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Candid conversations

Harshikaa Udasi
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chat Boman Irani on hosting the second season of the talk show, ‘Teachers Achievers Club ’. Harshikaa Udasi

multifaceted Boman Irani
multifaceted Boman Irani

Is Boman Irani a photographer, a theatre actor, a thinking guy who has broken existing moulds of ‘character’ artists in Bollywood, or just someone who has meandered through life doing everything that he could to finally find his calling?

An ‘achiever’ would possibly best describe him. Not many have a curriculum vitae that boasts so many different roles — waiter, baker, professional photographer, theatre artist and Bollywood actor – and Boman has excelled in almost all of them!

“First things first. I think there is a distinction between fame and achievement. An achiever can be an achiever anywhere; a housewife running her house efficiently can be an achiever. She is the CEO of her family and keeps the place running and its members together. Achievement is never about the millions, it’s not about the TRPs or the number of billboards your mug shines from. Achievement is measured by the yardstick of vision and the respectability you earn through it,” he says.

Boman is hosting the second season of ‘Teachers Achievers Club’ on STAR World and as part of the show, conducts hour-long in-depth interviews with achievers from various fields. The candid conversations will be dotted with video contributions from friends, family and close associates. Boman has already shot for six episodes of which two went on air recently with actor Priyanka Chopra and technocrat Narayana Murthy.

In the following weeks, he speaks to director Mira Nair, designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee and producer Ronnie Screwvala. There are 12 episodes in all, which airs on Saturdays at 8 p.m.

The man is visibly thrilled with his job. “I am on top of the world. I am personally interested in knowing about their lives because it’s truly inspiring. These people, whom I have spoken to, are doing fabulous work not just for themselves but also for the community at large and for India,” says Boman.

The purpose of the interviews is to reveal the human side of success. Through the show, the achievers will talk about their professional highs and lows, disclose personal anecdotes and discuss what it took them to get where they are and how they have maintained level-headedness throughout.

“You know the common thread running through each of them is humility. The greater the achiever, the greater is the humility. I loved what Narayana Murthy said. ‘The power of money is the power to give it’. Sabyasachi is not just a designer; he thinks about creating jobs for artisans and about keeping our cultural heritage alive. Mira Nair, for instance, is a brave woman in a foreign land. I love her mantra – ‘What Mira wants, Mira gets!’”

Boman says he likes to engage his interviewees into a conversation in his trademark style, keeping it light. “We even get their family to speak about silly things they might have done in childhood. We want to get the emotional side of the person on screen. It is all put together as a celebration of life,” he says.

The show usually ends with any one from the Proust questionnaire to give further insight into the achiever’s personality.

The effort that shows on screen is due to Boman’s hardworking research team. “All of us sit together and have multiple concepts that we put together. I am involved even in the preparations for every episode because I have to know my timelines well, the incidents that happened, the reasons behind a certain decision and every other little detail like the back of my hand. You can’t stop in a conversation. It’s like a screenplay unfolding and it requires that much of work.”


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