The latest season of TVF’s web series Panchayat, which released on Amazon Prime Video, has become a viral sensation much like the first season – thanks to talented performances and brilliant storytelling.
A major reason for the show’s success has been the relatable characters, led by Jitendra Kumar who plays the show’s protagonist Abhishek Tripathi.
Abhishek Tripathi’s journey is a reflection of every millennial’s story – one who is stuck in the wrong job, dreaming of a better life, and working hard to turn his dream true. Which, for Abhishek, is a job with an MNC.
Quite similar to sachiv ji’s journey, Jitendra also struggled to achieve his dream of becoming an actor while working at a job he disliked, simply to make ends meet.
Much like it happened in the show, Jitendra began his acting journey with a little push from his friend and college senior Biswapati Sarkar, and a good-natured ragging session where he had to perform an impromptu English elocution act from The Scent of a Woman.
Soon after, Jitendra and Biswapati became friends at IIT-Kharagpur, where both were part of the Hindi dramatics society.
And in 2012, Biswapati invited Jeetu to be a part of TVF.
However, for ‘kunwar-sa’, as his colleagues from TVF referred to him in an interview with Zoom, acting wasn’t an immediate career choice, even though he had been practicing mimicry since he was a child.
For 8 months he worked with an MNC where he hated the job, and worse, the work culture. He spent his days in a job he wasn’t passionate about, exactly like Abhishek Tripathi’s initial experience in Phulera.
While in Panchayat, Abhishek’s self-pity leads him to discover new friends, in real life, Jitendra’s MNC experience was what convinced him that he was made for a life on stage, in front of the camera.
Against his family’s wishes, Jitendra quit his job, relocated to Mumbai and worked hard to make ends meet.
Much like his character in Kota Factory, he also taught Physics while struggling to land a project that would provide him the recognition that every actor needs to survive in the industry.
Though it took time, finally, his characters became household names, easily rolling off the tongue of every millennial.
Long before Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming channels captured the audience’s attention, Pitchers on YouTube became the perfect alternative to mediocre TV shows.
By the time his film Gone Kesh arrived, his family had started to believe in his journey. And when the trailer for Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan released, his family wanted to book a hall with 1200 seats, just so they could invite everyone for the screening.
Perhaps Abhishek Tripathi from Panchayat, Jeetu Bhaiya from Kota Factory, or Aman Tripathi from Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan became relatable characters because Jitendra Kumar from Rajasthan invested a little of his own life experience in each character.
Here’s hoping he continues to deliver realistic characters and fantastic stories.