Actor Avinesh Rekhi, who is currently seen as Umashankar in TV show Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piyaji, says unlike his on-screen avatar, he is very cultured in real life and believes in gender equality.
"Being from a Marwari family, Umashankar believes in God. He doesn't believe in changing people's mindset and just wants everyone to do what is right as per the religion. He is very simple," Avinesh told here.
"Just like my character, I am also very cultured kind of a person in real life. But, I am not so shrewd and rigid about how he is in terms of having perception towards women. He believes that women should be like a maid, but I don't feel like that as I am a believer of gender equality," he added.
Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piyaji, aired on Star Plus, is a sequel to popular TV show Diya Aur Baati Hum. Since the show went on air, there have been a lot of comparison between Avinesh and actor Anas Rashid, who played the role of Sooraj Rathi in the previous show.
"There shouldn't be any comparisons between actors. They did a wonderful job in ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum'. Now the makers have come up with a fresh story. He (Anas Rashid) is a different kind of actor. He did his job brilliantly and my character is totally different from his role of Sooraj," Avinesh said.
"Sooraj was never seen doing Yoga and was not that much religious like my character, Umashankar," he added.
Avinesh, who has previously appeared in shows like Chhal - Sheh Aur Maat, Madhubala - Ek Ishq Ek Junoon, Bharat Ka Veer Putra - Maharana Pratap and Darr Sabko Lagta Hai, considers himself lucky to be not getting stereotyped to a particular image on Indian television.
"I have done both types of roles -- negative and positive. I was never stereotyped to a particular image. I consider myself lucky about that. If you can transform yourself as a character, then you can do your job well," he said.
"As actors, we are supposed to move on and not get too much attached to the characters we have played earlier because then we won't be able to focus on our present role," he added.
Talking about his future projects, Avinesh said: " Currently I am focusing on this show and not thinking about anything else. I am happy in my own space right now. After this show, I will decide what should I do next.
"Diya Aur Baati Hum was a legacy. So, who would not want to be a part of its sequel? There was some nervousness and it was a challenge to bring it forward, but then I was very excited and honoured to take this legacy forward."
Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piyaji, which has been shot across various locations in Kerala, Rajasthan and Mumbai, also features Rhea Sharma, Neelu Vaghela and Kanika Maheshwari.