Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Anupam Kher is one of the most versatile actors of Bollywood. He was recently named as one of the top five actors of Asia, by the international magazine, ‘The Hollywood Reporter’.  Now the star has expanded his portfolio by authoring a self help book called “The best thing about you is You.”

Anupam Kher interacts with students.
Photograph by Vishnu R Shehkar
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He was present at the Sharjah InternationalBook Fair (SIBF), to interact with students from various schools. He shared stories about his childhood and the failures he overcame to become the person he is today.

“I didn’t write an autobiography because it would be too predictable. People would say, he is an actor and he would write a book on acting. But I wanted to write about my life, and the struggles I have faced.” says Kher.

He talked about his school days and  how he initially started acting by imitating his school teachers. One of the main reasons he was able to make a mark in lives of people around him, he say  was by being ‘different’ and standing ‘out’ in the crowd.

He also narrated the story of how his father took him for a treat to celebrate, his failure in 10th grade examination. He says, his father taught him the most important lesson of his life, which was that failure can be celebrated.

He robbed money from his mother to give his first audition in Chandigarh.“I chose to play the girl in my first audition, to stand out of the crowd and be different.” 

Even though he was selected in the first audition he gave, his struggle in Bombay had only begun, “I had to sleep at the local railway station in Bombay for 27 days.”

“There was point when I gave up and wanted to go home, but a letter from my grandfather, motivated me.  In his letter he said, ‘Bheega hua aadmi, basrish se nehi daarta.’ Meaning a drenched man is not scared of the rains.” 

These words have stayed with him throughout his life and he even uses them in his book.

Not only was his talk motivating and inspirational to the students, but his sense of humor when he narrated his disastrous plays during his school days, left the audience in sequels of laughter. He inspired students to be original and not a part of the crowd. He asked them to learn beyond the books and not let marks be the judge of who they are and what they can do. “Remember” he said, 

“The best thing about you is you!”

By Syeda Nawab Fathima, 

The writer  is a media and communications student specializing in Journalism in Manipal University, Dubai.