Mumbai, Oct. 10 -- Back in 2009, when Sushant Singh Rajput started off with a TV show, little did he know that it was going to make him a household name or that he would meet real-life girlfriend Ankita Lokhande on the sets.
"I still remember how sparks flew. I was always looking forward to that one chance of starting a conversation with her," says the actor, adding, "I feel so proud of Ankita. She was so innocent and almost a rookie on the first day of the shoot. She held the show together for more than five years, and has evolved into such a wonderful actor while keeping the same innocence and beauty intact."
Recently, the actor returned to the sets of the serial that paved the way for his instant stardom in Bollywood. And he, along with Ankita, was part of a special sequence that marked the show's conclusion. "We re-enacted the same sequence that was filmed on the first day [when the show had kicked off]."
For the uninitiated, Sushant played the protagonist, Manav Deshmukh, in the Ekta Kapoor show for two-and-a-half years. He says, "It was like homecoming [for me]. The character has stayed with me for the longest time. It's very special. The cast and crew are like my extended family."
The actor says that the experience was an "emotional" one. And although he returned to the sets of his TV serial after nearly three years, he admits that "it didn't seem like so many days have passed".
And though Sushant successfully made the transition from the small screen to the big, he feels that people should stop looking at TV as a "stepping stone" for films. He says, "It is an extremely strong medium, anda home to powerful technicians and performers."