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Bijay Anand’s journey into oneself

Bijay Anand

Bijay Anand  

A model, actor, art dealer and yoga teacher — Bijay Anand followed his heart to reach the space of contentment

Movie buffs would know him as Kajol’s beau in the 90s rom-com, Pyaar To Hona Ti Tha, telly watchers might be familiar with his many famous outings on the small screen in the same decade and millennials would identify him as King Janak in the hit TV show, Siya Ke Ram, but few are aware of Bijay Anand’s intriguing journey from being a model and actor to chucking it all away to be an art dealer and yoga guru only to make a comeback to acting, after 17 years.

“I was modelling for almost a decade and though I was offered many leads in television shows, I declined them all,” recalls a nostalgic Bijay, adding, “It was when I was offered the show Aasman Se Aage opposite Amrita Singh that I said yes. Once I started working in front of the camera, I realised that I enjoyed it. So I did a lot of television and eventually was cast for a movie Yash, which was known for its chartbusting numbers before I signed Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha.”

Then, after the movie became a big hit, Bijay realised that he wanted to quit acting as his heart wasn’t in it. Though, the offers were pouring in given that he was fresh off a successful movie, he choose to walk away from it all. The actor reveals that he was never enticed by fame and explains, “Fame never gave me a high. Fame is maya, I knew what it was and never got trapped in its clutches. I live my life on intuition and go wherever it takes me. Something in me told me to give up acting and I just did that. It was both courageous and crazy, and I was glad I did it.”

Given his proclivity for art, Bijay became an art dealer and travelled a lot in the process (over 60 countries he mentions). It was during this time that he felt that he was losing himself in the cycle of life.

He shares, “I think the art world got to me. I was smoking, gambling and drinking, trying to find myself. Everything which could go wrong with a person went wrong – I was sleeping in the morning, was unhappy though I was successful and depressed though I was making big bucks. The biggest problem was that I wasn’t connected to myself.”

Bijay Anand

Bijay Anand  

\It was then that Bijay went to Rishikesh and found himself through Kundalini yoga. The very first class had a profound impact on him and he ended up taking a 45-day course which changed the course of his life, giving him an enhanced spiritual experience and transforming his personality.

Bijay jokes that it was yoga that lent calm to his personality which was the reason he made a comeback to acting, co-incidentally as King Janak in the serial Siya ke Ram, who was a Yogi as well as a king.

Currently Bijay is enjoying the best phase of his life doing what he loves – an actor who picks and chooses his projects, an art dealer as well as a Yoga teacher who wants to lead others onto a path of spiritual wellness, apart from teaching in diverse places like UK, China and Russia. Does all this juggling get difficult at times? “Not at all,” he smiles and answers, “Juggling is the easiest thing in world, when you surrender to your intuition. There is a cosmic dance which is perennially happening in the universe and when you align yourself to it, everything gets magical and things happen on their own.”

For someone who has experimented extensively with various facets of creativity, Bijay says that though his journey hasn’t been easy he wouldn’t have it any other way. He smiles, “It’s not been all hunky dory. Thirteen years ago I was told that I had arthritis and that it wasn’t curable. But then, I decided to take charge of my life and health and beat it completely. In yogic terms, tapas is important, because only when you sit on fire, do you shine. You become the flame which can light up a world and it all happens because of both the highs and lows in your journey.”

His advice to youngsters is very simple – if you want to be successful, do what you want to do. He details his philosophy and expounds on it saying, “Everyone conditions the young to be successful, famous or wealthy as they believe that these three ideas will lead one to happiness. Youngsters are told that being successful can make them happy. What if instead of being successful, one can aim for being happy? Your goal changes from being successful to happy and you change your focus. Life is very short, we feel that 80 years is a long time but in the play of the universe it is just a speck, why waste it running behind maya?” Currently working on multiple avenues in webseries and movies, including a Dharma Productions film and the Netflix show, Baahubali - Before the beginning, Bijay is balancing a life of love and passion and doing it exceedingly well.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 12:29:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/bijay-anand-followed-his-heart-to-reach-the-space-of-contentment/article28269342.ece

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