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Nawazuddin Siddiqui shares story of his struggle in Humans of Bombay post, says ‘I went from a watchman to watch-me man’

In a detailed post for the Facebook page called Humans of Bombay, Nawazuddin Siddiqui talks about his love for acting, coming to Mumbai and more.

bollywood Updated: Mar 15, 2019 09:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nawazuddin Siddiqui,Photograph,Humans of Bombay
Nawazuddin Siddiqui during the launch of Tumne Mujhe Dekha, a song from the film Photograph in Mumbai on March 9.(IANS)

He may have become a big star now with both critics and audience loving his work but Nawazuddin Siddiqui has had to sell coriander during his struggling days, the actor has claimed. He has revealed that he did several odd jobs, which included selling coriander and working as a watchman, to the Facebook page, Humans of Bombay.

“Financially, I wasn’t well off. I would borrow money from my friends, saying I’d return them in 2 days. Two days later I would borrow money from someone else and pay the first person back. I lived in a flat with four other people – it was about survival. I worked odd jobs – sometimes as a watchman, sometimes selling coriander. I even held acting workshops! I must have gone for a 100 auditions and took up every single role that came my way, no matter how small it was. It took 12 years before I got a ‘breakthrough’. It wasn’t easy – the struggle was not beautiful, it was just that; a struggle,” Nawazuddin said.

Filmmaker Ritesh Batra with actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sanya Malhotra during a promotional event for Photograph on March 9. ( IANS )

Also read: Arjun Kapoor: Intrusion of privacy is a small price to pay for stardom

Sharing his story with Humans of Bombay, Nawazuddin continued, “I grew up in a small town in UP. I come from a family of farm workers; all in all we were 11 – my parents and my 9 brothers and sisters. I was the oldest, so naturally it fell upon me to take care of the rest. I was strict – I made sure all of them followed a time table and did their homework. If they were involved in any mischief I would shout at them–of course, in reality, I was the naughtiest! In fact during Diwali, my friends and I would steal diyas!”

Nawaz also revealed, how in the beginning, he first thought he would not be able to match the speed of life in Mumbai. “My first impression of Bombay was how fast everything was. It took me a month to get used to the pace of life – I thought I would never be able to match up to its speed. But slowly I joined the rat race.”

He also talked about his first experience of acting on stage, “Our family would watch Ram Leela plays together. That was my first encounter with acting. One of my friends played Ram and seeing him on stage left me starstruck! I’d imagine playing the role of Ram myself! After college, I worked as a chemist in Vadodara. There, I watched a play for the first time. That night, the thought of being an actor became a dream. So I studied at the National School of Drama and then went where everybody with a dream of acting goes – Bombay. My parents, who weren’t educated themselves, supported me. They said I could do anything as long as I was honest and worked hard.”

But I did it. I went from playing an insignificant role in Munnabhai MBBS to winning a Filmfare award for my role in Lunchbox. I went from being unrecognised in Sarfarosh to being known as Ganesh Gaitonde across the nation. I went from being a watchman to becoming the ‘watch me’ man – and I’m nowhere near being done, so keep watching – I’m here to stay!”

The actor’s next film is Ritesh Batra’s film Photograph opposite Sanya Malhotra. The film hits theatres on Friday.

Check out the complete post on Facebook here

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First Published: Mar 15, 2019 09:52 IST