- Oct 03, 2016
- 4:50 PM
Every actor who starts with a grim struggle to make it has to find some support from his own people more than the support from those from within the industry. It is only this kind of standing of people behind even the most talented actors that has led actors to grow to the heights they have reached, I believe.
When Anupam Kher came to Bombay for the first time armed with all his qualifications as an actor, he had friends like Suhas Khandke and some others from the National School of Drama who could stand by him at a time when he knew no body in the industry and needed someone to inspire him to carry on his struggle with a name like Anupam Kher and being almost bald at twenty-six, going on twenty-seven. His parents lived in Simla and so did his younger brother Raju Kher...
Raju finally landed in Bombay to lend moral support to his brother. He knew it was not easy for his elder brother, but he also knew that his brother was very talented and had the determination and the passion to make his own way come what may.
Raju moved with Anupam and spent time living in the most unimpressive surroundings, better known as slums in Bombay but with an interesting address like Kher Nagar, Kherwadi, Kherwadi Post Office. The brothers Kher then shifted to a broken down cottage near Hill Road in Bandra. They had three other young men sharing space which was good enough for human beings to live in or at least to have a place to sleep in. .
Raju realized how tough life was for and took up a job in a tin factory in a suburb called Marol where he was paid ten rupees a day. The brothers Kher had to manage with this royal income that came out of Raju's labour. It was little or no breakfast in the morning and very little hope of lunch, but dinner was guaranteed, a rich diet of dal and rice. It was only changed to rajma and rice on the day Raju had some excess money or received his salary. If the times were very good, the dinner was preceded by half a bottle of rum which was the cheapest Indian foreign liquor available then.
Life finally showed signs of getting better for Anupam and he shifted to a place in Shastri Nagar in Santacruz, near the Lido cinema which is now razed to the ground for a Lido Tower to come up. Anupam started finding better work and their living conditions improved and after Anupam did "Saaransh", he shifted to a building called "June Blossom" opposite the St. Peter's Church on Hill Road. Raju could now own a small press of his own and I still have the letter heads he printed for me, but whatever he did, he was always at hand whenever Anupam needed him. He was the ideal support for an actor who was just taking small and big steps at the same time, slowly reaching a place that mattered and from where he could only keep aiming higher. Time was kind to Anupam and his talent and miracles started happening in his life and Raju was always a part of them. And when Anupam started his own events and television company, Raju was the man who looked after all the everyday hassles of running a company and proved to be a very good manager of men and matters. He was a brother who was also his brother's right hand man in good times and bad times. He made sure that all was fine with Anupam after which he showed signs of being a little ambitious.
He took to acting and found work because he too proved to be an actor who he accepted was not as good as Anupam but a good enough actor. He then took one giant step and took to directing TV serials and working in roles in serials that made him an actor in demand.
He may not have made it as big as Anupam and he admits that he doesn't even have the ambition to be in any kind of competition with his "amazingly talented brother". He is happy with what he is and is happier because of what his brother is today. His state of mind shows in the way he looks today, almost like a "carbon copy" of Anupam and with the looks of a man who has done very well for himself.
And if he has one big admirer (besides the many others), it is his "Bhai Sahab" who has done the Kher family proud and he says that the happiest moment in his life was when their father, Pushkarnath Kher told them how proud he was being their father a few months before he died a completely satisfied father of two justifiably talented sons.
Raju Kher is in a class of his own today and with the kind of ambition the Khers are armed with, it is still too early to say how far the younger Kher will go, but go he will and that is for sure.
"Bardaasht", "Shootout at Wadala", "Main Tera Hero" and "Dirty Boss"
"Ye kahan aa gaye hum", "Kahan se kahan tak", "Umeed", "Jeene bhi do yaaro", "Tere ghar ke saamne", "Abhi toh mai jawan hun", "Kashmakash Imtihaan", "Manzile", "Abhilasha", "Thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai", "Ek raja ek rani", "Kalidas", "Colonal michoo", "Rishtey", "Fultoo pagal hai", "Happy hamari betiyoon ka vivaah", "Taarak mehta ka ooltah chashmah", "Parvarrish - kuchh khattee kuchh meethi", "CID", "Yam hain hum" "Doli armaanon ki" and "Tamanna"
(As a Director)
"Sanskar", "Ret ka dariya", "Manzile ", "Abhilasha", "Kuch khatti kuch mithi baatein" and quiz show on renewable energy on Zee.
BY ALI PETER JOHN