Some of the most memorable times of one’s school life are when friends sit down at leisure, and mimic the characteristic mannerisms and pet dialogues of their teachers.
Till last year, Arun Kuswaha, aka Shah Rukh bhaiya, was the centre of attraction at DAV Public School, Brij Vihar, imitating the exact accent and tone of his teachers at the constant beseeching of his friends.
“I got into big trouble with one of my teachers in Class X, who got annoyed with me for mimicking him on stage and held back my board roll number for a long while,” recalls Arun.
But, thankfully, the incident did not deter the prodigy from nurturing his talent. Recently he was awarded the ‘Mr Talent’ award at an inter-college competition held at Ramjas College, where he is a first year student.
Not only does he mimic people, but he also does a lot of theatre and is pursuing Hindustani Classical music with gusto. It is true that we have seen our share of mimic artists who can imitate the inebriated tone of Dharmendra, the ‘kkkkk’ stammer of Shah Rukh, or the impassioned Nana Patekar.
But Arun takes mimicry to another level, mimicking over a hundred people, from Bollywood actors, to politicians, cartoon characters, and singers. Whether it is Himesh Reshammiya’s nasal Aashiq Banaya, the bulky notes of Adnan Sami’s Bheegi Bheegi, Kumar Sanu’s soulful style, or the tricky variations of a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan composition- the 17-year old sings them with panache.
If you close your eyes and listen to him, it’s almost impossible to tell him apart from the actor he is mimicking. His repertoire includes dialogues from the movies of Irfan Khan, Suniel Shetty, Nana Patekar, Ashok Kumar, Om Prakash, Shah Rukh Khan, Amrish Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and loads more.
He can copy politicians like Lalu Prasad Yadav, AB Vajpayee, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Shatrughan Sinha. “Like singing, mimicry is a talent that comes from within. I was all of 7 when I started imitating people, and over the years I have practiced hard to add to that list,” says the talented youth. The best part about his performances are his original and funny scripts.
“I have anchored shows for Doordarshan, and Sahara TV, in addition to over a hundred stage shows over the years,” says Arun, quite modestly. And this is not all. Arun has been pursuing singing at Gandharwa Sangeet Maha Vidyalaya for over 2 years now and has composed 18 songs, along with a friend.
Who does he idolise? What does he want to achieve in his life? “My role model is Kishore Kumar. I want to be a successful singer and performer just like him,” he concludes.