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Attitude determines your success

Purab Kohli on discovering his passion for acting

education Updated: Feb 09, 2011 09:26 IST
Garima Upadhyay

I was simply fooling around when I started acting. I was 17 years old when I started shooting for Hip Hip Hurray while a student at National College, Mumbai.

Back then, I could have never imagined that I’d be an actor. Just like any other youngster my age, I too was anxious about my career and future prospects.

The uncertainty led me to try every possible discipline. After my Boards, I did the first two years of science. Since I always wanted to fly, I enrolled for ground training classes, only to realise later that flying wasn’t my cup of tea. Then I did a year of commerce and later a year of arts, but did not graduate, out of choice. Back then, it was pretty hard to cope because my life was going haywire and I had no specialisation in a specific subject. However, today as I look back, I feel that it was the best thing to have happened to me.

The urge to try out various disciplines introduced me to diverse ideas and helped me develop a well-rounded approach. This element of experimenting coupled with my inclination to work led me to audition for Hip Hip Hurray. After my stint with Channel V, I started getting roles and while trying out things which came my way I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to be an actor. It was only after I watched My Brother Nikhil that I decided to take it up as a career.

Conventional wisdom would rank success as one of the foremost fruits of education. But, as great as education is, what is more important is its application.

I would suggest students to start working early in their lives. Education is important but working at a place gives you a clear picture of what the practical challenges are. It also helps you determine if the job you are in is to your liking or not

Do a summer job or work part time with college. It will help you understand what you are studying. Also, if you keep interning while studying, you’ll know what area you need to specialise in by the time you graduate. It helped me a lot. Besides trying science, commerce and arts I also worked with an architect for a while. I also thought about getting into hotel management but it did not happen. I kept trying various things which helped me decide that acting was what I liked the most.

But the process of determining my liking wasn’t very smooth. I have made a lot of mistakes in the past but I am happy that I learnt from them. I would like to advise people to not get bogged down by the mistakes they make, it is part and parcel of life. However, what is important for them is to take lessons from their mistakes and not let it happen again. Your success in life depends a great deal on your attitude and how you look at your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to try out new things. So what if you fail? You would have learnt something for sure!

As told to Garima Upadhyay