By Akanksha (Guest Contributor)

Anuj Kapadia, aka Shayar Kapadia, the current national crush from the successful TV show Anupamaa, has been the talk of the town for a few months now. What is so special about this name, you ask? AK was introduced to the viewers in episode #357 of Anupamaa. With the airing of episode #456, he completes a century since his appearance. And Man( or #MaAn, pun intended), what a successful inning it has been!

From his very first glimpse, even before the viewers saw his face, he made his place in their hearts, courtesy of the fairy tale entry. Fans around the world gasped at how that moment translated on screen. A fit, athletic, rich man in his precious suit, kneeling before a saree clad woman he doesn’t even know yet, helping her with her ‘saadhe teen sau rupaye ki sandal‘? When he got up, one look into those eyes, and he swept us all off our feet.

For the uninitiated, Anuj had fallen head over heels in love with Anu during their brief time together in college and has been in love with her ever since. Twenty-six years? How is it even possible to love for that long, more so in a one-sided equation? Even after you have been drifted apart by fate for so long? The answer lies with him and only him. And he doesn’t seem to even think of it as a valid question, for him to answer. To him, loving Anu comes as naturally as breathing.

Source Anupamaa (Starplus)

So about Anuj, what exactly is it that makes him everyone’s favourite? Is it his suave, killer looks? The fact that he is just the right mix of confident and humble? Him being a self-made man who does all his chores by himself? Or is it his ability to love, beyond the boundaries of time and space? Maybe simply just all of it?

Source: Anupamaa(Starplus)

He is a looker, sure. He writes poetry, and extra points to the actor (three cheers for you, Gaurav Khanna!) to have aced bringing these shayaris to life in the most beautiful manner. He has an unreal charm to him. Watching him do his signature ‘bol doon?‘, you can’t help but smile and root for this goofy idiot. At times when he is looking at the love of his life he has this insane gaze, passionate enough to make one go weak in the knees, yet so gentle, almost resembling affection. The intensity of his stare burns through the screens into the viewer’s heart, but have never for even once felt like objectification.

Anuj Kapadia is a feminist in the truest sense of the word, one who’d rather do things than talk. He is always standing up for everyone in need, empowering as many around him as possible. A thorough gentleman, but also the fiercest protector when it comes to the safety of those whom he loves. To look back and remember, when he proclaimed, standing tall among the Shah family, how his love for Anu doesn’t need reciprocation and hence “Main Anupama ke mathe pe tilak lagakar use devi bana sakta hoon, uski maang mein sindoor bharkar use apni biwi nahin!”, I legit shed tears and clapped. I know many of us did.

Source : Anupamaa (Starplus)

His honesty has its own separate corner in my heart. The man doesn’t hold back or mince his words when there is a need to speak up. And even while doing that, he makes sure to not be disrespectful. In a time and era when multiple versions of toxic masculinity are being created, recreated and celebrated, it’s heartwarming to find a man who holds importance in giving space and being silent support. It was so heartening to see him move to the side rails while Anu was living her first journey on an aeroplane and her first visit to the beach. This man for a change doesn’t accept credit for any small or big thing he does, even when we can see how he is being the wind beneath her wings.

For me personally, his deadliest quality is his unconditional ability to respect. He respects not only his elders and his loved ones but also his subordinates, his young, even his rivals. Even when he is at the top of the food chain, for him the consent of others is a must. Let me put a quick example here. In a tear-jerker of a scene, he finds Anu, the woman he loves like crazy, in a moment of a complete breakdown. She is crying, almost hysterical, slumped on the ground in a dark corner. Enraged and teary-eyed himself, he extends a hand to pacify her but stops midway because he knows she might not be comfortable even with that well-intended touch. Instead, he chooses to talk her out of it. That awe-inspiring monologue of his has gone down as one of the best in all-time TV history, for me. By the end of this sequence when he finally leaves, in a beautifully curated frame showing parallels, we see him falling down to his knees, while she gathers herself and gets back onto her feet. What an impactful way to depict the transfer of strength that flows from him to her, even if seeing her that way makes him weak.

