Jacob Rajan in The Pickle King

JoJo is a heart specialist and a night porter in the latest offering by Singapore Repoertory Theatre and Indian Ink Theatre Company’s The Pickle King. This uproarious and heart-warming production (the third of a series which comprises Krishnan’s Dairy and The Candlestickmaker) sees JoJo uprooted from India and making his way to New Zealand. There, he falls heads over heels with hotel receptionist Sasha Daniels, but their romance is threatened when the arrogant George Reaper steps in. We quiz JoJo (played by Jacob Rajan) to find out more about his journey.
You’re a trained heart specialist in India. But you settled for a porter position in New Zealand. Why?
They don’t recognise my qualifications. I have to re-sit my exams to be registered to practice medicine here. Meanwhile, I’ve got to eat, no?
Alright, you win. So what is the weirdest room service enquiry you’ve received from hotel guests?
A couple of Singaporeans asked me for tickets to an obscure theater show called The Pickle King once.
Err… OK, what do you miss about India?
The 3 Fs: Family, Food and Food.
What do you love about New Zealand?
Sasha, the night receptionist!
Speaking of Sasha, how would you describe the chemistry between you two?
I’m a cardio thoracic surgeon, I mend hearts. Sasha’s a gypsy, she breaks them. I think we’re perfect for each other.
Anything you’ve done that has made her swoon?
I left some suitcases out that she tripped over. Does that count?
I guess. Any obstacle to you having a smooth sailing relationship with Sasha?
Well, she believes that she’s cursed and everything she loves dies—that sure doesn’t help.
Well, we heard George Reaper comes in between you too…
Everytime I get close to Sasha he barges in and to make matters worse, something usually dies. He’s a strange fellow; I’m going to find out what’s in that large trunk of his.
If you were in a room alone with him, what would you do to the guy?
In a fight or flight situation I’m more a flight kind of guy. But if it’s a matter of the heart…who knows?