November 03, 2011

‘I am blessed to have Ridhi in my life: RaQesh Vashisth’

[Interview for one of the Magazine]


Simple, soft-spoken, clam and down to earth Rakesh Bapat, now known as RaQesh Vashisth has featured in many films and serials. He is one among the successful actors at small screen.

He hails from a very cultured and well educated family, his father was in army and his mother is a school principal. He has done MBA from Bombay University. Acting and modeling was initially not in RaQesh’s blood, he thought of doing a hotel management course but destiny had some other plans for him.

My mother is a school principal, one day a guy came up to her for vocational guidance. He was the General Manager of Blue Diamond Hotel in Pune. My mom told him that I want my son to do hotel management. I met him with my sister, it was a casual meeting. While talking to me he realized that hotel management is not my cup of tea. He gave me a questionnaire after that he said you are made for something else. He said your credentials are much more than studies. When I asked him to suggest me what I could do, he said try into modeling. He only sent my pictures for Grasim Mr. India. I was shortlisted and was the first runner up for the contest. It was a big day for me. My life, my ambitions, my priorities, everything changed after that.

So was this the beginning of his modeling career. On asking this RaQesh quips, “Well not actually. I had already done a few ramp shows by this time. After I finished my MBA, I went to Pune. One of my friend who happened to be a photographer sent a few pics of mine to a magazine. They found the portfolio impressive and I got a call from TOI. They were doing a fashion week in Pune. I participated in Mr. Pune contest and luckily won the title. Pune Times covered the whole occasion. It was a big affair, Bipasha Basu, Milind Soman and so many of other Bollywood biggies graced the event. This event marked the beginning of my modeling career.”

Later RaQesh did TVC for Colgate which got its telecast with KBC season 1. Luckily Ratna Sinha ( Wife of Anubhav Sinha) saw it and liked the 19 years old chocolaty boy. He received a call from T-Series for auditions. His first release ‘Tum Bin’ was declared a hit. He did some other after films after Tum Bin but none of them could neither drag the audience to theatres nor created any wonders at Box Office. The films were neither able to draw Critic’s attention.

Before Tum Bin I had signed a three year contract with T-Series thus I could not do any outside project. That’s how I ended up doing films at a stretch but unfortunately it didn’t work. Films came and went, few flopped and few worked average. At that time I was too young to understand the trends of industry. I didn’t know the games people play here to get success. I was too fed up so thought of taking a break.”

After this RaQesh went back to Pune. He used to spend hours in painting, horse riding and travelling. So how small screen became your piece of bread? On this RaQesh answers “When I came back I got an offer from television. But daily soap was something I never thought of. Still I took my step to small screen as the money offered here was very very attractive as compared to films. And somehow I knew deep in my heart that small screen would take me to higher heights. I went for a few story narrations but didn’t find anything appealing. Then came ‘Saat Phere’ which was a turning point of my career. I loved the role offered to me. The concept, the production house, the channel and the team everything was just perfect. Though my character was not a fully fledged role but it was a strong cameo and an important part of the story.”

After this RaQesh did other serials like ‘Ek Packet Umeed’ for NDTV Imagine TV, ‘Seven’ for Sony TV and Maryaada.

It was a great experience working with Yashraj Productions. I was lucky enough to do ‘Seven’. Meanwhile ‘Seven’ was going on I was doing a film for John Mathew Matthan (Sarfarosh Fame). The film was tentatively titled ‘A New Love Story’ but it got stuck in the pipeline due to some issues. Some part is still left to be shot which is planned to be finished soon,” says RaQesh.

After ‘Seven’ RaQesh was just floating around when DJ’S Creative Unit signed him for their new show ‘Maryaada-Lekin Kab Tak?’

The show was completely out of the box. I never did such a character before. The story was quite diverse with a different dialect. Being a Marathi it was quite tough for me to catch Haryanvi. Still I took the challenge believing in myself, my destiny and my hard work. And see the magic has spread. Every girl dreams of Aditya. Aditya is the ideal son, ideal brother, ideal lover and ideal husband and is just the best in himself,” RaQesh expressed joyfully.

Maryada’ is a show with a bold concept. When asked whether audience can accept such concepts on tv, RaQesh replies, “The trend of industry has changed. In 90’s the genre was romantic. Now the thinking of people has changed. They have become comfortable in adapting such bold concepts. Audience likes to watch cult movies like Dev D, Shaitaan and Delhi Belly etc. If audience can watch such stories in cinema halls then why not on TV. And anyways ‘Maryaada’ has a late night slot which does not hamper family audience. Though the TRP’s are not very good but we are getting amazing response from our fans. We decided that we will not fight for the TRPs, we are not targeting an audience that are used to the primetime 'saas bahu' shows that’s why our show is aired at late night slot. Maryaada is doing well and attaining Critic’s appreciation. I said yes for 'Maryada' because I desperately wanted to do a cult project.


When I asked him why did he changed his name? He laughed and said, “I have a very interesting story. (Laughed)My father is an army guy, I asked him why did you kept my name Rakesh? There are so many Rakesh exists in this earth. It’s a very common name and I was surrounded with folks with the same name. From servant to an officer, every third or fourth person name is Rakesh.  I asked my father that I am sure you walked out of the hospital and you met somebody whose name is Rakesh and you decided chalo mere bête ka naam bhi Rakesh rakh dete hai.  I once jokingly said, Dad you didn’t take any effort to give a name (laughs)."

I decided to a ‘Q’ in my name because sometimes when you saving someone’s number in your mobile you do not write the full name, you simply save it by first name. So if you save my name as ‘Rakesh’, later you may wonder which ‘Rakesh’ is this.  So to make a difference I added a ‘Q’ in it.  I think ‘RaQesh’ look good. Vashisth is actually my original surname, but I had kept Bapat earlier as it is my great fore-father's surname.


After dating Ridhi Dogra for about a year the duo got married in November last year. While shooting for the YRF show Seven they began dating each other. Ridhi Dogra started her voyage in television as a Producer and later got into the groove of acting with Real TV’s show ‘Hindi Hai Hum’. She did ‘Seven’ with Raquesh and later bagged an influential role in Star Plus' ‘Maryada-Lekin Kab Tak’.

We are great buddies off-screen; I think friendship is the basic foundation of our relationship. Initially there was no courtship happening, it’s slowly when I realized it. I used to talk about Ridhi with my sister, she said you are of a marriageable age and you have to get married someday so why don’t you talk to Ridhi. I said are you mad or what? But then I understand she was right. We took a step ahead and finally we got married when we thought it’s the right time to take to the next phase of life. It was a straight wedding without engagement. 

Ridhi and I share the same zodiac Virgo, we get along truly very well. There are various similarities in our likes and dislikes, the connection between us is outstanding. She is amazing, and I am blessed to have her in my life,” signs off RaQesh.

-K Himaanshu Shukla..

"To read more about RaQesh Vashisth  Click Here"





Copyright © 2011 - ScrutinyByKHimaanshu

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks 4 d interview sir
we love u adi mauhhh

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Plssssssss don't quit from the show "Maryada lekin kab tak".The show is gr8 & very different from those stupid saas bahu serials.I don't miss
a single episode of Maryada.love to watch it & u & riddhi totally rock.The show has a very strong story & fantastic casting.Usually i don't watch the daily soaps but Maryada is worth putting ur 30-40 mins in front of television..So i request u pls don't quit the show..no fun in watching without u two:))

Anonymous said...

yes don;t quit the show...plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...ilove show and raqesh riddhi...

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