'When I enter a scene as an actor, the entire universe and energy revolves around me. It's my scene. After that I don't know what you will do with it. But till the time, I channel my entire energy on it which in turn contributes to the scene. I am talking about the vibe here. So, it has always been like that. That's why the work somewhere puts that hand into your chest and grabs your heart. The entire universe is belonging there at that time in that moment,' Gashmeer Mahajani shares his secret behind his performances which always hits the right chord.
As the conversation unfolds, the actor at his candid best with me, reflects upon the highs and lows in his journey so far. His inspiring words dripping with honesty and sparkling confidence hint that there are more surprises in store for the audience.
After winning hearts as Aditya Kumar Tripathi in Star Plus' popular TV soap Imlie, Gashmeer Mahajani in an exclusive tête-à-tête with Filmibeat bares his heart about quitting the show, the process which will always remain close to his heart, bidding adieu to Aditya Kumar Tripathi, future plans and more.
'If Imlie Doesn't Run After My Exit, I Would Be The Most Unhappy Person'
Q. The last three months were sort of a roller coaster ride for your fans. There were constant speculations about you quitting Imlie and rumours about creative differences in the team. There were source-based reports doing rounds in the media that as the story progressed, you gave only ten days in a month to shoot your sequences. Even your character Aditya Kumar Tripathi underwent a drastic transformation. What transpired in the last few months before you announced your exit?
A. My exit was planned two months back. The reasons for the same are best known to me and Gul Khan and I think to maintain our professional integrity, it should remain between only the two of us. Imlie is my first quintessential TV soap so it will always remain special to me. I am not saying this diplomatically; it's coming straight from my heart. I have given my sweat and blood to the show which you have seen. In return, the show too has given me tremendous things. Be it growth as an actor, visibility, reaching out to people, people being able to follow my work on a daily basis. At no point of time would I want the show to not do well on my exit.
It was a two-month long process in which I had to give it the time to stabilize with a new fresh track and gradually reduce my screen space so that once I exit the show, it can still run on its own merit and not get hampered. First of all, let's not forget that the name of the show is Imlie. You have a performer like Sumbul Touqeer who is dynamite as Imlie. People tend to forget this. Everybody is just debating about various things. One shouldn't forget that the show-runner is Imlie and she is Sumbul Touqeer. The show runs on her shoulders. It has always been running on her shoulders and will continue to do so till the show goes on. She is a tremendously talented actor. In fact, she is one of the most phenomenal co-actors I have worked with so far.
So, the show is going to run and it has to run. If it doesn't run after my exit, I would be the most unhappy person for three reasons. One because the show is very close to me, I would never want to be called or named as the reason for why the show didn't do well later. I will never want that to happen. I don't want my name to be associated in that way with that show. In fact, if the show grabs more milestones in the future, I would extremely be proud of it. Secondly for Sumbul because I have known what hardships that girl has gone through and I have faced similar hardships since the age of 16. I have come from a place where I used to distribute pamphlets and flyers at the signal to make a living and put posters on roadsides at night and from there to here where we are sitting right now. So, I know what those hardships are like. When an actor or actress of that calibre is fighting those hardships and has got a good strong steady hold in the industry now with this show, I want it to run for another couple of years for her. Thirdly, for Star Plus and Gul Khan as they made my exit extremely graceful and amicable. The platform, producer and me managed it like three mature entities and made sure that whatever we have built carries forward for a longer period of time even after my exit. So, we have handled it amicably.
That's why in the last two months, you saw gradual reduction in my screen space. It was required because one becomes habitual to seeing a particular character on screen. You can't suddenly break that habit. For that reason, you saw little changes in the character arc and stuff like that.
