Like several other aspiring actors, when Manish Paul landed in Mumbai 10 years ago on September 12, 2005, he didn’t know how things will pan out for him in the city. All he knew was that he wanted to fulfil his aspirations.
“I remember coming here with a bag on my shoulder, and dreams in my heart. When I stepped out of the station, in filmi style, I touched the floor for blessings,” says Manish.
However, the 34-year-old’s journey in showbiz was not a cakewalk. He tried his luck in diverse fields, from radio jockeying to finding his calling on the small screen. Eventually, he signed his first film, Mickey Virus (2013). “I realised soon enough that it isn’t easy to make it big here. I used to carry a ‘struggler’ bag with me, in which I used to keep my portfolio, a water spray for my hair to look fresh before meetings, an energy drink, and some chana (chick peas),” he says.
Now, the actor, whose first TV assignment involved hosting a music reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, has made a mark, and is popular for his hosting skills. Currently, he is awaiting the release of two other movies. “When my first film released, I went to Juhu Circle, and clicked a photo with the poster of the film [that was up on a billboard there]. It was such a huge moment for me,” says Manish.
Nonetheless, the actor is content with the way his career is shaping up, and is happy about the fact that several Bollywood celebs know him. “Mr (Amitabh) Bachchan knows me, which is a huge achievement for me. Many other actors are friendly with me too. This means a lot to me, as I was a nobody when I came to Mumbai. Today, people appreciate my work, which makes me happy. But I haven’t let it (the praise) go to my head,” says Manish.