Anupama Chopra, “How did you come up with the ‘Aadhar Linked with the Witch’ dialogue in Stree?”
Pankaj Tripathy,” Those days, almost every service provider was SMSing me requesting my Aadhar to be linked to my account. I thought the Witch might also have her Aadhar linked!”
This is one of the numerous quips spread across interviews with various channels and Hosts which makes Pankaj Triapthy a delight to listen to. In the age of political correctness and political activism forming the narrative of most tête-à-têtes, the refreshing humility with which Tripathy answers every question is a thing to be enamoured by. And this, ladies & gentlemen, has been my latest weird bingeing habit, that is, watching this amazing artist speak.
Every movie/ series I like, I have this innate desire to brood over how it was created. This preoccupation comes from the sheer awe and my reverence of these artists. The craft of make belief is itself a hard one to master, and then there are people like Tripathy, exponent par excellence. Imagine getting a draft script which is crude in it’s initial form and creating a backstory of the character along with his convictions, however subversive. That’s where curiosity takes over and you imagine yourself being a fly on the wall, admiring, may be a certain Marlon Brando developing his Godfather character or the great Dilip Kumar turning history pages to slide into the Mughal costume for Mughal-e-Azam.
We have been blessed with fast internet and a myriad of content sites clamouring for bytes from these actors. So I opened Youtube and started watching Pankaj Tripathy speak. The first thing which strikes you, apart from his humility is his love for his craft. As if there was no other option. It was success or nothing. And that is what makes his story so endearing. Who can resist falling for a good old underdog story. Struggling from office to office for that one audition, being rejected without even getting inside that coveted room/ office, his interviews have every such details and more.
Pankaj, “ during my struggling days we did not have the casting agencies. So we went to the director’s office where the AD will half open the door and look at us for half a second and say ‘not fit’. Sometimes I feared knocking at the door of my own house, lest the Mrs say ‘Not Fit!”
2017 & 2018 have been particularly great for Tripathy. With critical acclaim and good turnovers, his movies like Newton, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Stree have been loved by the audience. And the latest Mirzapur on Amazon Prime has cemented his dominance on the digital platform also.
Another common thread in all his interviews is his fond memories of his village. His upbringing has had an indelible mark on his personality and it shows. There is a glow on his face when he speaks about learning swimming in the village pond or talking to his father about his dream of becoming an artist. I am sharing a few of his interviews here. Do check them out. Let me know if you smiled. Because I am.