NSD students have been inclining towards the Hindi film industry ever since the National School of Drama (NSD) artists Om Shivpuri, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri came to Mumbai to make a name for themselves in films. Actor Rajendra Gupta also followed the path of these artists. Came to Mumbai He did a lot of serials and films and made his own place. Rajendra Gupta, who has a lot of love for poems and anecdotes, has been no less than a superstar for his fans. With the changing times, he is seeing life changing. Seeing changing the way stories are told and doing their job without compromising on their sensibilities and instincts in this changing environment, untiring, unstoppable. In the fifth episode of the series ‘Margin Ke Superstar’ of ‘Amar Ujala’, today talks with the same veteran artist Rajendra Gupta …

‘Gandhi’ showed the way

In the year 1981, the film ‘Gandhi’ was also shot in Delhi, when many NSD artists got a chance to work in it. Rajendra Gupta says, ‘The actors got good money by working in that film. In those days the theater hardly got fifty rupees. After getting good money in the film, it was understood that one would have to go to Mumbai to work in the cinema. When I came to Mumbai in 1985, I and many of my juniors had already come to Mumbai. When I came to Mumbai, in those days a lot of serials were being shot for Doordarshan and there was a need for new actors who are also capable.

father never imposed his idea

Rajendra Gupta’s father Jai Bhagwan Das had a woolen cloth factory in Panipat. Rajendra Gupta says, ‘My father was a very hardworking person. My father was the founder member of the industry that started in Panipat. My father was such that if the children wanted to do something by themselves, he would not impose his views on them. He used to say that you yourself are wise, see how to do? When I used to study in NSD, my father himself used to come to see him. The brothers definitely felt bad that there is so much work here, they do not know what you are going to do. At that time no one knew about NSD, plays are also taught. It was strange to hear this.

decreased interest in studies

How did you become inclined towards drama? On asking this, Rajendra Gupta says, ‘I do not even remember myself exactly how the inclination happened. Our teaser stood out in the annual program in the school. I was in seventh grade. The teacher had got a play done on ‘Maharana Pratap’. He was very young at that time. I didn’t have that much understanding of plays, but it was great to work in drama. After that, when he came to the college, he continued to participate in the annual program there too. After coming to college, I started feeling less in studies, often I used to fall asleep while studying. But I used to enjoy it when I used to play. There were some seniors from my college, they advised me to join NSD. After that drama became life.’

got the first break like this

Rajendra Gupta is one of the artists of the era when the batches of NSD artists had started coming to Mumbai. Recalling those days, Rajendra Gupta says, ‘There was work and name in the theater, but after four to five years it seemed that you should earn something. There is social and family pressure, but there is also a need for oneself. I had such a personality that I never went to ask anyone for work, nor could I make good friends. I came to Mumbai in June and in August I got an opportunity to work in a serial ‘Kahaani’ of Doordarshan. At that time the serial ‘Rajni’ used to come on Doordarshan, also worked in three to four episodes, after that Sudhir Mishra’s film ‘Yeh Woh Manzil Nahi’ was found.

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