My dear friend Anupam Kher is a very passionate man. He doesn’t like to let go of any opportunities in life. Which is why he takes on a Saaraansh with as much excitement as a Kya Kool Hain Hum, although the two are as different as Rajesh Khanna is from Mukesh Khanna. And the other brings him flak for being a greedy actor.
It was no surprise when he agreed to become the chairperson of the FTII. I was not so sure there was room for more in life and then he had his own acting school. Was it even ethical to take on the chairpersonship of a film school?
I think his decision to opt out of his responsibilities as chairperson of the FTII was a good one. I think Naseeruddin Shah had a hand in it. Some time ago Naseer was quoted as saying, “Where is he (Anupam)? How can I comment on his work when he’s hardly ever at the FTII? I don’t think he’s been there more than twice. I am told that he’s not seen there very often. If he chooses to spend some more time at the institute, we’ll get to see the work and be able to comment on it. Till then, what can I say?”
The entertainment industry knows there isn’t much love lost between Anupam and Naseer. Attempts at projecting a façade of bonhomie notwithstanding, the two stalwarts have always been at war, secretly or otherwise. I think Naseer must have made Anupam re-think about his responsibilities at the FTII.
Was it fair for him to hold on to his prestigious post when he was unable to give it the time and attention it urgently needs? I think Anupam needs to become more selective about his workload. He must realize that after reaching the pinnacle that he has in his career he need not be a famished opportunity-seeker any longer.
That it’s okay to say no to opportunities even if they are big, especially if they are big. Because with big opportunities come big responsibilities. I remember when Anupam came home a couple of years ago. He was full of beans, clicking pictures with my cook-maid and man-Friday, arguing me down to helpless submission, ticking off a guest for not giving us(Anupam and me) alone-time together.
Then he said he wanted to see my workplace. I took him to my room. He looked around and then without warning, lay down on the bed in the room. “Just for a quick power nap,” he said before shutting out the world.