How it all began... possibly...
# Acting debut at the age of six... "So the seeds showed (or should it be 'sowed'?) up early!!!!"
# Consistent and constant contact with Acting throughout school and college... "Meaning not very inclined to either studies nor sports - though admittedly more than average student."
# Winner of Delhi University's Best Actor Award... "Quite passionate about acting by now... attendance percentages be damned!!"
# Arts Graduate from the Kirori Mal College..."Well ,not quite. Attendance problem[stated above] left Dad no choice but to send me to Meerut College to graduate with a VERY high second division!"...[And, continued doing theatre in DELHI, on the sly!!]
# Two years as Marketing Executive- Lack of "Job Satisfaction" ended promising Marketing Career... "But admittedly the Management training there helped in being a more organized professional!"
# Found True Vocation in Theatre... "Now one achieved true 'job satisfaction' !!"
# Full Time Free Lancing as Actor-Director-Designer for over Twenty Years..."Thanks to BOND of Modern School, I.I.T. Delhi, MASSAB of Darpan [Kanpur & Lucknow], etc., and Mandi House in general!"
# Was privileged to work with 'stalwarts' like B.M.SHAH, MOHAN UPRETI, OM SHIVPURI, M.K.RAINA, JOY MICHAEL, BANSI KAUL (special thanx!) and also the 'Eklavya' kinda equation with Ebrahim Alkazi!!... Now, if that's not a decent breeding ground, then I don't wanna know what is !
# Main field of interest: Children’s theatre with nearly four hundred plays with kids in the Age Group ranging from 5 to 17 years.... "Boy did they permanently leave me a child [NOT retarded, stupid!]..pure, unhindered imagination and experimentation"
# Introduction to Cinema in 1978 with Sai Paranjpye's "SPARSH" as Properties Designer... "Clear about seeing a film from the outside, But AS an Actor....by the time we were through with her, we knew she couldn't ever do without us. Hence, CHASME-BUDDOOR!!"
# Debut as Actor in 1980 in Sai Paranjpye’s "CHASME BUDDOOR"... "Boy, what a response!"
# Vòila! A star had arrived!... "Could never bring myself to accept new Status. How gross!"
# Won Filmfare Award as Best Comedian in Kundan Shah’s "JAANE BHI DO YARO" co-starring Naseeruddin Shah & Om Puri in 1983. ... Was it SO simple?
Foot-Note: Won theFilmfare nominations for my first three released films, viz., "Chasme-Buddoor"' "Jaane Bhi Do Yaara" & "Ab Aayega Mazaa" - including the fact that in 1983, I was competing against myself! These two nominations were for the just mentioned last two films. Incidentally, that year the third nominated was Satish Shah for "J.B.D.Y."
# Immediately labelled "Great Comedian!"... Hated it thoroughly and forcefully resisted it. RESULT? ....tagged a failure!
# Far and Few films as actor include Madhur Films "AB AAYEGA MAZAA", Raj Kanwar’s "LAADLA" , Jijo’s 3-D film "CHHOTA CHETAN", Taranjit Singh's "IT COULD BE YOU", Naseeruddin Shsah's "YUHN HOTA TO KYA HOTA" and Shayam Balse's "MONSOON"... The others are hardly mentionable.
# Commercial TV began in 1984 with Anand Mahendru’s "IDHAR-UDHAR"... "All hooted me..'kya kar raha hai? chhote screen par kaam karega, bewaqoof!!?'....Self felt TV was here to stay and would one day be backbone of, and larger than Cinema!...Smart and farsighted of me, eh?"
# Turned Producer-Director for DOORDARSHAN in 1988 with "HAKKE BAKKE" [ a comedy on family planning with a fresh cast of four children and known faces like Priya Tendulkar, Sushmita Mukherji and Jayant Kripalani.] ... "Made my own home in Bombay with the profits!!"
# Then Directed "KISSE MIYA BIWI KE" starring Priya Tendulkar and Karan Razdan, and Sudesh Syal’s "‘PANCHHI" starring Banwari Taneja, Sushma Seth and Winnie Paranjpye... "Grudgingly, friends began to see things my way...the actor escaping the 'comedian' slot and turning Director... rather successfully, s'il vous plait !!"
# Then, Directed and acted in "Just Mohabbat' on Sony channel... "And enjoyed every moment of it!!"
# Produced & Co-directed a Documentary “THE WARP, THE WEFT, THE WEB”… on the issue of child labour in the carpet industry.
I# In 2001, directed “Kya Masti Kya Dhuum”, a musical talent show for STAR PLUS… and within TWO episodes helped double the TRPs.
I# Designed & Directed the opening TWENTY episodes of “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin” a Daily Soap for SONY TV… with the most satisfying part therein being the grooming of Mona Singh!
# Beginning March ’04 (till April ’05), took on responsibility as Course Director (Faculty of Acting) at the Film & Television Institute of India(F.T.I.I.) - a two-year course being revived after 226 years! Conducted the course in its inception year … with aplomb ……..and was damned kicked about it, if you please!!!
# Also rather strangely, WRITING a lot suddenly !...... So, on to a couple of screenplays, a couple of Serials and what might eventually be a One-Actor Play!
# Only recently, the subject of a feature film has been approved by the Children’s Film Society, India, proved for production … could be debut film as a Film Director and Writer….Also, my way of thanking the innumerable kids I got to work with during my lifetime..
# BUT, Eventually have to direct Feature Films, yaar!... so, working on some film scripts simultaneously - amongst them being a comic thriller and a romantic thriller.
All Told, VERY happy and content! As of now!
Yeah, yeah...and restless, too.