Ayushmann Khurrana is back from the US after a successful eight-city music tour. When we met him, he was having a busy day, juggling his time between a workshop and a TV show shoot. But his enthusiasm and his energy didn’t drop even momentarily. The actor-singer, who celebrates his birthday on Wednesday, says he doesn’t like big birthday bashes.
Here, he talks about his plans for the special day, the upcoming Coldplay concert, and more.
What are your plans for your birthday?
I am never excited about my birthday. I know several people who like surprises and birthday parties. But I am not like them. I am happy when I am working. I will have a small get-together with my family and my close college friends. But there won’t be any filmi person at the party, and there won’t be any big bash. For me, the idea of romance or of a get-together is a jamming session, going for a play or for a drive, and singing songs.
So, you have never had a big birthday bash?
When I was attending workshops for Vicky Donor (2012) in Delhi, my wife (Tahira Kashyap) threw a surprise birthday bash for me. It was a theme party with a red carpet laid outside the house. Everyone was dressed up, and the guests were my friends, some theatre actors and the crew members.
Many actors are singing as well as acting these days. Some singers have also started acting. Do you think, today, it has become a necessity to be versatile?
Not really. But you have to be good at whatever you do. At the same time, you have to reinvent yourself time and again. I am always doing that. I was a radio presenter, and then I became a television presenter. No one knew that I could sing, so I became an actor and a singer. I think you should reinvent yourself every five years, or perhaps, with every film.
#inothernews I reached 3 million followers on Twitter. To be frank, I don't believe in the follower count. There will be a day when twitter and Instagram would become dated and follower count would become redundant. In fact I don't like the word followers. You guys are probably admirers or just friends. Nobody should be placed on a pedestal. It's an equal world. Let's celebrate parity. #AyushmannBhava (check out the customised band logo on my in-ears)
Coldplay will perform in Mumbai in November. Are you planning to attend the concert?
I am really excited. I will attend the concert for sure. At the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival this year, I sang Coldplay’s song, ‘Yellow’. I think I surprised the audience when I sang that song as it came in between all the other Punjabi tracks I was singing.
What’s in store for you next?
I am working on two films. One of them is an Aditya Chopra production Meri Pyaari Bindu with Parineeti Chopra. We have to shoot for the last schedule now. Then, I will shoot for director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s film, Bareilly Ki Barfi, co-starring Kriti Sanon. Both the movies have different subjects, and are based in Kolkata and Bareilly, respectively. On the music front, I have a single coming out in 10 days. This is the first time that I have mixed Hindi and Punjabi lyrics in my song. I sang ‘’ (Nautanki Saala!; 2013), which was in Punjabi. ‘Yahin hoon main’ (his 2015 single) was in Hindi. So, it was fun to mix the two languages for a track.
What is the status of your Aanand L Rai production — Manmarziyan?
I got busy with Meri Pyaari Bindu and Manmarziyan got delayed as the director was changed. So, let’s see. Bhumi (Pednekar; co-star), too, is busy with another project currently.
Do you have any concerts lined up in India?
My band — Ayushmann Bhava — will be busy around the end of the year, as there will be many college festivals then. I love the college-going audience. They are the toughest to please. Having a youth connect is brilliant. If you are good, they will let you know that they like your work, and if you are bad, they will tell you that too. They keep you on your toes.
What’s the biggest high you get while singing your own songs?
It’s the instant gratification. You can improvise on stage. When you shoot for a movie, you have to wait for months for the film’s release and the audience’s reaction. But a live response is unmatched.