A captain abandons his sinking ship. He is court-martialed. Stripped of his badges and captaincy. His father disowns him, ashamed to have a coward for a son. The captain is mobbed; abuses hurled at him as he walks down the street. The captain is Amitabh Bachhan. The movie – Kala Patthar.
I saw this movie when I was little. But that walk of shame has haunted me ever since. And then, just last week, another actor walked into my drawing room in a similar fashion and reminded me of that scene…
Click here - The Walk
Here’s what Riit, a diehard fan has to say – “The walk in the rain – silent, yet saying so much… I almost thought; felt I was watching a Hollywood classic! The furious calm – only KKK can manage it.”
I ought to be grateful to Sunny Leone. I think it was December 2011. Everyone seemed to be talking about her, so I switched on my TV to watch Big Boss. During the break there was a promo. A carefree young lad, dressed casually, with a dhinchak ringtone on his mobile, talking to a widow, the mother of two giggly kids. Ah ha! So finally a daily that was different from all the Saas, Bahu aur Bakwaas. A soap that was reminiscent of shows like Malgudi Days – known for their simplicity and touch with reality.
I was definitely going to watch Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha, I decided. I loved the actress, Akanksha Singh – so simple and yet so elegant and beautiful and the two adorable munchkins. I wasn’t too sure about the actor though. Well, to be fair, he was playing the boy next door or rather – the boy across the street and he looked the part.
Ahh. Little did I know then, that the actor playing the ordinary-looking Mohan Bhatnagar was not so ordinary after all. In the months to come, he was not only going to play his role with aplomb, but go on to win the ITA award for the best actor.
KUNAL KARAN KAPOOR. So what is it about him that makes his fans so fond of him?
Is it his eyes that speak volumes? In their depths the viewers have seen the love and desires of a passionate young man in ssn1 and the anguish of a tortured soul in ssn2. In a show where the language of the eyes and nuances are more important than dialogues, Sudhir Sharma could not have made a better choice.
Is it because he emotes so well? Because he gives 100 – nay, 200% to his role? Because he has the vision, the focus – like Arjun, to nail every scene, every nuance, every single shot?
Or is it his humility? The fact that he’s so down-to-earth? So unassuming?
Is it because he’s a source of inspiration? The type of person a lot of us aspire to be?
The list is endless. Here’s what some of his fans have to say -
“What I like the most about him is that he is genuine and totally comfortable with himself… his vulnerability coupled with his guarding his own space – a weird combination that somehow is very endearing…and most of all, his honesty, acting genius, and dedication to his profession ..How can you not love such a person?” – Asmi.
“I luv everything about him…everything…as a person i luv ppl who give their heart and soul to their work…he inspires me as a person…he has taught me to be patient…he’s been a part of this industry so long…and after so many years he got what he actually deserves the most…YES KKK…U R THE KING..NOT JUST AS AN ACTOR BUT AS A HUMAN BEING TOO…” – Sakshi.
“I love his honesty, modesty, simplicity, his worship towards work n giving cent percent in each n every scene and movement – that’s dedication; the way he thinks that he’s not perfect or best, even though he is.” – Sah.
“He has taught us to have patience & work hard. No short-cut & it will be recognized.” – Raji.
“I just love the fact that he erases from memory any shortcoming I have or any unpleasantness I am encountering …by his mere presence on screen, his acting … the endearing manner he just enters rightfully into our hearts and warms it …nothing compares to it…” – Jay.
“For me, KKK is a complete package – I find everything abt him fascinating & interesting – on screen as well as off-screen and that’s a killer combo.” - Ishani.
Pictures – Sabsfathima
But the one quality that endears him to all of us lies in his own answer, given in a recent radio interview. When asked about the dissimilarities between him and Mohan, the character he portrays in NBT, he replied – “Mohan never gives up hope. And me being human, I do at times.”
Yes, that’s what makes us so fond of him – that he’s human, he’s one of us. Not an unapproachable star, shining from afar. Rather, the boy next door, close to our hearts.