One speculation that I will just like to get rid of is that I gave only 10 days for shooting. Those are absolute rumours. Why would I do that? Gul Khan is a producer who provided me with everything. She paid me money on time, she paid me handsomely. She provided me with all the comforts that a producer can give an actor. I used to feel at home because the production was fantabulous. I just had to utter a word and that thing used to appear in front of me. Why would an actor want to give them a hard time by giving them only ten days in a month? That would have been extremely unprofessional. So, the real reasons for my exit are between me and Gul Khan. We have handled those maturely and we part ways on a very amicable note because nobody is suffering now. I can move on with my future endeavors and the show is running steadily. So, nobody has any complaints. It's all fine. Everybody is happy and gung-ho about it.
'Sumbul And Me Could Be Organic Because We Had A Director Like Rahul'
Q. When you talk about the character Aditya Kumar Tripathi, the best way to describe him would be 'love him, hate him but you simply can't ignore him.' On Indian television where the hero is supposed to be like Lord Ram and be always right, he did come across as a refreshing change...
A. That character was a boy-next-door. He was your husband; your boyfriend. You may criticize him but you wouldn't be able to stay without him. He was not your hero. Speaking about Aditya, forget the last three months where things got a little OTT and stuff like that, if you see his journey in the first 200 episodes, the line between real and reel will slightly blur for you because you will start getting personal with him. When you watch him on screen, you will start getting personally affected. You will be like, 'why is he saying this' just like how you would feel for your own boyfriend or husband. So, it got so real and organic after a while.
What we had been maintaining since the beginning of the show is that we are organic. I will tell you the process which we followed for the first 200 episodes that we did when we were following Leela Gangopadhyay's Ishti Kutum storyline. The crux and the gravitas of the story was all there so it could be played around by the actors. The organic thing happened because of three people. Of course, there were writers.
I will tell you the process which will always be memorable for me because we did this and we grew together while doing this. The reason why it was so organic was because whenever I used to improvise, I had a phenomenal actor like Sumbul who used to respond on the spot and add on to my improvisations. The process was like on the sets, we used to start improvising and she used to add on and we used to go on and on without leaving the periphery of the scene. In improvisations, the most important part is you can't leave the framework of the scene and do it. You cannot divert from the intent of that scene. As an actor, you just got to add flavours and nuances to it. That is what you get paid for.
To top it, I would like to mention this boy's name. His name is Rahul Tiwari. From the 10th episode till the one where we went to Hyderabad, it was Rahul who executed all the scenes on the sets. He is such a director who used to see our improvisations and allowed us to play. He used to be very eager and excited for them. The whole vibe was different which brought that organic feel. For a four-page scene, Sumbul and me used to go in one take without any fumbling, Rahul used to arrange a wide shot on one track which would follow us wherever we went. He used to place two cameras in such a way that one would cover Sumbul's entire close-up and another would cover mine. So, the entire four-page scene used to be finished in three and a half minutes in one go so that the flow of our performance doesn't get interrupted in between. That's why it was organic; it was like a play which was being shot with three cameras following us wherever we went and that was the brilliance of Rahul Tiwari who could design such shots. Without Sumbul, the organic feeling wouldn't have been there; if any actor of her calibre wouldn't have been in front of me. And without Rahul, only Sumbul and me also wouldn't have been able to do. Now he is back, from the marriage track, he has taken over on the sets. I think he deserves a lot of credit and a special mention. While parting, I would like to mention that guy's name as he deserves all the credit. He has a lion's share in that. Sumbul and me could be organic because we had a director like him who executed the scenes like that and understood the actors. It was crazy. After wrapping a scene, the kind of cheer and dancing around the scene we witnessed, we had forgotten whether we were working for a TV or a web show or a film. It was pure passion. That entire process was terrific.
'The First Rule Of Improvisation Is That The Essence And Periphery Of The Scene Is Not To Be Left By The Actor'
Q. On social media, you often had people dissecting scenes and giving constructive criticism about your character Aditya Kumar Tripathi. One such feedback I came across was that some felt during the last few months, at times your improvisations/modulations misled the audience in a certain way. For example take the scene where Malini accuses Imlie of stealing jewellery. One could see an array of expressions on your face ranging from dismay, frustration to anger. The audience was awaiting for your character's outburst which eventually didn't happen in the next episode...