Source: Anupamaa (Starplus)

This selflessness is the core of his beautiful character. That infectious smile of his hides a lot of heartaches most of the time, yet he keeps finding ways to her happiness. Each day since we have seen him, he has made sure every single person around him is in a happy, safe and respected place. Even when he is hurting on the inside, he’d never let it show lest it would affect Anupama. He’d still be her pillar of support to fall back on. Such is the extent of his untold love.

The moment I decided to fall forever in love with this man was when he got confronted by Anu about his feelings. In this scene, he is not able to look her in the eye because he thinks he has hurt her but she tells him that he shouldn’t be lowering his gaze if he doesn’t think loving her was a mistake. The way he looks back up nods a little and proceeds to profess his love of two decades in a single breath- this gave me goosebumps. Such honesty mixed with a pure fiery passion is a first as far as TV’s depiction of love goes. His love for Anu is a complete story in itself. His feelings have spent almost eighty+ episodes of being one-sided, but it never feels cringe for even a minute. It could have been cheesy, but it feels like the most organic sensation one could ever experience. This love has many times been compared in the show with Meera’s devotion to Krishna, and very rightly so.

Anuj Kapadia is so special that he has forced the conventional audience who do not believe in divorces and a second chance at love, to root for him. Quietly, without any big claims, he has been attempting to change the thought process that refuses to give women agency. The grandmothers and mothers of Indian households want Anu to move on with Anuj. A great feat to achieve indeed for a character, to be loved and liked so much where things could have backfired easily.

Source: Anupamaa (Starplus)

Kudos to the whole team here for handling something as tricky as unrequited love with so much care and caution, and giving us this beautiful man as a result. He has lost just so much in his life, yet continues to have unshakeable faith. He cherishes what he has, in place of mourning what he could have had. He is grateful to simply be able to see and hear the woman he loves, tries his best to make her life better without being intrusive, and is happy being just friends. A special shout out for keeping it all well within boundaries. In the wrong hands, his one-sided love and attention could have downgraded to sensationalism and stalking. Props again to the writing team and Gaurav for this brilliant character sketch and portrayal.

Now that the story is moving towards a fully bloomed romance from both sides, going back and reminiscing the stages of their relationship feels so magical. He started from being a stranger, went on to be an acquaintance after the party, to gradually become a sort of friend. To later become a business partner, then a good friend, then one of her only two best friends. And finally, now that she has started developing feelings for him, he has crossed that dreaded friend zone in less than 100 episodes of him being here. The fun part is, this transition in itself from one stage to another is so seamless and so subtle, we never knew when he moved on to the next while we were watching. Both in her heart and ours, he sneaked in without notice and has now made it his permanent residence.

While we are at it, let us hope today that this beautiful human is able to inspire at least a small fraction of young men watching, to try and be even 1/10th of a man that he is. Let us celebrate today the fact that someone like him exists, albeit in the world of fiction only. He still makes the world a little bit more beautiful, let’s hope he continues to do so. So ladies and gentlemen, let’s raise a toast today, for the man himself, for our one and only, for this milestone of his, and for many more that are yet to come.


twitter: @Main_Khamakha

14 responses to “Anuj Kapadia of Anupamaa: When Indian TV finally created the perfect male lead”

  1. Such a beautifully written piece and I agree with every word! When AK arrived on the scene, I was like: Who IS That?! And those monologues, delivered to perfection. I used to watch the series for Anupamaa, now I watch it for Anuj.

    1. Vaseema Nasreen Munawar Avatar
      Vaseema Nasreen Munawar

      A beautiful portrayal of emotions that captivates us and keeps us glued to the spot.I only see this Serial since Anuj came on the scene. A good story and good characters make it realistic.

      1. Very rightly said Vaseema! So many new viewers have joined the bandwagon since his entry. Now that’s the whole point of a new entrant but just how many times do we actually see new entries like him? In my opinion a very big part of the credit goes to Gaurav for his portrayal, he’s been beyond good this time.
        Really glad that you enjoyed the read, thanks for the appreciation!

