As the vibrant and much-awaited season of youth festivals knock on the doors of various colleges and universities, we ask noted celebs of the region to share their memories of their youth. Looking back they all said they owe much to these youth festivals that helped them discover and hone their talent.
Beginning with Rana Ranbir, who is not only a famous comedian but also a dialogue writer, poet and author, he says it was very easy for him to taste success on both small and big screen due to his active participation in youth festivals.
“During my college days at Desh Bhagat College, Baradwal near Dhuri, and later at Punjabi University, Patiala, where I completed my MA in theatre, television and films, I don’t think I ever missed any youth festival. I was very active in skits, plays and poetry and with every passing year, my confidence on stage grew. If I am an author and poet, it is because I regularly wrote for the college and university magazines. Had I just been a bookworm, I would have failed to discover my talents that I am known for today.”
Binnu Dhillon, another comedian who was a classmate of Rana Ranbir in both college and university says, “Besides performing skits and plays with Rana Ranbir, I also ardently performed Bhangra and captained the team several times. I must admit that I was not good at academics but as I became active in youth festivals with inception of college life, appreciation by friends and professors boosted my selfesteem and I realised that I do have some talent but I wasn’t sure that it would make me a celebrity one day (laughs).”
Interestingly, Jaswinder Bhalla who besides being a comedian is also a professor at Punjab Agricultural University where he completed his doctorate in extension education, says, “Youth festival ‘de dina vich viyah jina cha char janda si’. (During youth festival days, I would get excited as one gets excited during wedding celebrations). Since childhood, I have been jovial and always wanted to make everyone laugh and youth festivals gave me the best opportunity to unfold my talent before all. My image as a comedian was soon built in the university itself and my friends and professors started suggesting to me to try my luck in television and films.”
Last but not the least in our list is Kapil Sharma, comedian and Bollywood actor, whose mother Janak Rani from his home town Amritsar shares a lot about him. “For the world he is Kapil but at home he is known as Tony and he has loved dancing, singing and cracking jokes on stage since he was four. His first platform was weddings of relatives and then school functions followed by youth festivals in college days. In fact, he has played every kind of role and I can never forget how his entire play team would go on to practice for hours even at home. At last, his passion and dedication have helped him greatly,” she underlines.
Thus, the message is to take youth festivals seriously and bring out the best of your talent for all to see.