In search of a platform

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It has never happened to me. I have never forgotten a step on stage ever before,” says Purab Kohli who has been recently evicted from dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa 7 and sounds surprised at his early exit from the show.

 The actor admits that he “started dancing at a very young age” and he has also performed choreographed dance shows along with his cousin.

“But all that stopped at the age of 13-14. Even in movies, all that I danced was for a small sequence in 2009 and thus accepted Jhalak.... How could have I said no to an opportunity where I was allowed to dance for three months and someone was paying me for it,” he says light-heartedly as the dismay at being evicted from the show makes way for a candid chat.

Purab agrees that he also lost out in the number of votes since it he has been away from television for a long time. 

“I have always been open to television, but have just been very selective. Till now I have done some good work and, though it has been small, yet worth remembering. It feels so good when I go to smaller towns for shoo­tings and people remember me from Hip Hip Hurray which I did 16 years ago and has become a benchmark. One has to decide what work one will enjoy.” Given this one can gauge that he is absolutely in love with advertisements, for be it Nescafé or Lenskart.com, Purab is everywhere!

“Ads do get visibility, but one cannot compare the euphoria that a film crea­tes to that of an ad campa­ign,” says Purab who feels that his small yet significant part in Farhan Akhtar-starrer Rock On!! was more relevant. 

All set to be seen as the “main protagonist in Tere Aane Se” opposite Rituparna Sengupta, the actor feels that it is important to take a script if it gives you what you want. 

“I decided to be an actor almost after seven years of being in the industry. When I became an actor I was 18 and felt good earning extra buc­ks from acting,” says Purab whose father used to be a filmmaker till 1981 after which he turned into a hotelier. 

On his way to become a pilot, Purab landed into acting and never got a chance to plan his career graph. “I used to attend college from Monday to Friday and go for shootings on Saturday during Hip.... I realised that people enjoyed watching me on screen and I did have a certain goal but never thought of it seriously at that age. I always took up acting which challenged me and gave my best,” says the actor who recently received appreciation for his film Jal.

“I knew it is a film where I had the opportunity to do well and for which I will get adulation. But had the film been given a chance at distribution, it would have gone to a different level,” says Purab who hopes that the “changing cinema in India” will not let him be just an “alternative guy” in mainstream films. Till then, whatever he accepts will be based on “both mauka and majboori,” he laughs out loud. 

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