Vikram Kapadia says he was never really “repelled” by the thought of having a full-time job, since he doesn’t mind meeting the same people every day and adhering to timings. “It’s just that there is no quest,” he says.
Kapadia — writer, director and actor since 1981— knew from the beginning that he wanted to be his own boss, although he did spend three months in a diamond export firm and six months at the stock exchange. Theatre has always been his first love and he has acted, directed, written and produced several plays. For the extra buck, he has also conducted theatre workshops in schools and colleges.
One play, Murray Schisgal’s The Typist, that Kapadia directed and acted in, was an eye-opener for him. “The protagonists are two typists whose job is to type addresses on envelopes. In every scene, the play jumps 10 years and by the end of the play, 40 years have passed and the typists are still doing the same thing. It scared me. I began to wonder what it must be
like for people in big companies, where you give your whole life to the company,” he remembers.
But then he has had his low phases too. “There were periods when I would wonder literally where the next meal would come from. But something would always work out… the next day, I’d get a call to, say, dub for Tipu Sultan and they’d pay me cash on the spot,” he says.
Kapadia, who is also a semi-professional punter at the races, says he recently did come close to doing a full-time job as a script consultant for Yashraj films. “ I liked the people and the set-up. I really thought it was a five-star job, with benefits and the works. But I chickened out.”
He says he’s glad that he did, because, “If I hadn’t, I would never have met (producer-director) Aziz Mirza who I am writing a film for now. Or been able to act in an American production. Opportunities open up when you least expect them.”