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Anupam Kher: from theatre to the big screen

Anupam Kher, who is running a motivational programme called The Change Within, touts his life as a dreamer's journey to reality. Princy Jain speaks to the actor.
None | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2007 03:08 PM IST

"With a left leg that's fatter than the right, with a balding head and an expanding waistline, I still think I'm the most attractive man around." That's ‘Bittu' from Shimla, better known as Anupam Kher.

He is a man of many moods and varied occupations. From theatre, to big screen, as well as production, he has attempted it all. And the latest avatar is that of a guru.

Besides his acting classes, Kher has also started a three-month motivational programme called The Change Within. The actor says, its content comes from life itself.

Kher explains the saransh of his life, "A dreamer's journey to reality." The eldest son of his parents, he stole Rs 100 from his mother's temple to give the entrance test at the Chandigarh School of Drama after his higher secondary.

The next halt was the National School of Drama, Delhi. "I won a gold medal there and was soon teaching acting at a school in Lucknow and was earning Rs 4000 per month. I felt as if I had everything except for challenges."

It was the need for adventure that drove him to the streets of Mumbai. But life was not so relenting. It was only after a struggle of three years that he met Mahesh Bhatt and Saransh happened. "In these three years, I had exhausted all my friends and relatives for food, shelter and even clothes," he recalls and adds, "but I had learnt the art of survival."

The brave heart
Once things started rolling, Kher worked 20 hours a day. But the strain took its toll. "It was during the shooting of Hum Aapke Hai Kaun that I suffered partial facial paralysis."

The diagnosis, he says, jolted him completely. "My doctor told me I couldn't face the camera for the next two months. My friends suggested that instead of telling the truth, I should just make an excuse and go on a vacation."

"Instead, I went to the sets and told everyone about it. Nothing changed in terms of my career, but I was a new person. I realised it was time to stop and take control of my life. I wanted to live for myself."

From then on, there has been no looking back. "Every day has been a brand new day for me. I live my life to the fullest," he says proudly.

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