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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Engineer actor

A cameo in Slumdog Millionaire got the dice rolling for Moga boy Arfi Lamba, who now eyes a Punjabi debut. He pursued engineering from Thapar Institute, Patiala, and after a high-paying job stint at EIL, Delhi, Arfi decided to quit a 'secure job' to head to Mumbai, with the support of his father.

chandigarh Updated: Aug 13, 2012 15:06 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Usmeet Kaur
Hindustan Times

Following American technology genius Steve Jobs advice to trust in something - be it gut, destiny, life or karma -and to keep looking forward, Arfi Lamba made some of the most monumental decisions of his life and never regretted them.

Hailing from Moga, 28-year-old Arfi is the son of a farmer. He pursued chemical engineering from Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, and after a high-paying job stint at Engineers India Limited, Delhi, Arfi decided to quit a 'secure job' to head to Mumbai, with the support of his father.

For a year after landing in the 'city of dreams' in 2007, Arfi confesses to partying hard in order to 'make contacts and wait for the right start.' In 2008, the aspiring actor got headway in theatre, where he trained under theatre persons such as Dinesh Thakur and Dr Zaheer Shaikh. But Arfi was soon out of money, though he mightn't have foreseen that his big break was just around the corner.

He relates the story of bagging a cameo in the film, Slumdog Millionaire. "I started telling friends that I needed work and would do any role. Slumdog Millionaire's casting was underway, and I went to audition."

Interestingly, Arfi was told that the film will most probably be a DVD release and might never be released in India. Having bagged the role of Bardi, with one dialogue to speak, Arfi recalls, "It was one of the most organised shoots I have ever seen.

Thanks to Loveleen Tandon (co-director, India), I did a film that they said would be a DVD release but ended up being awarded at prestigious functions," he adds.

Acknowledging that his small role in Slumdog Millionaire earned him large-scale exposure, Arfi is now a co-owner of an Indo-Greman film production company, Bombay Berlin Film Production (BBFP), which helps organise shoots for Indian directors in Europe.

Arfi's next big venture is playing a lead role in bilingual Bollywood film, Prague, that also got selected in 'competition category' in the recently concluded Osian Cinefan Film Festival, held in New Delhi. The film will see an India release in the coming few months. Arfi has two other foreign film in his kitty, one of them being, The Pollutant, produced by Helena Danielsson, apart from two Hindi films, he shares.

The self-proclaimed hardcore Punjab announces he now wants to go the Punjabi way. "I have spent six years in Mumbai and the city has given me a lot, taking nothing in return. I now want to do Punjabi films and music videos," he declares, adding, "As a true-blue Punjabi, I have learnt to tackle disappointments, especially since I have no godfather in the industry. Success is just around the corner but I don't want to rush into anything."

As he awaits his Punjabi debut, Arfi says he's almost fulfilled yet another dream, of acting in National Award-winning director Shivajee Chandrabhushan's upcoming Bollywood film. "I wouldn't desire anything else if I got this film," he signs off wistfully.

First Published: Aug 13, 2012 14:59 IST