About The Event
Stereotypes are called stereotypes for a reason. Millennials have, more than anyone before them, acknowledged this fact. But it’s no secret that, even in today’s progressive professional world, we’re constantly wading, kneedeep, in gender and professional biases. “Offbeat” is a one of itskind, a fastpaced and interactive event where panellists from across a myriad of social and professional domains, including journalism, feminism, acting and professional adventure sports, will take on questions YOU have with respect to clichés in their fields. Maybe all actors aren’t just professional liars. Maybe all feminists aren’t aggressive and pushy. Maybe all professional adventurists aren’t Scandinavian.
Indian parents discourage their children when they tell them about their wish to pursue acting as a profession. What are your views on that?
As a career, even I agree that making it big in the acting industry is a tough task. Every day around 500 people flood to Mumbai to become an actor. I can tell you about many actors who had to struggle a lot before they were even recognised. If you want to pursue acting because you are passionate about it, then go for it; but if it’s for money then don’t.
Everybody says that acting is an extrovert’s job. Introverts can never become great actors. Your views?
Well, I think you are mixing jargon over here. An Introvert is a person who likes or is more comfortable with himself. He/She is a person who likes to keep their thoughts to themselves. It has nothing to do with acting. While on the stage you play a life of someone else. There are many great actors who are introverts, like Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone etc. Acting is all about how you present the character you are playing to the audience and not what you are as an individual. I believe ‘Anybody Can Act’.
Theatres perform Western Plays more than the Indian plays. Why So?
Yes, I do agree that Western Plays are performed more but the reason is not because Indian plays are not that good. It’s about their availability. Indian plays are hardly ever published whereas Westerners make it a point to properly document and publish their plays.
In the film industry, influence matters a lot. Does this phenomenon also exist in the theatre?
This exists in every profession. Your dad can always get you the first job, but then it’s left to you. You have to make your own image. You have to create your own impact.
Sir, you said follow your passion. Would all of the above answers be same to your children?
My daughter handpaints cushions for children as a career!
Is it the responsibility of the Playwright to portray an idea such that it doesn’t look prejudiced?
No. I believe it is the responsibility of the Audience whether to accept the idea presented in the Play or not. They are free to disagree with the views presented. They always have the option to leave the hall, but according to me a sensible spectator will sit through the play, disagree on my views but will still appreciate my performance.
Does the relevance of your play in the real life enhances your performance?
This is closely related to the concept of Method Acting. Many artists take a lot of effort to actually go through all the emotions, pain and struggle of the character they are playing to make them perform better. This works for some whereas does not for the others. Whichever way, feel all the emotions of the character.Leave yourself in the Dressing room and be the character you are playing.
Wanderers and travelers have been considered as “selfish” by a lot of people. They go about fulfilling their own wishes and desires with little regard of the feelings of their friends and families. Your views on that?
*He shows a picture of him along with his friends*. Does anyone in the picture look sad or disappointed? Selfishness always prevails amongst the individual. I believe sometimes celebrating oneself over others is essential.
A lot of people associate adventurers as tramps who are trying to run away from life. How true is this assessment?
Travelling has always connected me with myself. Each time I travel, I get to learn about myself. My weaknesses, my strengths, my potential become more clear to me. I would rather say that “I run FOR life and not AWAY from life.”
Travellers gain a lot of valuable experience and wisdom through their time on the road. But how is this experience different from that gathered by a regular person living a normal life?
According to me roads are the biggest universities. You travel, you meet new people and you get to know about them through personal interaction. I have stayed with tribals and interacted with them. The information you get through these means cannot be gathered from anywhere else. You learn through people.
People don’t see how adventurers contribute anything to the development of society or country. Any comments?
Whenever I meet people while traveling, I share my stories with them. They get to know about the life in India and also about our nation through me. I become a representative of the nation for them. My stories connect them with our identity. So in a way by traveling and telling people about my life, I am contributing to building the image of India in foreign lands.
A lot of people compare traveling to a drug. You get so much pleasure from exploring different parts of the world and meeting different people. But when you come back, normal life seems too mundane and boring. Have you felt this way?
Well it took a time of two weeks for me to get back to normal life. After sleeping under road rollers, trees and what not seeing a bed with 7” thickness ready for you to sleep feels odd. I literally made a tent in my room and slept inside that for around two weeks before I can get back to being normal. I believe this gap from the daily life created a stronger bond. I realized the values of the basic amenities.
How do you fund your trips?
Soon after college, I started working and saved money. Also, I raised an online campaign. Moreover, he cycling community is very very generous. Once when I was on the road and desperately in need of money, they were quickly able to
raise and collect Rs.50,000 for me, in no time at all!
What are your future plans?
I am currently saving for my next trip! I plan to go to South Korea , Japan and New Zealand.
One question that people always want to ask Gender activists is : why no importance is given to male rights? What would be your answer to them?
Agreed, male rights are important but we can’t stop thinking about female rights just because not enough emphasis is being given to male rights. Gender activists fight against patriarchy. The two binaries which the society has created:
That a female should lay low, consider herself inferior to male
counterparts etc and also against the restrictions and default characteristics which a society expects from men, like they should not cry, they shouldn’t be emotional, they need to show dominance all the time etc. Let’s not tell men what they should do or women. Let’s break down binaries. Even a women can be the breadwinner of a household and even a man can turn down the option of having sex.
Why do feminist movement foreground rape over other forms of brutality such as murder and violence women are subjected to?
Yes,I totally agree with the fact that the topic of rape is highly emphasized, but are we really comparing two crimes? A crime is a crime! Maybe this emphasization is because in India the virginity of women is considered to be the symbol of her purity. It is not only her concern, but the entire society gets involved. There are cases where pre-marital sex was considered to have brought shame to the entire community of the woman! This attitude should change. Associating rape with an insult to honor of the society and using it as a punishment gives you enough reasons, why tackling the problem of rape is an urgent necessity.
How is women reservation in government and private institutions justified when you stand for gender equality?
See reservation proves helpful in a short run against those sects of the
societies who have been historically marginalized. So maybe, reservation in the short run can provide affirmative action in bridging the gap. Segregation is not a long term solution. We need to cut down the reservation as soon as we feel that the gap is no longer that broad enough or in an ideal case, ceases to exist.