A. I wonder how can a particular reaction be misleading? (laughs). See, I will explain it to you. If one is looking at me and if it doesn't make sense to me and I am giving an intense look to that person, there must be an array of emotions and thoughts which might be going in my head; a mixture of which is coming as an intense look in my eyes. I feel it adds to the unpredictability of the character. If the scene ended there, were you not waiting for the next episode to see what Aditya will do? So, how can one call it misleading? It's called unpredictability and that unpredictability is something which keeps you hooked to the screen. I feel there is always a more interesting way of giving a shot. There cannot be a right or a wrong way of giving a shot. There's nothing like that. Now you expect Aditya to behave in a certain way and he flips and behaves the other way, you can't take it personally. It can happen like that. He is an unpredictable man.
When it comes to people saying that I mislead by improvising at times, I would tell them that we are trained actors. We don't randomly improvise without sticking to the script. The first rule of improvisation is that the essence and periphery of the scene is not to be left by the actor. The intent of the scene should not change. Improvisation is only a more interesting way of the actor to bring out the scene.
'My Life Has A Lot Of Other Colours In It And It Can Be A Sum Up Of Everything'
Q. Recently you had posted a very interesting tweet that read, 'UNTHREAD-UNPLUG-DETACH-CUT-GONE'. What was that about? Was it your way of bidding adieu to the character? You know there were a lot of speculations around it...
A. It was not cryptic or anything of that sort. Just because I am a part of a show, people have to stop assuming that my entire life revolves around it (laughs). So if I post something or say something, it's not with respect to one show I am doing. My life has a lot of other colours in it and it can be a sum up of everything. But obviously it had certain elements of that show because at a point if you have taken a decision that you are going to quit after a while, there are attachments. Obviously you have given a lot and the show has given you a lot. Similarly in life too, there are many people that you are letting go from your personal space as well. So, there were a lot of mixed emotions in me at that point when I was tweeting that. It was not just related to the show.
Actually, a friend of mine had given me this chant. He told me to keep chanting 'Unthread-unplug-detach-cut-gone' for the mixed emotions that I was feeling at that time. So even when I was shooting, sitting at home or gyming, I used to chant this for anything that I am losing from my personal space which I am attached to, parting ways or distancing from myself. Unthread which means you need to unthread the deep attachment, unplug which means to unplug all the currents or energies that is flowing between you and that thing or particular project or person. The third process is to detach which means stay in yourself; don't keep clinging to that thing. After that, the next process is cut which means it doesn't exist and lastly, gone in the wind (laughs).
So, I just wanted to put out that chant in the universe. Everybody in this world is having attachment issues on a daily basis; it's just that you don't realize that and end up being so miserable. So for all of them, here's the thing- 'Unthread-unplug-detach-cut-gone'. (laughs)
My mom always says that if there are 100 people who are going to love you like crazy, there is always going to be 10 people who will unnecessarily abuse you, say bad things about you, speculate about you and everything. She calls them the 'kaala tika' on my career. So, she advises me that I should always respect these people and be thankful to them. They are needed to ward off the evil eye from my success and career. So, I like these 10-20 kaala tikas who are always there and saying bad things about me because nobody can stop me from being successful. I feel they are also a part of my army. They are making sure that 'kisi ki nazar na lage' so they say bad things about me. So, I give a lot of respect to them and I want them to be always a part of my life. (laughs)
Q. You always say that you lend your personality to every character that you play on screen. Be it Aditya Deodhar from Bonus or Aditya Kumar Tripathi from Imlie, they have a bit of Gashmeer in them. Probably that's why most people felt like nobody could play Aditya Kumar Tripathi like you. Hypothetically speaking, let's say in future, if the makers continue with the character and bring in some other actor to play him, what do you feel would be the most challenging thing for that person? You have been with this role since the time of its inception so we know him inside out. But now if somebody new steps into your shoes, he might have to go through a lot of comparisons.
