The versatile actor was in the city to be a part of the Outreach International Radio Fair 2017 when MCL caught up with him for a conversation.
He is the man who made ‘Antakshari’ popular in Indian households. A well known TV presenter, theatre artist and versatile actor, Annu Kapoor is a powerhouse of talent and vibrant energy. The National Award winner has also directed several plays and a feature film besides producing many musical shows for television. He got rave reviews for his performance in the recent film ‘Jolly LLB 2’.
Not many are aware that Annu, who currently does a radio programme on 92.7 Big FM called ‘Suhaana Safar’ had started his career as a radio interpreter. He was in the capital recently to attend the Outreach International Radio Fair 2017 on the occasion of World Radio Day when My City Links caught up with the veteran actor to know about his life and journey in the industry so far.
Tell us something about your childhood. Any interesting memory that you would like to share with us?
My childhood was normal like any other kid but since I belonged to a poor family, I have seen lots of up and downs in my life. But despite the hurdles, I have enjoyed my childhood a lot and I really miss those days. The most memorable part of my childhood was when we went through the toughest phase of our life. My father was into theatre business but unfortunately, he had to incur losses and the business was closed down. Suddenly, life changed for all of us. My mother had to take up the job of a teacher to support the family financially. The reason why I consider it the most memorable phase of my childhood is because it gave us all the courage to sustain during difficult times.
How did you start working as a radio interpreter?
As I had said, after my father’s business suffered a setback, my mother had taken up a job to support the family. But her meager income was making it difficult to make ends meet. Opting for higher studies at that time appeared too difficult for me. So, my brother decided to get me admitted to the National School of Drama. Thankfully, I did well and it was from NSD that I was selected for the radio station.Another thing is my mother was highly qualified and she was proficient in many languages like Parsi and all. She also had a great influence on me and so my love for languages came from her. Added to it, I had a good voice and so I was able to sustain in radio for a long time.
When you started your career, there wasn’t much of competition but today, it is very different. Have you ever felt insecure?
No, I never feel insecure. Actually no one can defeat me because I have no interest to win. My only intention is to do my job properly and whatever I do, I put in all my effort to give my best. So I never get scared of competition.
You have been a part of Bollywood for a long time and in your career, you have also played many negative characters, be it in Vicky Donor or the recently released Jolly LLB 2. Have you ever been bothered about the fact that such characters can give a wrong message to the society?
First of all, these aren’t entirely negative characters. They have a lot of humor to them also. And I do movies for money. If the role is good and I am paid well for it, I do it.
You come across as a very dynamic personality. What is the secret behind maintaining such a good personality and always being cheerful?
The secret is my love for life. Love is a heavenly feeling and this feeling help a person stay happy and young always. Love is not only with a person it can be with an object, profession or anything else. And, I intend to love life till the end of it.
When did you fall in love for the first time?
(Smiles) I fell in love for the very first time when I was in Class 6th. She was the daughter of the local collector. Her name was Anjala and I met her in ‘Balsabha’. Balsabha was a kind of meeting held for the kids and which was arranged by the school. I still remember I had proposed her under a neem tree, by reciting a poetry I had written exclusively for her.
How do you like the city of Bhubaneswar?
This is a wonderful city. People are very active and appear to be art lovers. The best thing that I liked about the city is the fact that people here speak very good Hindi because I have visited some other non-Hindi states where people struggle to speak in the language. This is not my first visit to Bhubaneswar. I have come here before too and every time, I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Odia people.
If not an actor, what would you have become in your life?
If not an actor, I would have become an IAS officer. It was not only my dream, I was also preparing for it. I was a good student in school. But because of financial situation, I had to come to this profession. But I believe I have done justice to my profession.
What do you have to say about the radio fair in the city? Do you think the craze for radio is still there?
Outreach International Radio Fair 2017 is one of the excellent initiatives by the people of Bhubaneswar. As far as the craze for radio is concerned, it can never fade. Despite the advent of new technology, social media and internet, the demand for radio will never come down.