Bollywood actor Abhimanyu Dassani feels it’s okay to start off a ‘Nikamma’ for any young gun as this gives them the clarity and the ability to explore things on their own after trial and error.
The actor made a scintillating debut with the 2019 Vasan Bala directorial ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’, which represented India at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
As he gears up for his upcoming movie ‘Nikamma’ where he shares the screen with debutante Shirley Setia and Shilpa Shetty, who returns to the big screen after 14 years, Abhimanyu shared some words of wisdom, opened up on his casting process for the film and the benefits of starting early in life and trying hands at different professions, in a conversation with IANS.
‘Nikamma’ is not an unusual name for a Hindi movie title. Afterall, every Indian once in their lifetime has been addressed by the very name by their parents at some stage of their lives.
Abhimanyu says, “The fact that there has never been a movie named ‘Nikamma’ before this really surprises me as it is such a universal thing which everyone relates to specially in the Indian households. I believe there is no child in this country who hasn’t been called ‘nikamma’ (useless) by their parents, the language or the versions may be different but the emotion and essence remains the same.”
The title naturally takes him back to a time when he was still exploring and figuring out his life, something that everyone gos through, “It (the title) reminds me of all the times that I have been a ‘nikamma’. During my major in finance during college I was in between jobs at that time and I woke up a bit late one day. My father just banged on the door, stormed inside and said, ‘I had kids at your age!’ I think that was a vivid memory of me being declared a ‘Nikamma’,” he laughs.
“To be honest, I had no idea if I had to go and make babies now (laughs harder recollecting how perplexed he was back then).”
He then says the golden words, “It is very important to begin as a ‘nikamma’ at an early age so that you realise and have clarity on what is important in your life. Early failures do help you chase your goals better.”
His casting for ‘Nikamma’ is an outcome of merit, something he exhibited with finesse in his very first film. Vasan’s ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’ is a love letter from the director to the world of cinema as it has every possible element, action a bit more.
Sabbir Khan, the director of ‘Nikamma’ was impressed with the TIFF selected film’s trailer and the actor’s single point focus to deliver the best.
The actor soon received a call from Khan’s office, “Sabbir sir really liked the trailer of ‘Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota’ and he has seen me during auditions when I was going from office to office to audition for different roles. He really liked me in the ‘Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota’ role and wanted to collaborate with me on some other project and that is how ‘Nikamma’ transpired.”
Ask him how starting early in life shaped him as an actor and pat comes the reply, “Fortunately, I have experienced a very long life at a very young age because the things that people go through by the age of 30 I think I have gone through in the age of 15.”
“In such a short span, I have met so many people who could not even afford a bus ticket and I have also met people who could afford a private jet. Meeting and interacting with a diverse set of people does enrich you and I have learnt a lot from everyone whom I have met and interacted with.”
“If you are not experienced in life, how can you be experienced in art? And one thing is I would never speak about my struggle because no matter what I have gone through in life it has been an adventure and it has made me a person that I am today,” he concludes.
Produced by Sony Pictures International Productions and Sabbir Khan Films, and directed by Sabbir Khan, ‘Nikamma’ is set to arrive in theatres on June 17.
-By Akshay Acharya