Birthday Special: Anupam Kher ne Aisa Bhi Ek Birthday Manaya Tha –Ali Peter John
It was 7 march 1981. A struggling actor named Anupam Kher had shifted from a slum area to a dilapidated bungalow in Bandra in those days. No one else lived there except Anupam, his brother Raju who had just arrived from Shimla and had a temporary job in a tin factory where he was paid Rs 10 a day, Arun Kumar T.R., a reporter for Filmfare and a young cinematographer looking for better prospects. The room where these people lived reminded me of the house where some young students lived in Gulzar’s first film Mere Apne.
Anupam was still making the rounds of filmmakers’ studios and offices and found it difficult to get work. While Anupam was in a situation that he remembered his birthday, but he had no money to celebrate it. Although he also invited me to his ruins in the evening. His brother Raju, who was also Anupam’s best friend, made sure that Anupam’s birthday would be celebrated.Raju who was a good cook brought some good quality rice and some kidney beans and half a bottle of ‘Old Monk Rum’.
Our faces lit up seeing the arrangements Raju had made to make his brother’s birthday special. He was a man who was completely confident about Anupam that he would make it big one day.Anupam was telling me stories about his struggle in Bombay while Raju was busy trying his best to make rajma tastier and gave us small pegs of rum fearing that the bottle might get empty soon .
Anupam once mixed a glass of water with a beer in Shimla and was drunk after just two pegs and one of the things he said that night was, “Let’s see how long Bombay rejects me, a One day my luck will change”
That was Anupam’s last birthday celebrated in poverty. Within a year, his fortunes had changed as he had predicted on that birthday, which Bhai Raju had made memorable for him. Only three of his guests were present that night. Now he has the whole world as his guest.