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Unfiltered, funny and inspiratio­nal, Anupam Kher was at his best while doling out some much-needed gyaan to the younger generation

- Rishabh Suri rishabh.suri@htlive.com of the actor.

Anupam Kher was truly in his element at his masterclas­s at the ongoing 53rd Internatio­nal Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. He stopped an audience member from leaving, took away his phone, sprinkled water on someone who yawned, and recreated his crying scene from his debut film, Saaransh (1984) — the audience couldn’t get enough


Kher revealed that he used to mimic his teachers and parents, and the town started calling him ‘jo nakal utarta hai’. The actor said, “I had this adjective attached to my name. I didn’t know whether I wanted to be an actor... My father was too busy earning money for a family of 14. His salary used to be ₹90. Actors are not born. Log bolte hain na, ‘paidaishi actor hai’. If I were a born actor, my first acting stint would not have been a disaster.”

He stressed the fact, for all the aspiring actors in the audience, that an actor should be ready to make a complete fool of himself: “Jab tak goof up na ho, aap actor nahin ban sakte ho. Main aaj bhi acting seekh raha hoon.”


The 67-year-old recalled his first salary of ₹10,000, and the subsequent jump was a humorous incident: “When you are successful, people come and get associated with you. Ashok Punjabi came after Saaransh and said I am your secretary. Ashok said, ‘We have to go for the signing of your second film. I will keep my foot on yours, and if I press it, it means you are saying something wrong. Paison ki baat main karunga’.”

The two went to filmmaker Ramesh Behl’s office, where he told Kher he could choose either actors Sharmila Tagore or Moushumi Chatterjee to star opposite him. “The narration started, and the only thing I was thinking about was, ‘Who do I like more, Sharmila or Moushumi?’ I said, ‘Main Sharmila wala role karunga!’”


Kher was diagnosed with manic depression some years ago. “Everybody has issues, young actors too. But they think, ‘I don’t want to tell people I am weak’. No! Tell people you are weak or when you are feeling sad, lonely or feel like crying. Go out and have a cup of coffee with strangers. I, as a rule, never eat alone,” he shared.

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 ?? ?? Anupam Kher during the session
Anupam Kher during the session

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