I would spend certain hours of the day in the study, doing my own thing. Being in a relationship, you have to understand that you don’t have to do every activity together. It’s very important to give space to each other. The kind of person I am, I really enjoy my space.
I am the first person to wake up in my house; I wake up at 6.30 am even if I don’t have anything to do. That one-and-a-half-hour in the morning — before everyone is awake — is important for me to just sit and have my coffee.
And a post-pandemic activity that you look forward to doing…
I look forward to travelling. Right now, there is something called ‘revenge travel’ that has started, where all the places are booked. We thought this might not be a good time to travel; I am waiting for it to calm down a bit so we can travel when it is a little less crowded.