'Television has come a long way'

Candid talk

Family legacy can sometimes be unnerving. Especially, when it comes with the heavy weight of expectations and launches multiple assaults on an individual to push him into dark corners of anonymity. It takes patience to overcome this lonely phase. Actor Ayub Khan has gone through moments of doubt and multiple failures, but after spending over four decades in showbiz, he has made peace with everything.

“It has been quite a journey. There have been some highs and lows. But it is part of
the journey. Moments of uncertainty come when you are apprehensive and your family has many expectations from you,” Khan tells Metrolife.

“You struggle to find your footing, and it becomes more difficult when the profession you have chosen is not the one you aspired for,” he adds.

The 47-year-old is referring to himself when he talks about being beaten down by expectations. Son of actor Nasir Khan who was the younger brother of veteran Dilip
Kumar, acting was the only path his family assumed their son would take. “Circumstances were such that I had to be in this profession,” he says, and is quick to add, “but looking back I feel happy and lucky to be here”.

While best remembered as the over-protective fiancée of Preity Zinta in the cult film Dil Chahta Hai, Khan has done many forgettable roles in equally forgettable movies. But he was lucky that directors like Prakash Jha believed in his craft and cast him in films like Mrityudand and Gangaajal.

“Mrityudand was definitely one of the turning points of my life because considering the kind of work behind me, Prakash Jha still decided to cast me in the film,”
he  recollects.

“As time went by, I started understanding myself and it took quite a while to figure out what exactly I needed to do. I am truly lucky to have survived in the industry,” he adds.
According to Khan, there have been several turning points in his life and one of them was to do television.

“I was doing television while I was doing films. There wasn’t any sudden shift. But it was my role in Uttaran that gave me instant recognition,” he says.

“At that point of time I didn’t know where my career was going. So I decided to take up the role and it simply worked,” he adds.

He is now seen as Maninder in Color’s Shakti… Astitva Ke Ehsaas Kii, which is about a father who is biased towards one of his daughters. He plays the father who comes from an orthodox school of thinking and is willing to go to any extent to maintain his false prestige, even if means to subjecting his own child to discrimination.”During the course of narrative, my reality will be exposed and people might even sympathise with my character,” he adds.

While Khan admits that television content has to evolve and break free from regressive and stereotypical barriers, he also feels that the medium’s popularity has grown by leaps and bounds.

“We have to appreciate the fact that television has come a long, long way,” he says.
However, he points out that television actors don’t have the luxury of being remembered for a role like film actors. “Today’s scene is forgotten tomorrow, whereas films can be watched repeatedly and one remembers a popular dialogue or a character,”
he adds.

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