Dilip Arya: I had nothing to lose but to win everything
As a 12-year-old Dilip Arya saw a politician landing in a helicopter in his native place Amauli village in Fatehpur and his instant reaction was how could he ride on one of them. “I was told either a neta or abhineta can do that! For a villager thinking of becoming a politician was impossible so I decided to become an actor,” says the ‘Beehad Ka Baagi’ actor on his visit to Lucknow.
Hailing from a modest background, the Bhartendu Natya Academi (BNA) alumni then put in a lot of hard work from tailoring to doing other odd jobs to achieve his dream of becoming an actor.
He did his schooling in village and then graduation from Kanpur. Later, Arya, who shot to fame by playing dreaded dacoit Shiv Kumar Patel ‘Dadua’ in the OTT series, went to Delhi to seek admission in National School of Drama.
“There I was told that I need experience. So I started as apprentice with a theatre group with odd-jobs and learning backstage. I did NSD workshop which had Pankaj Tripathi, Hemant Kher and Inamul-Haq as my batchmates. Then, I was told about BNA where I finally got admission (2001) and today whatever little I have achieved is all due to the learning I got here,” he says.
In 2005 he landed in Mumbai. “I had nothing to lose but to win everything. I did not get any TV work or films! I was very sure that I won’t return so kept on struggling — several times slept empty stomach, suffered a lot of humiliation from outsiders and family members. I started doing commercial plays for companies and trained their staff members,” he says.
His first break was film ‘Taanashah’ which was eventually converted into series ‘Beehad…’.
“It’s director Ritam Srivastava had seen me in his initial struggling days. So, when he decided to make film of ‘Dadua’ he offered me this role. At one point, I was even about to be replaced but eventually it was in my fate. We shot the film with lots of hurdles with low budget in 2017-18. It was eventually released as a series last year and with God’s grace it has crossed 40 million views,” says Arya.
Despite huge appreciation, he know his real test starts now. “Abhi to main ankurit hua hoon! I am getting some good offers and some of them will be announced soon. After 15 years, I have got this success, so I want to do good work now. Scenario has also changed, so I feel things will get better. My family has struggled a lot with me, so I have no choice but to do well,” he says adding that he still harbours the dream to land in his village in a helicopter.