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- Published 11.07.10
I was interested in science from an early age and dreamt of becoming an engineer, but it wasn’t to be. Growing up in Delhi, we were a group of friends who met every evening for engrossing conversations and often heated debates. Films and filmmakers were our topics of discussions but I never imagined that I would be part of this world myself. I wanted to join my father’s business of installing medical equipment.
However, at some point, my uncle, a theatre veteran, began to talk to me about taking up acting. He was convinced I had talent. So, I joined his theatre group Charbak in 1983.
The stage was where I was spotted and landed my first role in a film — Tapan Sinha’s Antardhan in 1992. Prabhat Ray’s Swet Patharer Thala released the same year and was a huge hit. But it was Tero Parbon, a television serial, that really got me recognition. Subsequently, serials like Rudro Sener Diary and Sei Somoy did well too.
As far as films go, Satyajit Ray’s Baksho Rahashya (1996) and the National Award winning Damu (1997) have been the highlights of my career. It has also been a pleasure playing Feluda in all the Feluda movies directed by Sandip Ray. They have been great learning experiences. I am now looking forward to my upcoming film, Shukno Lanka, which has Mithun Chakraborty in the lead. It is about a junior artiste, played by Mithun, in the Bengali film industry who finds himself cast as a hero one day. I play an award-winning director who gives the man a break.
I really enjoy acting. It was my hobby initially but I took it up as a profession after my father passed away in 1985 — it saw me through a difficult phase in life when I realised I had to suddenly take care of my family. However, my true passion is photography. It helps me relax and commune with nature. I like to travel. I also want to venture into making documentaries now. I feel it is time I started following my heart in the direction it wants to take.
(As told to Amrita Mukherjee)