Anuj Gurwara may have a finger in every pie, but manages to pull out a yummy plum every time, writes
Rolling stones gather no moss’ goes the axiom. ‘But it gets a shine’, some like to add. But Anuj Gurwara wants to rephrase it in his own way, ‘Rolling stones gather no moss, it gets a shine and also goes places.’ This, he says, from his own experiences where he dabbled in everything — from theatre, films, emceeing, VJing, RJing, playback singing, dubbing, hosting TV shows and finally getting to debut in five different ways in S.S. Rajamouli’s Makkhi, the Hindi version of Eega. Thoda haske
Makkhi is releasing today and Anuj didn’t see it coming his way until one day music director for the film M.M. Keeravani most popularly known as Kreem asked him to sing the Hindi version of Lava lava. “I had sung lava lava in Telugu for Eega and Kreem sir asked to sing the Hindi version as well. But that wasn’t the high point for me. I was taken aback when Kreem sir not only asked me to sing but also write the dubbed version for Koncham Koncham and a song for the end credits which was sung by Kreem sir’s son. But my stars were shining bright, my excitement was to continue; Kreem sir, his wife, Valli mam and Rajamouli sir said, ‘write the dialogues in Hindi, dub for them and also see what can be done to organise the dubbing for the entire film in Hindi. I couldn’t believe my ears.” Without wasting time I got onto the job. I wanted to do a perfect job as the three of them gave me the project with a lot of confidence and trust. I had the Telugu script with dialogues roughly written in English and I sat on the job for four days taking care to see that that the lip syncing was perfect. By the way, reviewers from Bollywood tweeted that Makkhi’s dubbing is near perfect,” says an elated Anuj.
Once the writing part was over, Anuj got on to do the dubbing. This was done entirely in Hyderabad and he wanted to use and promote local talent. In the process he says he discovered a voice talent pool in Hyderabad who knew the modulations, the emotions and the highs and lows of dialogue delivery. Anuj says he fell back on the theatre artistes in the city and was overjoyed when Rajamouli insisted that the dubbing be done in Hyderabad. “What best way to show our talent pool than a movie like this? It was difficult to decide whom to keep and whom not to,” says Anuj.
So has it been this rosy for Anuj always? How did or does he handle disappointments? “The first time I was disappointed, I was just beginning my career. I did playback singing for a film and when the movie released I went to watch it. I was super excited that I will see my credit and hear myself on the screen. The song came but it was not my voice. I was thoroughly disappointed but I didn’t let that feeling last for long,” he says. Life is too short to waste over disappointments and negativity he feels.
Without wasting time he got back with his usual work and years later went on to sing Panchadhara bomma from the super hit Magadheera. “I have no set designation for myself, I love to entertain and that’s what I have been doing ever since in school. Give me a microphone and I don’t need to be pushed to go on stage,” he recollects.
Living up to his nautanki image all throughout school and college where his first brush with theatre happened, it was not a surprise when Anuj decided to be an actor and went to sapnon ki mahanagri — Mumbai. “There I did professional theatre and returned to Hyderabad after a couple of years. In 2004, I made my debut as an actor in Shekar Kammula directed Anand. I got noticed with Anand, but after that it was a lull. Just as I was beginning to regret my return from Mumbai and become restless like all youngsters, I had the chance to become an RJ,” says Anuj.
From 2004 to 2012 Anuj has indeed come a long way and he feels it isn’t enough. He has an answer to all those who feel he dabbles in too many things because ‘he lacks focus,’ “I would say, as long as I am entertaining, I am happy,” he smiles.
When Anuj became the voice to reckon on radio he also had to let go the same profession because he wasn’t comfortable speaking in Telugu. Interestingly enough, Anuj after a few years is doing playback singing in Telugu. After debuting with Anand, Anuj acted in about 30 films and is still a sought-after name for live shows in India and abroad. Anuj who now shuttles between Hyderabad and Mumbai says his work keeps him connected to both the cities and the reason he shifted to Mumbai is because “the city is the hub of all activities and this is where the real action with regards to events and shows.” Besides shows, events and playback singing Anuj is also hosting a travel show. He travels to different states of the country as part of an adventure series.
On one of his latest profession
I write songs and I have a huge pile of songs which I have written since my college days. I plan to bring out an album one day and I never in my wildest dream thought I would write a Hindi song for a blockbuster like Makkhi. When Rajamouli asked me to write the lyrics for an entirely fresh track I was over the moon. I got to pen two tracks besides lending my voice for Nani in the movie. With me getting into dubbing, I hope and wish to streamline and organise the dubbing industry and create a voice pool which can be tapped by the industry.