A. First of all I think anybody, whenever he enters, shouldn't take it up as a challenge. Again he should use my chant- 'Unthread-unplug-detach-cut-gone.' He shouldn't look back at what has gone. So the only thing he can do is just come in with his own confidence, own aura and give his personality to whatever is fed to him at that time because that would be a new journey for Aditya Kumar Tripathi whenever and if he comes back. That's all he can do. Recently I had put up a tweet that read, "Questions: Doubt-fear-insecurity-enmity-sabotage-failure. Only Answer: Confidence.' So I would give him that advice that if you have fear, insecurity, uncertainty, the only answer to everything in life is confidence. So let him come with his confidence and do his thing without thinking about what the previous actor did. Why bother about comparisons? If you have your own confidence and aura, after a period of time, you can make your mark.
Now speaking about lending your personality to a character, I think that's how a process is always for an actor. I recall a very senior actor who is considered as God of acting in India with whom I had done theatre workshops, had once told me, 'Gashmeer, remember you always stay the same person from within irrespective of the clothes that you were; be it that of a businessman, peon, taxi driver or a gangster'. In fact, I had improvised this dialogue in Imlie as well where Sumbul's character expresses her insecurities to AKT. That actor told me that the day the person residing inside me changes, I will become a dishonest actor and then that would be as good as mimicry. I believe in that thought process and that's why the character gets my personality. That's why whenever an actor performs, you feel that nobody else can pull it off like him for that time because he lends his personality to it without making two characters look similar. That's the craft. That's what you practice and train for. I believe every actor should lend his personality to the character. There's an ounce of you in him; you just need to find it.
'What Can I Take Away From Fictional Characters? It's The Actor Who Lends Them Flesh And Blood'
Q. You also say that you have no takeaways from the characters that you play on screen. What's the reason behind the same?
A. How can there be a takeaway because you have given something to the character, you have built him! When I do a film like Sarsenapati Hambirrao wherein I play two roles that of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj wherein I have read about these characters and wore clothes like them and felt that entire aura after the makeover which took over two-two and a half hours daily, I can take away from them because they were real people. So if I am playing them, there are takeaways. Now what can I take away from Aditya Kumar Tripathi (Imlie), Raghav Shastri (Deol Band), Raja (Dongri Ka Raja) or Shrikant Mhatre (Shrikant Bashir)? They are just a figment of somebody's imagination. They are visible only when I play them on screen. So, what can I take away from these fictional characters? There were just few lines written about them on paper. It's the actor who gave them the flesh and blood. Like speaking about Aditya Kumar Tripathi, I always wanted him to say 'hum'. He never addresses as 'main'. I will tell you where did that come from. A lot of my relatives reside in the northern part of India. One of my sisters is married to a sardar. There, all the kids when they were small, addressed themselves 'hum'. It used to look so cute, royal and graceful. Imagine a small five-year kid saying 'hum aapse baat karna chahte hai'! It was lovely to hear that. There was a self-pride in it but it also contained innocence. So, when this six-feet guy (AKT) lovingly says, 'hum keh rahe na hum tumse pyaar karte hai,' I find it very cute. My character always used the word 'hum'. So all these nuances were actually given to him. So when this character doesn't exist in real life, what can I take away from him? I believe when somebody says they have a takeway from the character, they might be referring to a grave incident that they might be showing in that film, they might have taken that experience from the character. Maybe, you take away something from that character's journey. Not just physically but even emotionally, how can I take something from a character when it's me who has given him all the emotions unless it's a biopic? You can takeaway something when you are playing a real-life character.
