A sudden change in work schedule made Shahid Kapoor a nervous wreck last month. A timely visit to his father Pankaj Kapoor's spiritual guru in the hills however revealed to him the virtues of stillness in an overactive lifestyle.
Having finished all his assignments, the actor has no projects on hand at the moment apart from his dad's film Mausam. Shahid told IANS, "All I can say is faith makes all things possible. That's why it's called a leap of faith. I was working 20 hours a day till Jan 20. I was working insanely. When I woke up on Jan 21, I had no work to go to.
"Initially I felt a sense of freedom. Then immediately it was followed by panic...what do I do with myself? I've become an insomniac and started tweeting at 4 a.m. I don't feel tired. I feel I haven't earned the right to rest. And I don't know what to do with myself!"
However, here is the upside. "Every time I've sat at home without work, it has worked for my career. I did it before Vivah and before Jab We Met." Shahid will be doing only one film in 2010 and that is his father's Mausam. He will serve as a hands-on technician, spotboy whatever for the project.
"While I'm being directed by my dad, I'd like to learn in every department. I want to learn about cinematography, choreography and direction. Most of all, I'd learn a lot about acting from my dad. I want to try and absorb from him."
The thought of acting in front of his father petrifies Shahid. "It's a very scary thought. But in life you have to face challenges. Of course, there's anxiety and fear about acting in front of my father. I quite often think I've given a decent performance. And then when I hold a trial show for my father, all the confidence crumbles."
Shahid remembers a nightmarish incident. "I remember this one time when we were shooting for Jab We Met near Khandala. Dad dropped in and was watching me on the monitor. And I just couldn't give my shot! I actually had to tell my dad to leave. I tactfully told him to proceed, and I'd join him for lunch. He immediately understood. And my next shot was okay."
Explaining his reason for staying away from all other projects, Shahid says, "It's a film very close to my heart because after 35 years of acting, dad is finally directing a film. After being the best actor in the country - that's what I believe him to be - he has decided to make a film with me in the lead because he wants to project me in a certain way.
"It's a huge sacrifice for someone who does so little work as an actor. The least I can do is to be there unconditionally for him during the time that he makes the film." To prepare for Mausam, Shahid needs to train as a pilot at a military academy.
Says Shahid, "I don't want to reveal right now what all I'll be doing. But, yes, I do play an air force pilot. But if you think I'll learn how to fly a plane for the film, then all I can say is I haven't reached that stage of madness!"