Just like it’s impossible to contain wind, it’s impossible to contain Annu Kapoor too. He flows unhindered with seamless conversation, impeccable theatrics and powerful presence as he regales the motley audience of hotel staff, officials from 92.7 BIG FM, few photographers and journalists, post the press conference at Gateway Hotel. You get a glimpse of what’s in store for the lovers of Hindi film music when the radio station launches its award-winning show Suhaana Safar with Annu Kapoor in Bengaluru on April 11.
“You know it’s not music in my show but the story that has worked for the rest of India and will work for Bengaluru as well. People love stories. Research should incorporate these stories and then you bring in the rationale. Will it interest people and allow me to say what I want to?,” asks the actor-presenter and RJ whose real name is Anil Kapoor but decided to change it in Tezaab to avoid confusion with the hero of the film Anil Kapoor. In 2013, 92.7 BIG FM launched the show revolving around the theme of golden era of Hindi cinema with Annu Kapoor as its host. In his signature style the senior artiste weaves into the narrative, the unknown stories of Hindi cinema from the period of 1955 to 1985, memories of a film fraternity member — famous or obscure, actor or musician — conversation with a listener and a song on request.
But what does he consider himself? An actor, singer, presenter or a storyteller? “None of these. I am here to just serve my nation. How many of us know of Masti Venkatesh Iyengar, the great Kannada writer and Jnanpith Award recipient? I played the role of Chikkaveera Rajendra and Neena Gupta played the role of Princess Gowramma in a tele-series which couldn’t be released due to the opposition from Lingayat community. Do we know of Shivaram Karanth? We don’t know our original playwrights, our scientists, our literature but we know “aati kya khandala”. Knowing the latter is not crime but not knowing about these things is not correct either,” remarks the artiste.
He promises that his upcoming show will offer such flavours to the listeners in the city where he shot for his first film Betaab featuring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh. The film was shot in Bengaluru Palace in 1983. But that wasn’t Annu’s first visit. An alumni of National School of Drama, he had come here with plays like Mukhyamantri — directed by his well-known theatre and film director Ranjit Kapoor, who is also his elder brother — “Saiyyan Bhaye Kotwaal” and “The Zoo Story”.
The multi-faceted personality has connections with every city. He was born in Bhopal (MP) and upon learning about my maternal roots in Shivpuri in MP, he perks up and reveals he grew up there. I remind him of a conversation with a listener from Jhansi to whom he listed out each and every mohalla of the city. To another one from Kota in Rajasthan, he mentioned not just important locations but also the names of his friends, acquaintances and family living there. “I have lived all over India and such bonds have helped me through the 60 years of my life and this knowledge helps me in my show as well.”
* He has acted in several well-known films like Mandi , Tezaab,Ek Ruka Hua Faisla .
* He won National Award for Best supporting actor for ‘Vicky Donor’ in 2012.
* Annu had to drop out of school due to personal circumstances but late joined the National School of Drama.
Answer these three simple questions from Annu Kapoor to find out about your knowledge of music.
1) The village in Sholay did not have electricity. (Right/wrong)
2) Who was the first female music director of our country?
3) Name the poet who has written national anthem of two nations.