Is the ‘Bollywood’ dream a fatal nightmare?
Gaining popularity in a niche industry like Konkani cinema can be relatively easy, but can an artist maintain the same fame in the purported big stage in India, Bollywood. Many artistes have to face struggle, when they step into the big industry. Case in point: Anirudh Kakule, whose struggle to enter Bollywood may have led to grave disappointment. And then a tragedy happened with serious speculations that it could have led him to take his life, jumping off the Mandovi bridge The question we ask is, whether heartbreaking struggles to get a break in Mumbai are worth it for regional actors, when talent can get you fame in
Young, brilliant, well educated, a Masters in Industrial Automation and RF Engineering, a popular actor in the Konkani Cinema and a whole life ahead…
But at the end of the road to the gates of Bollywood, you are either on the verge of the pantheon of rulers of Bollywood, or you are a nobody. But in Goa, Anirudh Kakule, a local actor, was not ‘a Nobody’. In Mumbai, he became one On July 9 the young actor jumped off from the old Mandovi Bridge. It is yet unknown, but sources say that Anirudh was a struggling actor and after being rejected in an audition in Mumbai, he went into depression. Perhaps this could have triggered the suicide, according to those who knew him, though the exact cause is yet to be ascertained since no suicide note or any other evidence has been found. It is not just a one case scenario, in fact many actors, directors, producers, screenplay writers move to Mumbai exploring their career, some are successful and some are not. “Mumbai is a very fast industry, there is a lot of struggle, and hence people from Goa or any other place should come with a mindset prepared to face the consequences and the struggle. Patience is required,” says Film Director Aniket Naik. Anirudh was an Engineering student and was quite active; at least that is what his friends often noticed about him. Glory film actor Salil Naik seemed to know Anirudh well and says that he was a happy person. “I was told that he went for auditions and because of not getting selected he went into depression, but that cannot be a reason for his tragedy; I’m sure there must be more to it.” However, he explains how a person needs to stick to a place where they are known rather than go to a place where one is unknown. Salil also mentions how Anirudh was involved in so many activities. He played roles in movies like Connection and upcoming film Mental Health. He was also known for a number of Tik Tok videos he enjoyed making including one with actor Tapan Acharya. Focusing on the other aspects, there is a difference between being popular and financially stable. Being popular here is easy. But let’s be honest, popularity doesn’t give one their bread and butter or at least their jam “Not every popular actor is financially stable in Goa, so most try out in Mumbai,” states Aniket. In Goa where there is lack of Konkani cinema audience; where the producer is able to pay big stars Rs 10 to 15 lakhs, a Goan actor is not even paid 50% of it. They move to the big city. Rejection is often possible, because to be selected, to be having a demand, an actor has to maintain himself; it means physical appearance and engaging in extracurricular activities. Now that becomes an expensive affair and to have that kind of money, one has to earn well. The Mumbai film industry has become all about glamour, gossip and money… an art actor is rarely recognized. Actress Sonam Morajkar who has acted in Konkani film like MMS, 7 seven days, and Soul Curry says that actors of this generation don’t know the difference between actors and heroes. “All want to be heroes. This is what compromises their acting skills. As actors we must learn to accept failures and rejections. I too have been rejected for several films and selected for few surprisingly. And to be very honest, being an actor means disciplining oneself and having patience. Senior Konkani artists John D’silva had worked with Anirudh in the movie Connection. “He was such a nice boy; I am really sad and disappointed. If depression due to being rejected in Mumbai’s film industry is the reason, this is just not the solution for if one is depressed. We all have struggled as actors and come to the place we are today. Anirudh was very young; he had many chances and opportunities in life, but…,” he trails off Aniket whole heartedly asks Goans to be watchers of Konkani Cinema. “We need to stand by our actors and producers, encourage Konkani films among our friends, this will increase the production of films in Goa and our artists won’t have to go Mumbai to struggle. We would be like the south Indian actors who Bollywood reaches out for, due to their talent and not the other way round” As one looks at Facebook and Twitter handles of the young Anirudh Kakule, you know he will be missed. The question that everyone seems to ask is ‘Why’, while others artist Yolanda De Souza in a beautiful post writes “So many dreams unfulfilled. I dare not ask. Why Anirudh?! Why this young lad full of life and rearing to go! Suffice to say God knows best.”
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