Monday, September 12, 2011

Guru mantra? Say yes to life

On Teacher’s Day lyricist Swanand Kirkire, the ‘Banwara Mann’ man, talks about the life lessons he learnt from his gurus; and the teacher-student relationship during his time

-Nitisha Kashyap

As he briefly talks about what he’s currently doing in Bollywood – “I am involved with “Ferarri Ki Sawari”, “English Vinglish”, and “Bol Bachchan”, I am also acting in “Maximum”, which has been directed by Kabeer Kaushik…”– Swanand Kirkire gets back to reminiscing about those good old days in college . Here’s talking to the lyricist, playback singer, assistant director… and more
Most people say that college days were some of the best days in their life. How would you describe your college life?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of college is the bunking part. Yes, I used to bunk classes to watch films and plays. Rarely did I turn up in college with the intention of attending classes. We were a class of 30. And all of us used to hang out at the Indian Coffee House (ICH). It was the cheap filter coffee for which we used to sit there. At that time, a cup of filter coffee cost us 1! I met Husain sahab and Medha Patkar ji at this place only. My first interaction with them was at ICH. It was a place where great dignitaries would come. Now, that coffee house is no longer there.
And how was the student-teacher relationship in your days?
(Laughs) I used to bunk more and attend less classes in college. So, I have not as such played pranks on or irritated any teacher. We used to make fun of our teachers in our school days, but at the same time, we also respected them. I was fond of Dr Mohanty, a professor of my college – Indore Christian College.
Whom do you consider your guru?
All the people whom I have met have, in a way, taught me something. So, all have been my gurus in some way or another. However, there are few who taught me great lessons in my life. Like, Padma Bhushan Kumar Gandharv, who indirectly taught me many things about life and music. I have also done theatre, and had a great time learning with the late Baba Gorey, who was working for Aradhana theatre, Rakesh Joshi, who was working for Kala Niketan and my own uncle Jitendre Kirkire. They have always encouraged me. They taught me how to learn.
Among those in Bollywood, is there anyone who has taught you anything or whom you look upto?
Yes, the time spent with Sudhir Mishra and Vidhu Vinod Chopra has always been a learning experience for me. Vidhu taught me fearlessness, to follow one’s heart and not to compromise.
Is there any person whom you sort of blindly follow?
There was a professor at National School of Drama, Arjun Raina. He taught me to “say yes to life”. And, I blindly follow that. If you say no to life, you close the door for yourself while a yes will open umpteen opportunities for you. This is something that I truly believe in and follow in life.

(Nitisha Kashyap first Byline story In Delhi Times(Supplement of 'Times of India'. Congratulation Nitisha.... Wishing U for a very Bright and successful future)

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