My Fundays 16-02-2011
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- Published 16.02.11
My sister Pallavi and I were quite naughty as kids and made life hell for our mother. She would be very happy when we trooped off to school; when we returned, I bet there was no one more distressed than her.
In school, I was not much of a prankster, but always participated in extra-curricular activities and did what I could best: act. I earned praise from my teachers and friends for doing well in the competitions, and the fond memories of my schooldays are something I cherish to this day. I was a good student, but since I was more inclined towards acting, I always made it a point to cultivate that faculty. My first film was in 1968 as a child artiste — Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Chotto Jigyasa — where I had to portray the boyhood days of Uttam jethu’s (actor Uttam Kumar) character. I even won the BFJA (Bengali Film Journalists’ Award) for outstanding performance. It was this film that made me believe that I was born to be an actor and I did a couple of more films as a child actor after that.
Starting my career as an actor so early was possible for me because even as a youngster, I had no pastime but acting. Being Biswajit Chatterjee’s son, however, did not mean that I did not have to struggle. I remember going from one studio to another and meeting directors and producers for opportunities in their films. I was turned down at times, but resolved never to give up.
Ma — though never too happy with my career choice — was a great support in those difficult days. In fact, it was due to her grooming that I developed my fighting spirit. My love for acting never waned, and I spent a lot of time doing theatre while I was being rejected by the film industry.
My message to all of you is to remember that struggle is a part of life, and never give up. Taking decisions on your own is not wrong as long as you are ready to face the consequences. Enjoy life as a journey with all its ups and downs.