Living life on his own terms
Actor-playwright Manav Kaul, speaks about his latest movie 'Trial Period', and keeping a low profile despite being big in Bollywood.
In one of the routine things that is included in actor Manav Kaul’s New Delhi visit is spending some time at Khan Market. “That place has some lovely cafés where I spend hours with my friends or writing my books or plays,” says Kaul, assuring us that he manages to go unnoticed by his fans. He further adds, “People do come for pictures but I usually don’t say no and they then leave you alone.” Kaul believes it’s not difficult to keep a low-key lifestyle for an actor like him.
“I go to different cities. Whenever I travel to Lucknow and Delhi, I go to my favourite café or take a walk. Since I am a morning person, I go for walks and there is no one to bother me. I want to live my life the way I want,” says Kaul. Kaul’s popular psychological play Ilhaam will be performed in Delhi on August 12 at Akshara Theatre. Though a popular stage person, he is seen in select roles in movies.
Some of the popular names in his filmography are Kai Po Che!, Jolly LLB 2, Tumhari Sulu, and The Fame Game to name a few, with each role being very different from the other. According to the actor, he doesn’t do too much work not because he is choosy, but instead he has his priorities clear. “I write a lot and love travelling. When I travel I am away for a month.
I don’t have time for too many films so I have to prioritise. I start doing things which I have not done before. I don’t want to get bored of acting because it’s something I love. It doesn’t bother me even if I haven’t worked for a year,” says Kaul, whose last movie was Trial Period, a family drama with Genelia Deshmukh. Both the actors were seen in a funny reel which surfaced a week ago on the internet.
“Genelia is quite fun. I am not at all a Reels person but she directed me and that’s how it came to be,” he says with a laugh. Born in Baramulla in Kashmir, he moved to a small town, Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh. Later he travelled from Bhopal to Mumbai. Kaul feels lucky to have been to so many places. “The spectrum is huge in terms of the places I have lived in when I write a story.
It has that richness that comes from living in different places at different times. I am from the pre-mobile and pre-Instagram era when I used to meet people face to face,” says Kaul, who has recently written a book on Kashmir called Rooh. An author, director, playwright and actor, Kaul wears many hats. So, where does he feel at home?
“Sitting in front of a desk, acting in front of the camera or just being in the rehearsal room gives me a sense of home. I feel that variety is what adds to the richness of life, something I have realised late in life. Everything I do complements each other. Being a director makes me a better actor, from writing I am a better human being.
I am a better human being because I travel frequently,” explains the 46-year-old. Kaul has a new-found passion for sports, having picked up badminton, cricket and most recently lawn tennis. “Roger Federer was my alltime favourite and when he retired, I felt so bad,” says Kaul, about the recently concluded Wimbledon Championships.