'Some People Might Think That I Am Arrogant But It's Not That; It's Just Confidence And I Deliver'
Q. Like they say, life is all about ups and downs, what's the harshest lesson that you have learnt so far?
A. I feel it's each man to his own. I believe whatever you create or make out of your life, it's you who have to stand up and make it. Nobody is going to do it for you, nobody is going to fight your battles. I follow the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Her book 'The Fountainhead' is my Bible. You should recommend it to every reader of your interviews and everybody who is watching my work. Ayn Rand's philosophy was that a man's craft should always be put in the highest tent. There should be no room for fake humility. Be humble, be nice to everybody, take a team, work and go ahead. But you have to believe that you are making this possible. Because if you don't believe that, then you won't be able to make it possible. If you don't make this possible then you are not going to set another target and goal in front of you which is going to take you higher. When you go higher, there are going to be hundreds of people coming with you who are going higher with you eventually. You are going to benefit from that. To achieve that, the first thing you got to believe is that it's me who is going to do this and you have to admit it. That's very important. That's something what I learnt from the first moment when I was 15-16 year old and we faced a financial crisis. Our house was mortgaged. It was just me, my mom and my sister living together and I had just passed my 10th standard. We had a loan of around Rs 55 lakhs. 17-18 years back, that was a huge amount for us at that thing.
So for me, from the age of 16-21, I only worked. I started an event management company, a dance studio and did events pan India. A lot of people helped me at that time. There were a lot of CEOs from multinational companies who trusted me who was a young kid and started giving me bigger events. My attitude of 'I am doing this and it's me who is going to do this' comes from there. If I didn't have that confidence, I wouldn't have survived. It's a competitive world. So Ayn Rand says, the biggest sin in the world is incompetence. I follow that. So, all these things have come from that journey where's it's do or die. You need to set higher benchmarks in your life. Twenty years later when you look down the line, you should be able to say that people have been inspired by your journey. This is very important and I believe that's the hardest lesson what life has taught me.
Many a times in the industry, I hear people saying 'he is arrogant'. Some people might think that I am arrogant but it's not that; it's just confidence and I deliver. You can be sure that Gashmeer will always deliver. Why is the crew happy if I am there? It's not because I am very nice to them. No, it's because you know that a scene which might take four hours is going to be done in one and a half hours and done at an impeccable level. It's the confidence which transpires and creates a vibe around hundred people. I always enjoy that brimming vibe. It's these vibes which make good projects.
'It's All About Being At The Right Place At The Right Time'
Q. You did only one Hindi film (Dongri Ka Raja) in your career. After that, why is it that you never took up another Bollywood film?
A. It didn't turn out the way it should have been. There are so many clichés in that movie. I had signed up that movie after hearing the one-liner for it which was very nice. We read the whole detailed screenplay and dialogues one day prior the shoot and at that time, I realized that it was not what I thought it should (laughs). I realized that I couldn't back out of it at the last minute since we were to kickstart the shoot the next day. So, I completed shooting the whole film. However, it had some really good songs which are extremely underrated because they were not promoted well. You had phenomenal people like Raju Khan (choreography), Mehboob (lyrics) and Ranjit Barot (music) associated with those songs. I would say that was the only saving grace. It could have been a better film any day. The one-liner was beautiful. It could have been a very nice, organic and rustic film in the realistic zone. After that, doing a film just for the heck of it didn't make any sense to me. Having said that, I do approach directors, met them. Sometimes, I think it's all about being at the right place at the right time.
Q. Speaking about Shrikant Bashir, while the series was executed well and had some good performances, I just felt that it had too many episodes which came across as a bit tedious for me...
A. The reason behind it was that it was first made for television. Shrikant Bashir was supposed to be a biweekly show on TV. Later, the channel thought that it was a perfect web series material. But by then, we had already shot for 12 episodes and it was necessary to shoot the remaining 12 episodes to complete that story. We couldn't have written the whole stuff again. So that's why that web series had 26 episodes. It was slightly unfair for the entire time also. However they completed it and gave it. Next, they commissioned the second season featuring only eight episodes. Unfortunately, the lockdown happened and that project had to put on the backburner. During the lockdown after eight months, I realize that the only industry which is working is the TV industry (laughs).
Q. But your stint on television did help in increasing your reach as an actor not just in pan India but globally as well. It is overwhelming to see that kind of love pouring for you. Even for your upcoming Marathi film Vishu, people are asking for subtitles now so that they can watch it even if they don't know the language..
