Nostalgia with Dalip Tahil: “Back then, I had many girlfriends, not one!”

Published on Oct 29, 2022 01:25 AM IST

The actor talks about acting in school at Sherwood College, having a joint bank account with his mom, and his brown Jodhpuri boots

Dalip Tahilat 22 (right) and at 69 (left)
Dalip Tahilat 22 (right) and at 69 (left)
ByDinesh Raheja

Where were you career-wise?

I had considered becoming a pilot like my father or getting into law, but gravitated towards acting in school at Sherwood College, Nainital. I played Joseph, one of the three angels in the play My Three Angels. I was adjudged the best actor and won the Kendal trophy. I won it for two years consecutively. I pursued acting after graduation and started doing theatre.

In a fabric ad for Bombay Dyeing
In a fabric ad for Bombay Dyeing

How did you bag your theatre debut?

I looked up stage director Alyque Padamsee on the phone directory and called him. He cast me in his play, Marat Sade, which was also Kabir Bedi’s theatrical debut.

Modelling for Prahlad Kakkar’s ad campaign
Modelling for Prahlad Kakkar’s ad campaign

What was your bank balance like?

Practically nil. I had a joint bank account with my mom, who deposited a few hundreds for me.

With his fellow actors in the play The Sound Of Music
With his fellow actors in the play The Sound Of Music

What was your romantic status?

I had many girlfriends, not one!

Dalip singing for the play Evita, directed by Alyque Padamsee
Dalip singing for the play Evita, directed by Alyque Padamsee

What was your frame of mind?

I was in a professional dilemma as there was no money in plays. It was all up in the air, but acting had got into my system.

With Shah Rukh Khan in Baazigar
With Shah Rukh Khan in Baazigar

Tell us about your family then?

My mother, Shanti, was my rock. My father Ghanshyam was the coolest man I knew. My sister, Geeta Thadani, got me into trouble but was very protective of me.

With Amitabh Bachchan at the reception of his own marriage to Amrita
With Amitabh Bachchan at the reception of his own marriage to Amrita

What was your sense of style like?

I wore flared jeans, kurtas, beads, bell bottoms and trouser patches.

Dilip while working with adman Kailash Surendranath on an assignment
Dilip while working with adman Kailash Surendranath on an assignment

What was your most prized possession?

Brown Jodhpuri boots gifted by a friend. I wore them till they were in pieces.

Sporting shoulder-length hair at his sister Geeta’s wedding reception
Sporting shoulder-length hair at his sister Geeta’s wedding reception

Which actors did you idolize?

I was impressed with Manoj Kumar and Dev Anand was my all-time favourite.

From HT Brunch, October 29, 2022

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