Made in Chandigarh: The shining star Ayushmann Khurrana
When it comes to people from Chandigarh doing the city proud in showbiz, the success story of Ayushmann Khurrana stands outUpdated: Apr 27, 2018 19:43 IST
Claim to fame: Actor and singer. Awards for best debut actor and best singer for ‘Vicky Donor’; starred in national award winning films ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’; won critical and commercial appreciation for films ‘Bareilly ki Barfi’ and ‘Shubh Mangal Savdhaan’
Family: Married to his childhood sweetheart Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, a scriptwriter and director. The couple has a son and a daughter. His father P Khurrana is a well-known astrologer. Ayushmann’s younger brother Aparshakti Khurrana is also an actor and a television host.
Education: Ayushmann studied at St John’s School, Sector 26, Chandigarh and DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh. He is also an alumnus of School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh.
My Chandigarh connect: It is my home, my roots.
My area of expertise: Acting and singing
My secret to success: As someone from Chandigarh you do grow up in a protected environment but it doesn’t take away your confidence. For me, the secret to my success is about staying true to who I am and giving it my best always.
The turning point: It will have to be my first film, ‘Vicky Donor’. I have always aspired to be an actor and singer. This film gave me both and was the perfect launch for my acting career. Even though I had won in a reality show, and found success in anchoring and radio jockeying, my first film in Bollywood and my first character will always be special to me.
The secret of success in acting: It’s good to be focused and work hard towards what you aspire to be. The mantra to success is to believe in yourself and also not try and be someone you are not. That has worked for me.
What I owe to Chandigarh: For me, Chandigarh is the perfect example of ‘desi cool’, a perfect melting pot of cultures. People from Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab have settled here. It gives the city an edge over many other metros. The city has made me who I am today. Having met and interacted with so many people from different backgrounds has helped me get a wider perspective as an artiste. I have been able to incorporate those experiences on celluloid many times. On a personal level, it has given me wholesomeness. Even my school, where I was a co-curricular captain, was instrumental in giving me exposure on stage. My school really honed my talent and love for the performing arts. Also all my hit songs, including ‘Pani Da Rang’ were written in Chandigarh. So I owe a lot to the city.
Things I like to do when I visit Chandigarh: I really look for reasons to visit Chandigarh. I try and visit my home once every four months or whenever I am shooting in Delhi or doing an event. I love to catch up with my family and friends and just have a relaxed time.
How has the city changed over the years?: The city has always been a mix of cultures and it was a place where everyone knew everyone else. But I think that is fast changing. There’s a lot of development and new things that one can see but we need to retain our uniqueness of being a modern city that is still close to its roots.
The change I would want to see in the city: Though I am in love with the city – I am what I am because of Chandigarh - I feel the city has become a little shallow and more materialistic. For example, in Mumbai, you are respected for what you are doing and what you have achieved. It doesn’t matter what car you drive or where you live. For instance, a lot of actors will take a cab to get to a location if their car is unavailable or out for service. Nobody judges you by where you live. We need to learn this from a city like Mumbai. This is the only thing.
The best advice I’ve ever got: To be true to yourself and not try and be someone you are not. It’s actually something I follow in my life even as I evolve as a person and actor.
(As told to Jagmeeta Thind Joy)