Movies

A date with Calendar!

CREATING ICONIC CHARACTERS Satish Kaushik

CREATING ICONIC CHARACTERS Satish Kaushik  

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Veteran actor -director Satish Kaushik says, “learning never stops”

Mimicking the characters of Mr. India, Satish Kaushik forthrightly bangs the table with a spoon, stating – “Calendar Khaana Laao”. Attaching music to the words, he does it twice successively, looking searchingly towards the kitchen. “People don't know my real name, they still call me Calendar.” says Kaushik.

Though the actor played the small role of a cook in the Shekhar Kapur movie, the name and the attributes have stayed with him. “I am a person who loves food. And people who love food also like to serve,” remarks Kaushik, who was in his home city for the inauguration of Calendar’s Kitchen in Rajouri Garden.

The sexagenarian actor never shies away from learning. “The passionate young individuals around me inspire me to grow”. With his latest stint as an RJ for Radio Nasha, the road never ends for Kaushik. Wearing a brown leather jacket as he points at different taqia kalams (punchlines) adorning the walls from movies like Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, Deewana Mastana, Saajan Chale Sasural and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, he talks about his love for food and experience outside the film industry.

How did Calendar get his name?

I come from a really humble background in. My father was a salesman in Delhi and used to go around Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for work. One of his dealers used to insert the word 'Calendar' illogically in between sentences while speaking. I heard this story from my father and took it to Shekhar who really liked it. Upon knowing that I have to play a cook in the movie, I suggested the name and he agreed. However, in the movie, when Anil asks me about the origins of my name and I reply that my parents wanted to keep a name in English and hence named me Calendar.

Did you have any idea about the legacy it was about to create?

It was just a small role. It was just a coincidence. The character became popular as the movie became really popular. It became popular especially among children. If you see, the movie still fits the contemporary world and appeals to the people even now.

I didn't know that it would become such an iconic character. At the time of Mr. India, I had just started and was a frustrated actor. I didn't know Calendar would take my career into the right direction.

Tell us about your personal preferences in food and cuisine and your general interest in food.

I am a food lover. If you ask my preferences, in winters I really like sarson ka saag. I love khichdi as well. My staple food include Aloo gobhi ki sabji and yellow daal and on Sundays, I usually just have rajma chawal.

You're also a theatre artist. Since people have largely associated you with comic roles, how difficult has it been to play diverse roles in theatre?

I am very happy that people have received and accepted me in different roles in films and theatre. Surely, Calendar is a popular character, but I have played Mutthu Swami, German and Sharafat Ali in different movies and people have liked me.

I did Salesman Ramlal, my play, where I had to play a serious and tragic role. A few days back I performed my new play, Mr and Mrs Murari Lal in Chandigarh and people said that I make them laugh and cry at the same time. The road never stops for me as I am a creative person. People say I have achieved a lot. But, I say I have achieved nothing. There is still lot to achieve.

You've associated with youngsters for various ventures inside and outside the industry. How has the experience been?

Whenever I see youngsters who are passionate, I feel the need to achieve more. I am at a stage when I am really open to learn. People say you should learn from your elders, but I feel the situation applies the other way round as well. I believe you need to learn from the youth so that learning never stops.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 10:48:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/A-date-with-Calendar/article16932993.ece

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