I used to jam at Deer Park, Hauz Khas: Kushagra Nautiyal
He’s now popular for acting on television’s soap opera, but it was music that was Kushagra Nautiyal’s first love. A true-blue Delhiite, when in the Capital recently to attend his younger sister’s wedding, the actor couldn’t miss stopping by Hauz Khas Village and Deer Park, which hold a special place for him whenever it comes to clearing his creative block. “As a musician, I used to jam at Deer Park and have even created many melodies here. I used to come here with my bandmates, in this jheel wala area. Wahaan log bhi aa jate the kabhi kabhi. I’m from west Delhi but I would come all the way to be here as it was one place that was so inspirational for me,” says the 29-year-old.
Presently seen in the TV show Kumkum Bhagya, Nautiyal has some fond memories of this peaceful spot in south Delhi. “This place helped me a lot to get my creativity back. I have written a lot of songs while at Deer Park, and I will release them soon. In fact, back in the day when I was living in Delhi, I befriended some people at Hauz Khas Village and even rented a small studio here with one of my friends; I lived here for about eight-nine months and even performed here.”
He has performed at numerous weddings as a musician, and that made many guests at his sister’s wedding, to push him to perform. “The band I was part of, used to perform at weddings as well. Toh is baar shaadi par sab kene lage ki kuchh gaa ke sunao... par mai nahi gaa paya because I had a lot of arrangements to make. Aakhir behen ki shaadi thi.... everything had to be on time for the D-day. But I didn’t disappoint those who turned up to just talk to me,” he shares.
And when it’s #DilliwaliShaadi it sure means it’s time to binge! Same was the case for this actor who had to prep well in advance to be able to gorge on this special day. “I went on a calorie deficit diet, three days before I had to leave for Delhi. Aur jab main yahan pahuncha, I was like ‘Lets party!’ Tabse jo mai khana shuru hua, ab jaake ruka hun. We had a halwai at our house and aate hi mujhe dal makhni, bread pakode mil gaye. I also enjoyed moong dal ka halwa and lots of paneer. I had so much paneer ki roti khatm ho gayi par paneer phir bhi refill hua plate me. Aur maine rajma bhi khoob khaye. Wahaan (Mumbai) mein I try to be glutton free with a less carb and more protein diet chart. Par ghar, Dilli me aake maine kuch nahi chodha, sab try kiya aur meethe mein jalebi bhi kha li (laughs),” he adds.
The food in Delhi has always been a big draw for him, and he confesses: “As a musician, I’ve done more than 700 shows across India and tried food at all the cities where I performed, but have to say that Delhi food is better than anywhere else. Jo dal makhni aap yahaan kahoge, who har jagah nai milegi. Yahaan ka food is something to die for! I love the dahi bhalle from the chaat shops here. And I also love Rajouri Garden ki Traffic Jam ice cream sundae; it’s yum and people must explore it.”
Author tweets @anjuri