This interview is based on the telephonic conversation we had with Mr. Aroon Bakshi ji on Saturday 19-Sep-2009. He was in Delhi shooting for one of his upcoming movie.
About you and your family.
Well, I am an open book .There is no such thing which I have ever hidden from anyone. I did my schooling and graduation from Ludhiana. I was a cricketer during my days in Ludhiana. Mine is a typical Indian family. My son is into cricket and these days he is taking classes from Yuvraj Singh. My daughter has completed her graduation.
You told you were interested in cricket but how come acting enticed you?
Yeah I was very much interested in cricket but I was also interested in acting and singing. I joined Jalandhar radio and soon became a well known artist there. I am glad that I got a chance to work with some good people there.
Tell us about your journey from a Radio artist to big Celebrity?
You always get 'sanskars' (Values) from your parents and teachers. I met a person in Jalandhar who left a long lasting impression on me. His words will always remain with me. He said 'First deserve then desire'. He encouraged me to aim for big things. And that has been my policy throughout my career. Before coming to Mumbai I was with P.A.U (Punjab Agriculture University). I was restless and I gave a serious thought to what I should do in life. That is when I decided to explore Bombay. And here I am!
You came to Mumbai, so were you having any contacts or was it that you just came to try your luck?
Well..... to be honest, it was all about trying my luck. I gave myself a maximum of 6 months. I was literally having no contacts in Mumbai. Initially I took a room and for the first 4-5 days I just slept! It was weird but I knew there was hard struggle ahead and so I decided to relax!
Before coming to Mumbai did you take any acting classes? What happened after reaching Mumbai?
You can say it's a God's gift. I also learnt a lot from my day to day experiences. After reaching Mumbai I thought of doing theatre first. I joined IPTA and did a lot of theatre here. Gradually I started to pick the nitty-gritty of acting. I learnt what 'NATAK' stands for. It means 'Na-Atak' (Life has no pauses or stops. One has to strive on). I did the same and then got into bigger projects. I utilized my talent to the best of my abilities and kept on polishing my skills. This is something I would like to do till my last breath.
What all are your upcoming movies?
Lots of movies are in pipeline. One of my upcoming movies is 'Total Ten' based on the Mumbai terror attacks (26/11) and directed by Surender Suri. It's on the verge of completion.
So what is your role in it?
I am playing the role of Maulana Masood Azhar, the main villain in this movie. The best part is that I have composed the music and also sung songs for this movie. Songs for this movie have been written by the Legendary Manoj Kumar ji.The movie has been shot primarily in Mumbai and Pune. Some of the scene have been shot outside the Taj Mahal hotel. I can say most of the scenes have been shot at the actual locations, following the trail of the disaster.
Till now you have acted in so many movies and have sung so many songs and now you are coming as a music director also. How was your journey till now.
Its been a wonderful journey. I have no complains in my life. No one has ever cheated me. I got a chance to meet some of the most amazing people whom I have always admired. Our senior actors have been very supportive and as result we maintain a very good comfort level while working with them. 'Hum sab bade ghul-mil ke kaam karte hein'
Have you ever been to Uttarakhand? What is your opinion about the place and its people?
Uttarakhand is very close to my heart. It's the God's abode in true sense. I make it a point to visit this place in every 1-2 years. 'Agar mein wahan 1-2 saal mein na jaun to meri aatma mujh se ruth jaati hai bhai!'. I have been to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Hem Kund and there are so many places still to explore! Trust me Vinay, if I can manage some decent amount of time, I would immediately push off to Uttarakhand. You all are so lucky that you live so close to God Almighty!As far as the people are concerned they are very simple and friendly. They are very down to earth and you can actually feel the innocence on their faces.
So nice of you Aroon ji that being in Mumbai you still thinks of Uttarakhand. Generally people forget about their roots after getting so much success.
No, Its very important to be associated with our roots. At the same time nothing comes before the Almighty God. I feel the nature of Fame and Success is illusory. 'Sab ko ek din gumnaami ke samundar mein jana hi jana hai' (Sooner or later, we all are drown into the ocean of the Obscures!). Be it any profession, an individual should try to be inspiring for the upcoming generations. And that is what I would like to do with my good deeds. This is the most important thing my dear!
Thanks for giving us your valuable time. I was really not expecting your call today. I know you are running short of time and have lots of things pending but still you kept your word. Thanks for it.
Yes, right now I am in Delhi. One of my movies is being shot in Delhi right now. Yes I am running short of time. I saw your request and decided to give you a call. When I say something I mean it. I could feel the sincerity and dedication in your message. Also the Uttarakhand tag was something which I could simply not ignore. I wish you all the very best for whatever you do.