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“In 2014 I went through the darkest phase of my life,”reveals actor Danish Husain

#99ShadesofGrey The theatre artist, who used the lows to bounce back, says that the dark times actually helped him create a good body of work and prepped him up for a better career

brunch Updated: Jun 29, 2018 22:41 IST
Danish Husain
Danish Husain
Hindustan Times
qissebaazi,danish husain,Poetrification
Danish kept creating new works even when faced with serious depression(Anusha Yadav)

In 2014-2015 I went through a terribly dark phase of my life. I had just moved to Mumbai from Delhi, and it was to be a permanent shift. This was the second time I was changing tracks and starting from scratch. The first was when I left a banking job to follow my passion as an actor. And now, this second move came at a time when I had a flourishing career in theatre and no small amount of fame and respect.

Mumbai didn’t know me or my work. It greeted me with the same serene indifference that every new entrant always gets. I was in exile. Uprooted from home and struggling to find my feet.

“Something in me kept telling me that this bad phase will not be for ever, and the work that I am creating will outlive this phase. And it did”

The first two years were hell. I took whatever work came my way but there wasn’t much and it wasn’t great quality. I was also battling a terrible personal situation. My brash and youthful convictions of invincibility began to crumble, giving way to huge disillusionment and disenchantment. I just felt like shutting down and isolating myself from the world. At this time I had an intense realisation of mortality and death.

But even in that terrible phase I somehow managed to keep working. I was not getting good work, so I decided to create my own work. And I never compromised on the quality. Something in me kept telling me that this bad phase will not be for ever, and the work that I am creating will outlive this phase. And it did. My grit and determination not to give into despair was what kept me going. When the tides started turning, I had already created a solid body of work to show to the world.

The other thing that kept me going during that phase was poetry. I love reading poetry because it improves my language and I believe it is a repository of our culture. I kept reading and memorising new poems, different poets.. and the material I gathered then is now helping me in my Poetrification project with Denzil Smith. In a very strange way, although totally unintentional, my darkest phase seems to have equipped me with the resources for a greatly enriched career in theatre.

(As told to Ananya Ghosh)

From HT Brunch, June 31, 2018

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First Published: Jun 29, 2018 15:32 IST