“I was born into a humble family in Varanasi. I came as a bit of mixed news for my parents. They did get a child, but the child brought a set of problems with him. Problems which would make any new parents worry.
The doctor told my mother (right after she squeezed another human out of her body) that her son was born mute, mentally retarded and handicapped and that’s the way he was going to be for the next three years of his life. Nice guy, right? But that wasn’t it. I was not expected to “survive” beyond the age of nine and my mental capacity would always be less than what it should be. Tough day for my mom. Needless to say, the doctor was wrong. Wait, strike that.
My mother proved him wrong. She tirelessly exercised my limbs and did what only a mother could do. She gave to me life, twice. It was a miracle. A woman-made miracle. I took my first step and spoke my first words at the age of three. My parents sent me to school. I somehow managed to fail in the nursery. I bet you didn’t know that was possible. I never could find in books the thing I craved the most, even though back then, I did not know what it was. Being bullied was part of my school experience.
“Pagal”, “Seekda” and for some reason, “gay” were my nicknames in school. It’s not like I didn’t fight back. Violence is never the answer, especially, if you have the arms of a teenage beauty queen. If someone called me by a particular name, I would go back home and prepare a comeback. But I had the pleasure of being around creative bullies in my area. They never used the same insult twice on the same person. Slow learner that I was, it took me a while to get that.
I prepared a comeback every day, I seldom got to use any. But by the end of it all, I had a comeback prepared for almost every insult they could throw at me. Sometimes people call me audacious, but they don’t know the story behind it. I’m not sure if that’s the right word for it. I had developed a bit of a sense of humour in my adolescent days. (I figured if everyone else is laughing at me, then why should I not join the party?) I made friends out of the bullies who made me cry multiple times in a day. They suggested I should become a comedian. I thought I should join my school’s theatre group thinking it would help me find my way through my stage fright.
I’ll try to say this stage skills. What I found, was the reason of my existence. I found what I was looking for. I found hope. I found happiness. Being a performer gave a skinny little boy a reason to smile even when things were not at their greatest. I somehow managed to complete my schooling. Like all the other parents in India, my parents had the best for me in their mind when they suggested I should pursue engineering. I tried, and I failed. I dropped out of college in my third year and explained to my parents what I needed in life. They were supportive as ever. What I needed in life was to combine my three passions. Acting, writing and travelling became the three pillars of my existence. My passion allowed me to do 681 plays across fourteen states and two union territories. Each place had its own unique impact on me and shaped me.
I’m on a journey. A journey across India, to find it’s lost art. My aim is to do ten thousand plays across India before I die. I do plays on social issues as to spread awareness among the people. Currently, I’m walking a distance of 2,700 km from Bhopal to Jammu to revive the lost art of India which is traditional, cultural and regional art which we lost because of modernisation. so I will be discovering that art which is soulful and roots of India. And another reason is, till now my mom says “my child was unable to walk for 3 years” but now she will say “‘my child was unable to walk for 3 years but than he walked from Bhopal to Jammu in 75 days”
Submitted By – Vipul Singh
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