Posted On:07 January 2010 at 12:00am
I was born in Chandigarh and thus the
name Gurmeet! My dad was in the army and so I got a chance to roam the
entire country with him. I've studied in Srinagar, Jammu, Jabalpur,
Badhgar...Yes, I have travelled to a lot of places. While my dad served
the country, I studied in the army school in various cities and
towns he would be placed in. My childhood was totally army based, somehow
since class 2 I had a desperate attraction towards the field of acting. When asked
by my class teacher back then, what I want to grow up to be, many laughed
off my 'hero' answer but I actually did have the determination and passion
to become one someday. I would take part in class dramas and skits.
I knew I had to work for it very hard, having an army background and
that too a zero-filmy one. So I did my bit like learning dance, participating
in stage performances, acting-theater classes etc. Then I came to the
city of dreams-Mumbai for my studies, along with which I enrolled myself
at Shiamak Davar's dance institute. I learnt dance there for a couple
of months after which I left the city of Mumbai. Soon I came back having realized that if I would try my luck in the acting industry after completing
my studies, at around 25-26 years of age, then it might become really
late. And entering, getting used to the new environment, earning a name
and fame it all takes time! So might as well start as soon as possible,
obviously studying simultaneously as well. So I did an acting course
in Mumbai. I was on my own here although always had my dad's support.
It all started with a very nominal amount of income. I stayed with a
few of my friends in a small flat. They helped me a lot and soon I got
my portfolio done. I took up a few small roles, did some episodes which
were not very contentful but my motive to do them anyway was to gain
some understanding, than none at all! I was offered music videos and
took them up as well. I had done some serials here and there after which
I met a girl called Debina Bonnerjee.
In 2004, there was a
Sahara Bollywood star contest held, where actors from all over the country
were auditioned, and the winner would obviously be well promoted. Debina
came in from Kolkata and me from Mumbai. Only 15 were shortlisted and
the two of us belonged to this shortlisted lot. We were held up at a
5-star hotel here in Mumbai. We never really had any kind of conversation
actually. It was only confined to the eye sight! Yes, once in a while
joking around or just a simple hi-hello was exchanged but nothing beyond.
Then one day, we were all sitting for dinner in the hotel where Debina
was seated next to me. I casually asked her where she's from and where
she stayed before entering into this contest. She replied Adarshnagar
and I faked that I was from there too and how we must get married! I
told her I would talk to her parents for her hand and we would live
happily ever after in Adarshnagar! And truthfully this was all said
with non seriousness at all! I guess it turned out to be one of those
things that we just happen to say and turn true
After the contest, Debina bought a
flat and we had a common friend from the contest, thus meeting and keeping
in touch was always on even post the contest. Time past and very soon
we realized we were smitten by each other! We struggled together though
I was not as financially strong as her. But Debina was always my pillar
of support... she was my family! She held my hand when times were rough
and always pushed me forward when I would slacken. Fortunately I always
groomed myself and worked on my acting, action and dance skills. Because
this industry has cut throat competition and I believe what leaves a remarkable
impression behind is impactful acting, not just plain acting. So my
self-preparation was progressing. Debina was familiar and experienced
with the South industry and had done good work there. She introduced
me to a director from there who offered me a villain's role in a 3-D
serial while Debina was the actress. "Mayavi"
(the 3-D serial) was well received especially in South India. There
was the 'Seoul festival'
for 3-D movies where our serial was screened. It was a hit and we even
bagged an award for it after which it was even shown at Mumbai. Suddenly
I felt from within that now I was prepared for films and I should start
trying for them. That is when Subhash Ghaiji's Mukta Arts was making
a film in Goa. It was a one month shoot. I was shortlisted and wrapped
that up soon. But unfortunately like the many films in Bollywood, this one
too is over delayed for release but will hopefully come onto the big screen some
day! Soon I was then offered a role in "Ramayan".
A lot of people
told me how I should or shouldn't do it since its mythology! But I've
always maintained in all my interviews too, how I'm eager to do something
different and not ordinary. In this industry that is what works and
long lasts! So I thought trying for "Ramayan" would be something
hatke! I went for the auditions, and got selected for Ram's role!
I was extremely happy! I asked Debina too to try out the auditions and
she bagged the role of Sita! When we announced this to all our friends
and family, they were very surprised and couldn't stop congratulating
us! Because being in a relationship for four years, and then playing
such a holy couple on-screen, was quite a 'mythological' coincidence!
I was very, very happy! More so with the reviews I got. Many of the
fans said they began watching the show after seeing Ram. It was a moment
of pride for me...I would be spotted and called out as 'Ram'! The show
had earned me so much fame and love! But obviously an actor would want
to be known for his own name.
Then came along 'Pati, Patni aur Woh'! The timing couldn't have been better. It was a totally different concept. The remaining sections of the audience who probably didn't watch 'Ramayan' watched this reality show and here too Debina and I were so well-received, that we garnered the highest number of votes! After 'Ramayan' our world did change but after 'Pati Patni aur Woh', it leaped forward and positively even more! Fans would yell out 'Guru' on seeing me because of Debina calling me that on the show. It felt wonderful. More so since they never hesitated in approaching me. I think they sensed the no-attitude in me and felt familiar. So after this show, we were finally known by our real names and we continue talking to our fans as friends whenever we meet them. It's very informal and homely.
This has been my struggle so far. I'm
content with how things have worked for Debina and me. Now the struggle
is on for our marriage! We cannot wait to walk the seven rounds and
even tried for this year but there are certain things we both need to
still work on. Once those have been completed, along with discussing
matters with our respective families, we will confirm a date soon for
this year itself!
Posted in: Journey
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