    2. Hi Tajaswini! Thanks for the appreciation. He indeed did raise the bar and just how, right?

  2. Well done Akanknsha pandey !!
    Wonderful write up on Anuj Kapadia…..
    Just loved the way you have written, so much so that, every viewer of Anupama has the same opinion or feelings to expect.
    The writers are skeching the story conservatively modern which is the most required happening in our society.

    The true meaning of LOVE is what Anuj has for Anupamaa. Atleast, the younger generation must watch this serial and take some lessons about our rich Indian culture and family values.

    Shame on the OTT platforms which have stopped down very low to only promote Lust and Revenge among males and females.

    Atleast, they need to learn from this Rajan Shahi’s show about how they can get top viewerships even without stopping down to cheap . They are just misleading the teenagers and youngsters of India .

    Kudos Akanksha !! For the mind-blowing review about Anuj Kapadia.

    1. Thank you Mohini, you are really kind with your words! I have always adored the certain amount of innocence ITV keeps into its romance, owing to whatever reasons. Though it does seem the lines are blurring now somewhere, I really wish I continue to see at least some shows maintain the authentic feels of old school romance, because that’d be a loss too great if it becomes a forgotten tale.

  3. This is by far the best article I have ever read about any character in fictional world.
    I agree with each and every word you said about Anuj and kudos to the actor portraying it so beautifully. Tbh I was looking for any article like this to praise yhe man and the character. I hope this reaches to him.
    Great job Akansha!!!

    1. I would be elated if he gets to read this though I also know chances of that happening are thin (He doesn’t keep much active online) Anyways, the purpose of writing this was to give a voice to all the fans who want to shout it out for him (on top of their lungs) but fail to find the right words. I hope I was able to do some justice to the huge amount of fan’s emotions when it comes to Anuj! And really really grateful for the generous appreciation, it means a lot.

  4. So well written… I got goosebumps while reading the article and every single incident was in front of my eyes…. Excellent performance by Gaurav Khanna… No words for the writer and creative team for such a wonderful character they gave to TV industry….three cheers for Anuj Kapadia…..the man with charm…dignity… respect for every person and specially for Anupama.. He didn’t even knew he would some day meet her….. From hesitating to even touch her to crying in her lap….. What a journey of a relationship.. superb superb awesome chemistry ☺️..being there every time for each other without any conditions and demand….no expectations…. Such a soulful story of true 💕💕

    1. Even now, the way more layers to his character are getting added, I am loving the way they are shaping him up. It was a tricky job to pull off his past story, but the team and the actor totally aced even that part. Thank you for the kind words, makes me really happy to know that the read was worth your time 🙂

  5. What a well written article Anuj Kapadia has taken over our lives completely We wait almost impatiently for the next episode ever since he came aboard The way he looks at Anu the way he smiles makes women young and old alike go weak in the knees! Three cheers for Gaurav Khanna to have made Anuj so lovable

    1. So correct Vibha! I am glad that you could relate to my words so well. Thank you.

  6. In love with each and every sentence of your precious review and undoubtedly with Anuj Kapadia as well. Being a Bengalee viewer it’s very special to me as the story Anupama itself is the Hindi remake of the popular Bengali mega soap Shreemoyee and the character of Anuj has been inspired by the character of Rohit Sen. In the Bengali soap, Rohit (played by Tota Roychoudhury) did successfully leave his footprints since he entered the show, audiences were so much attached to him that everyone has disagreed with the makers’ decision to finish the show off with the devastating as well as heartbreaking ending featuring Rohit’s demise and vented their agony over it as nobody could cope with this fact that such a once in a lifetime character like Rohit is no more. But I must say that Anuj is more special than Rohit in his way of portrayal of such Divine love. All credits goes to Gaurav khanna ❤.

    1. What even to say about what they did with Rohit. As of now, it doesn’t seem like the hindi makers will stick a hundred percent to the original storyline, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
      About Anuj, there’s a certain way he enters the viewer’s heart and just stays. And Gaurav has a lot to do with that. Such a subtle yet powerful depiction of such a simple yet layered character.
      Thank you! I am glad that you liked it, really felt great reading your words of appreciation.

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