A. It will release with subtitles. They should also look forward to the Hindi web show which I would be doing. I can't talk much about it right now because everything is currently under the process. But I will start shooting for it most probably from March. You will hear the official announcement for it once we finalize all the things.
Q. In future, would you ever see you taking up a TV show again or is it bidding adieu to the medium forever?
A. No, not at all. If some good script comes my way, I will definitely take it up. But with a lot of clauses this time (laughs). Initially, many people had warned me against doing television even when I took up Imlie. But my working style is my working style. Irrespective of the medium, I will come and work.
'Aditya Kumar Tripathi Was Like A Dear Brother Of Mine; We Shined Together, Created Together And Later On, I Had To See Him Go Down'
Q. After playing a character for so long on television, were you emotionally attached to it?
A. Yes, definitely. I was attached to the character, a few people on the set and the cast and crew. Sumbul and I have practically grown together for twelve months. We had a lot of fights in the sense where I used to scold her by saying 'aisa thodi karte hai' and then she like a small kid, would get upset and go to her room. Then, thinking that I might have scolded her too much, I would go to her room to cheer her up only to find her playing games on her phone. Usko koi farak nahi padta. She forgets after five minutes. She is like one of those kids in school who become habitual to their teacher's scolding. She has become a 'dheet' like that (laughs). So, we had that kind of an attachment. We worked for 12 hours a day.
Q. So, was it difficult for you to let go of it? Is it tough for you since you are still in that process?
A. Yes, I will admit that. It's a little difficult. I am a human being after all. Even if I put it out in the universe as 'unthread, unplug, detach, cut and gone', it's not that easy when you have built a character, you have sustained it for a long period of time and then you have let it go down because you are planning an exit. It's like a very dear brother of yours whom you have seen shining, made him shine and then seeing him in his downfall and then eventually vanishing off. Imagine how hurtful it must be! So, Aditya Kumar Tripathi is like that dear brother of mine. We shined together, created together and later on, I had to see him go down. So, it's emotional for me.
But one also needs to understand that this is pure business and the show has to run. The show has to run for the 200 people who are putting in their efforts for 12 hours every day. I will only wish the best for them and for Gul Khan. For the show to run and the new track to sustain after my exit, Aditya has to be completely wrong for Imlie if Aryan has to be completely right. These are basic scripting rules. If I was writing this script, I would have done it the same way. So in the last one and a half month when the decision of my exit was finally made, that is when they made changes in my character and I was okay with it completely.
'My Tenacity As An Actor Has Increased With Imlie; This Show Gave Me A Lot'
Q. Gashmeer, right now, this is the best time to be an actor. The lines are slowly blurring, pan India is the new thing. You have actors from south foraying in Hindi cinema and Bollywood actors working in their industry. With the advent of OTT, people are watching every kind of content out there. Amid this, how are you planning your career? How are you carving your journey from here?
A. To be very frank, I have not thought about it. I have got an opportunity now to step up a little bit from where I am and I am grabbed that. I have always followed one mantra in my life- till you get the work what you want, you do the work that you get and you do it to the best of your capacity. When I started Imlie, many folks from the film industry had called me and told me that I wouldn't be able to do TV for more than two months. But I did manage to do it for a year and now I hear people saying that it was something new on television. See as an actor, I had never planned to come to come on TV. I always wanted to do films, web shows and theatre. I did it in such a way that let's say maybe there are 50 people out there who might say that they are least bothered about what I did on TV, but then you also had 150o out of the 2000 people who felt that show is organic. So, a little bit of the difference was made even in the work which I got. It was not the work which I wanted to do. I had to do it because that was the only work which I was getting at that point of time. So, that's a positive thing. So, by achieving such small-small milestones, you reach a place, like I told you before, these fours years are important for me. In these four years, I will take up the work which comes my way. I will do it in such a way that after that period, when you come to interview me, I would be able to tell you that my specific plan of action. Right now, I have to go with the flow. Beggars are not choosers but the way you do it, you should be confident about it. You should take up whatever comes your way, lend your personality to it and leave a mark.
