Call it passion or just a way to earn pocket money, veteran actor Kabir Bedi has done it all. He has fond memories of the time he spent in Delhi during his college days. “I joined St Stephen’s College, as an undergraduate History student and used to head the social service league,” he says.
During the tourist season, there would be a shortage of tourist guides in the city. I enrolled myself in the Delhi’s tourism department and would take people to the monuments. I wasn’t popular among the tourist car drivers, as I would spend time explaining about the monuments, but they would be interested in earning commissions from shops every time a tourist would visit them. It was all a part of growing up (laughs),” shares Kabir Bedi, who would earn handsome pocket money as a guide.
“I worked at All India Radio doing the external services broadcast and International broadcast at night. I’d study in daytime. I presented ‘Mirror of the World’, montage of world happenings.Then I decided to head to Mumbai, which seemed like a natural progression,” he adds.
He would also, binge on the delicacies that the city has to offer .“I visit college from time to time. It was a time of learning, growing, making friends and also, eating at the Paranthe wali gali, Chandni chowk, and enjoying Delhi’s chaat. College would always remain close to my heart. I had all wonderful contemporaries such as Kapil Sibal among others,”he shares.
Kabir, who was in Delhi to endorse Sightsavers, an NGO that works to combat blindness, says, “I like the idea of bringing a change. During my childhood, my mother, an editor of social welfare magazine would take me to Indian villages, to show the social work being done there.”
With career spanning across three continents in different mediums such as films, TV and radio, he shares a dilemma that troubled him the most during his initial days in the industry. “After I started my career in Bollywood, I became very popular in Europe. I went to America and did all kinds of films and television ranging from the Bond film, Octopussy (1983) to Bold and Beautiful(1994 TV series) etc. The biggest dilemma however, was not time management but space management,” he says.