Anupam completely understands why the students didn’t take to him immediately.
The ice, as they say, has thawed. Anupam Kher’s unplanned visit to the Film & Television Institute Of India (FTII) has established what the actor describes as a “healthy interactive equation” with the students.
Following the friendly interaction with the students, the actor now believes that he shares a better relationship with them. He says, “I think they now know that I am not a monster, and that we are on the same page.”
Anupam completely understands why the students didn’t take to him immediately. “The problem with bringing someone from the top to run an organisation is that the whole organisation looks at the new person with suspicion. And, I really don’t blame them for thinking so! I wanted them to know that I was not bringing any bureaucratic baggage on the campus.”
Anupam, who replaced actor Gajendra Chauhan as the chairperson of the institution just 10 days ago, describes his two-day long stay on the film school campus as enlightening. “I interacted with the students, told them that I have been there, taken my plays to their campus a long time ago, and felt like a part of the institution. It didn’t take much convincing because I wasn’t faking it,” he says. “The visit was actually spontaneous and completely honest.”
The veteran actor had interactive sessions with the students. Elaborating on how his stay went, he says, “I did a masterclass with the students. We also did paid homage to Tom Alter with his son who was also present,” he says. But what the actor enjoyed most was getting to know the students better. “What I enjoyed most was talking to the students, trying to understand their problems,” he says.
The actor knows there is no dearth of problems to be faced and solved at the FTII. Anupam shares his strategy to tackle these issues. “We will treat them as a part of life, not as peculiar circumstances that require special treatment. In life, there are problems every day. We get up each morning and look at the day’s work as a part of life. That’s how I will look at the functioning of the FTII — not as an institution requiring special attention but a normal workplace with normal situations to be looked into. It’s just students eager to learn about cinema. We’ve all gone through that.”