Perfect comic timing

Rajpal Yadav is an actor with an unbeatable comic bone, writes Shilpi Madan

He had us in splits over his brilliant humorous camaraderie with Varun Dhawan in Judwaa 2 and again in Mr Black and Mr White where he played a mad duo — in a Bengali character, and a doctor. Meet Rajpal Yadav, the actor with the unbeatable comic bone, who has been regaling us with his stellar performances in Main Madhuri Dixit Banana Chahti Hoon, Pyar Tune Kya Kiya, Jungle, Kick 2....

“I have exploited only 10% of my talent so far, 90% is still latent within me, to be maximised upon,” he says with a smile. “I am yet to deliver work that will be worthy of being included in a library of noteworthy films. Honestly, if Jurassic Park can be made, then why not Rajpal Yadav’s say, Rhino,” argues Rajpal, in his signature style.

Hailing from a small village, Kundra, near Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Rajpal attended the renowned Bhartendu Natya Academy in Lucknow to begin building his career in acting. He moved to Mumbai to try his luck in tinsel town in 1997. “I am a well-known struggler today, as I always believe that true acting begins once we leave the four walls of the school and move out in the real world,” he laughs, brushing aside his sizable volume of work on the silver screen with a casual wave of his hand.

He has starred in Hungama, Waqt: The Race Against Time, Garam Masala, Chup Chup Ke, Phir Hera Pheri.... Politics and acting went hand-in-hand for him as he set up his own political outfit to better the lives of those less blessed than him. To his credit, Rajpal has been instrumental in giving his own village a facelift in terms of better roads and infrastructure. “It is all about valuing your own culture, your roots and your country. I am deeply knitted to my family, my village and make a point to visit it as many times as possible every year, my work schedule permitting.”

Mind games

“I have been a kabaddi player since I was a child.” he shares.” Now of course, the hectic film schedules and the demand for guarding my face against scrapes makes it impossible to play the game in real life,” he laughs. “But I do play it in my mind. Like every other person, even I have experienced ups and downs in my life, but I have emerged more resilient and determined,” says Rajpal.

Isn’t he looking at working in a web series in the near future? “Of course. That is one medium I am keen to explore now, possibly in the form of a laughter series titled ‘MRK‘ (Manoranjan Kumar). Web series is one form of expression that allows you to tell a story in three minutes, 30 minutes, 300 minutes — as your heart desires,” he smiles.

A workaholic, Rajpal Yadav believes in balancing his work with the time he spends with his family and his three beautiful daughters. “After a long shooting spell of 30 days, even three days I spend with my family energises me tremendously. Children these days are so sharp that they can give me tuitions,” he laughs, marvelling at the ease with which his younger one busies herself on the phone.

A far cry from the inland letters that were a favoured means of slow communication during his generation.

What now? “I am a middle-aged Mowgli,” he says. “A constant explorer. As a politician, I wish to suggest a pashudhan yojana to our Prime Minister. We must facilitate the building of cowsheds along the banks of rivers in the country. This will make up for the 65 crore deficit of milk production and feed thousands of young ones,” he says earnestly. 

“I am a simple man,”confesses Rajpal. “Till date, I was happy to hear the appreciative claps of the audience as I was to hear the applause of the children and teachers each time I performed in school during my early years. I haven’t forgotten my roots,” he enthuses. That is something invaluable. He wishes to gift his children the legacy of staying rooted while imbibing in them a sound value system.

Simpleton

What’s next?” I am working on David Dhawan’s Coolie No 1, and in Taxi Mein Bhoot, I play the lead role.”

Meanwhile, Rajpal Yadav sounds the bugle. “You have seen my abhinay (acting) so far. My abhivyakti (expression of introspection) is yet to come.” We can’t wait.

 

 

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