Actor-turned-producer Arshad Warsi crossed the 40-year mark on April 19 and decided to mark the day by taking a plunge into direction. The actor, who turned producer last year, says, "I have many dreams — very big ones - one of them is to become a director. This year, I plan to and am reading a couple of scripts. I am seriously planning to make realistic commercial films. It's a natural progression for me; first an actor, then producer and now director."
Presently, Arshad is reading the book Actors Turn Directors, which was gifted to him on his birthday by close friend Kabir Khan, "It's about actors all over who have turned to direction and the basic theories about why they do it and what happens when they do. It's a very interesting book."
Arshad, who has written the story and screenplay for his debut home production Kaun Bola? might also star in his debut direction. "Why not? Acting is not a burden. If you love your work, it's the easiest thing to do. My first connection was via direction. Before I acted in my first film, (Tere Mere Sapne) I had assisted Mahesh Bhatt. In fact, for Kaun Bola?, many filmmakers told me I should have directed it myself but I felt Kabeer Kaushik is more experienced and also this time, I had a lot to handle, being a first- time producer."
Other precious birthday gifts that Arshad received this year were beautiful hand-made cards from his children Zeke and Zenne. And a yearbook from his wife Maria, "She knows I love unusual and interesting gifts and always gets me unique things. This year she gave me a yearbook — a dates things that happened on particular days and every page has a little space like a digi-diary where I can write my own thoughts for the day, like my own mental log book." She also got a hat and a knife that sings Happy Birthday at the press of a button. His daughter wore the hat through out the day and sang Happy Birthday to him, while his son had fun with the singing knife.
On his special day, close friends like Mini and Kabir Khan, Roshan Abbas and Amit Ashar came over and Arshad cooked dinner for them, "I love cooking; though in all modesty, Maria is a better cook. This year, I wanted to whip up some special stuff for my birthday. I make my own dishes using and mixing my own ingredients. I made chicken korma, veg koftas abd dal-rice. For dessert, there was a lovely fruitcake we ordered from out."