Mumbai-based activist lawyer Susan Abraham gave my reference to the makers of Court. I am an activist and not a professional actor. I never thought I would work in a movie. Most of the actors in the film are first timers like me. Playing the role of Narayan Kamble, an Ambedkarite artiste, was not difficult for me. I have experienced the lapses in the justice delivery system
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My first inspiration for I Am Kalam came when I was doing a film on child labour. I met millions of children, working in brick kilns, living by railway tracks, footpaths, beggars, all kinds of children. A common thing I found in every child is the ability to dream. Nobody wanted to continue living in that sada hua haalat. Everybody wanted to get out of it and be something.
I was born in a humble family. As always a family’s concern is how the child will study well and get a job. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at studies. I grew up in a joint family, in a village with hardship. The village was away from urban areas and facilities. So my life and experiences were limited to the family, village and the village environment, specially the beautiful Mahanadi River. The only exposure includes the stories – heard, natural beauty seen and experience of living in the midst of nature. When I grew up, I developed a habit of telling stories. Thus, the love of listening and telling stories become my profession.
I can’t recall when was the exact time but, I started doing mimicry of celebrities initially and my uncle saw the talent of acting in me. Further, he enrolled me in acting school Sri Ram Center where I learned a lot of things. So, by far officially it has been 10 years in the industry of my work unofficially and 6 years officially.
It’s been a great journey. May be one regret. If I could change anything in these 20 years, that afternoon in Johannesburg during the 2003 World Cup final (where India lost to Australia). But nothing else as it’s all about destiny.