I remember saying in one of my old interviews that when it comes to TV, fans are transitory. Speaking about it, it was obvious because every day I used to meet them on screen in their living room at 8.30pm. But from this also, out of 100, there might be 40 people who were not there because they saw me everyday at that time; they were getting affected by what is this guy doing.
So, I took those people with me. Now, they will watch my next web show. Toh aise judte judte caravan ban jaata hai. The process has been very tedious for me as well. For last entire one year every night, I have asked for a screenplay. Every night, I have read the entire screenplay for the next day for the episode which was to be shot. I have spent at least one and a half hours to two hours every night on this for 365 days. It's a very lengthy process.. I am just talking here about my process as an actor. If that sincerity reflected in my work, it's because I worked on it every night for two hours. So, my tenacity as an actor has also increased with Imlie. This show gave me a lot. It was like a net practice for me. Now it's easy for me to do web shows because you get a bound script where you know the start, middle and the end. So, Imlie has been a good journey.
Meanwhile, till the time I don't get the work I want, I have to take up whatever comes my way and make a definitive mark that Gashmeer Mahajani was here. That is how people who don't have contacts in the industry move ahead. There are many actors who have got success after 21 years of struggle. You just have to keep working. Self-belief, self-confidence and self-help is the cornerstone of every journey.
'Not Praising Someone Is Fine But Bashing Someone For Being Good Is Some Kind Of A Sickness'
Q. Sometimes it is seen that some people fail to appreciate other person's work despite the latter doing a good job. Does that affect you?
A. If there is somebody who believes that they are good and the other person believes that they are not good, it reflects on them, that's why they get angry and call him arrogant. Not praising someone is fine but bashing someone for being good, for saying that yes, I did this well and I am proud of it, is some kind of a sickness. In Sadhguru's language, it's a sickness that you cannot see the good in anything. You can't see anybody admitting that they are doing good and they are improving and they are proud of it. You get affected by it. You get deeply disturbed by it. Whereas if you are not a sick person, you would motivate and appreciate if somebody is doing good work. A healthy person would react by saying, 'Accha yeh tune kiya, arey yeh bhi tune kiya, oh lovely! Proud of you man. Keep doing this and go ahead in life.' On the other hand, a sick person's reaction would be like 'Oh, he is very arrogant. Just talking about himself. Oh god, yeh girna chahiye neeche.' I wonder what kind of negativity is this! When somebody is confident about himself, it makes you feel bad about yourself. Such people don't matter (laughs). These things will not change. It's been a part of the society for thousands of years. You need such sick people if you want to be healthy because they give you a sense that this is what I don't want to be in my life.
Remember the dialogue from 3 Idiots? 'Dost fail ho jaye toh dukh hota hai, lekin dost first aa jaye toh zyada dukh hota hai'. That's normal tendency. If I am told that despite doing good work, people have bad things to say or if they mistaken what I say for arrogance, I would say that leave these people. They will always be there. Like my mother says, 'Yeh mere career pe kaala tika hai. Mere career aur raftaar ko nazar na lage toh aise log chahiye.' (laughs). That's okay. Let them keep talking crap but I will speak the way I speak. Because that's how I live and that's what has brought me here.
I believe you should be outspoken. 'Zindagi mein woh hi aadmi aage badh sakta hai jisko samjh main aaye ki kisse kaise baat karni chahiye.' The choice of words, framing of sentences changes things. This is what I have learnt in my formative years. It made me realize that you have to deal with everybody in a different way if you have to take them together and move ahead. This is the very way of my existence and a part of my personality. If I wasn't this way, I would have sunk into depression, become bankrupt and would have never been able to do the work at the magnitude at which I am doing now. This was my survival instinct. Initially I started portraying fake confidence but later on when I achieved whatever I said with my hard work and proved it, that confidence became real. Today when I say that I do things and I will do it like nobody else can, I know what I am saying. I have worked hard for it. That's how I have survived.