Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough. The best example of this is famous Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui who started his journey with a single dream “to become an actor”. He knew he does not look like an actor and also he has no link in Bollywood but only one thing he had was self-belief to become an actor. This is all about a person who believes in himself and proves that hard work never goes in vain.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui was born on 19 May 1974 in Budhana which is a residential community of Muzaffarnagar area, Uttar Pradesh, India, He belongs to a zamindari muslim family of Numbardars. He is the eldest of his eight siblings. He went to Haridwar where he completed B.Sc Chemistry from Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya. After this, he started working as a chemist in a company at Vadodara, Gujarat. He did not like his work, but he had no other option so he kept on with his boring job. One day one of his friends took him to show the Gujarati drama. For the first-time Nawazuddin acknowledged something like this. After watching this, he was completely amazed. This was something different, he enjoyed it. He thought maybe this is the work that he has been born to do but he was not able to understand till today. He immediately told this story to his friend. His friend explained that if he wants to learn acting or want to perform the theatre then he should go to Delhi.
Nawazuddin immediately left his job and moved to Delhi. There he also saw some plays, and his determination to become an actor became stronger. National School of Drama (NSD) is a standout amongst other places on the planet to get the hang of acting. Nawazuddin thought of taking confirmation in NSD. To satisfy one of the criteria for confirmation in NSD he needed to encounter some plays, so he joined a play Group, named shakshi theater group. That was the gathering in which Manoj Bajpai and Saurabh Shukla were likewise taking in the traps of acting. Nawazuddin started doing small plays. But with these plays he did not get enough money to sustain in Delhi so money was required badly, so he started looking for a job. One day he came across a poster stuck to a public toilet wall, “Security guards and watchman’s keys”. Nawazuddin contacted the employer and got a watchman job in a toy factory near Shahdara. Nawazuddin used to perform his duty every morning from 9 am to 5 pm and in the evening he used to work with Playgroup and he loved it. After this, he took affirmation in Delhi’s lofty National School of Drama which was fully facilitated. Learning acting was the priority. Nawazuddin emerged from NSD in 1996. Vijay Raj and Rajpal Yadav are passed out from same batch.
After leaving NSD, he stayed in Delhi for 4 years and continued playing street plays, theater, street play. He skits about electricity theft in many of Delhi’s premises, but from this play, he did not get enough money, so Nawazuddin thought to go in dream city ‘Mumbai’, and in the year 2000, he came to Mumbai. In Mumbai, he sought help from a senior NSD officer, that senior was ready to keep with him but the condition was that Nawazuddin would have to cook for him. He would have done anything out of desperation, Nawazuddin got ready for this too. There he worked first in TV serials, got work in 1-2 scenes, but the story ended. Now Nawazuddin started orbiting the offices of director and producers. Wherever he goes, he was asked, “What do you do?” Nawazuddin said, “I am an actor”. Nawazuddin used to get the same answer, “You don’t look like an actor.” Nawazuddin was looking for his future in the streets of Mumbai but results were same, “rejected”. Of course, due to this, he was disappointed, but gradually he got used to it. He says, “I had become habitual to the rejection that now it had no effect on me.”
When you continuously try, you will definitely get something. Same happened with Nawazuddin. He got the first break of his life in Aamir Khan’s hit movie Sarfarosh, but here he had just 40 seconds in his role in which he was a minor criminal and the police interrogate him. Nawazuddin thought that his career got started, now gradually he will get big rolls. But nothing happened, they got the same roles in each scene like thieves, waiter, beggars etc. Once he got a roll of Dhobi in Sachin Tendulkar’s Pepsi ad, “Sachin ala Re …”, for which he got 500 rupees. Recalling those days, Nawazuddin says, “People used to think that they look poor, so give them the poor roles. Nawazuddin was continuously struggling to establish a career in Bollywood. It was a very difficult time for him as no work was available for years, and when it was there, it was just a few seconds of roles. The time was running out, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, But Nawazuddin didn’t got a big break. When you try to achieve something very bad but still you can’t get it, you eventually get frustrated, same happened with him. Nawazuddin says, “There is no merit system in Bollywood, deserving people do not get work if you are not the look like the hero, then you are given unnecessary work. You are led down by your appearance.” Whenever you try to do something out of the box, world opposes you. And for Nawazuddin to work in films there was something similar in the eyes of his family and the villagers. When the years of struggle for Nawazuddin had passed, the villagers started joking, “Now even the animals are coming to the TV (discovery channel), when will you come! In such a bad time, Nawazuddin thinks of going back and leaving everything, but if he goes back, then what will he do, because he does not know anything else then acting. That’s why he decided to stay in Mumbai. Nawazuddin says, “I am not lucky, I’ve struggled a lot and i have learned that never loose hope and always work hard. Maybe you get the chance when you are least expecting it. ”
When Nawazuddin did not succeed even after years of struggle, he remembered one line of his Mother, “In twelve years the garbage day also changes, your day will also come.” And even this happened to Nawazuddin Siddiqui after struggled for 12-13 years he got a chance in the movie Peepli Live. He performed role of a journalist in the movie. This film gave him an identity as an actor. And after that he never looked back, Gangs of Wasseypur, talash, the lunchbox, Kick, Badlapur, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Manjhi – The Mountain Man were released, and he was adulated for his parts. Siddiqui showed up in a film situated in Gujarat, titled Haraamkhor, for his role in Haramkhor, he was granted “Best Actor” at the New York Indian Film Festival.
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