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Beginning big screen career

After a smooth switchover from small to big screen, Amar Upadhyaya is now enjoying his stint in Bollywood.

Photo: Anu Pushkarna.

HOME BUG: Amar Upadhyaya defines himself as humble, confident and amazing.

HE WAS about to fly to United States for doing his MS in Chemical Engineering after his graduation from Bombay Institute that he happened to be present at the shooting of Crunchi, a biscuit brand from South of India. But at the eleventh hour, the leading man of the advertisement cried out. The director got crazy. As luck, rather Amar Upadhaya, would have it, he spotted him out from the crowd. And Amar, better known as Mihir of Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi fame was in, endorsing the product. It was in 1992.

The brand was a huge success in the South. Now, Amar cancelled the trip to US. He was fully into advertisement films and well, soon got entry into teleserials. "I don't know if the biscuit is still consumed but it changed my life," recalls this-27-year-old father of two children, Aryaman and Chenaab and a hubby to a computer engineer wife. Amar is at New Delhi's Hans Plaza for the promotion of his debut film Dhund--the Fog by Shyam Ramsay now showing across India.

A natural query for him is why and how this transition from small to big screen? "I was bored out of my mind doing the same character in three serials for two consecutive years. Be it Mihir of Ekta Kapoor's KSBKBT, Ram of Kalash or Akshat of Mehendi Tere Naam Ki. Moreover I never wanted to play 20 years ahead at 27. I wanted to just get out of it. When I walked out of KSBKBT, Ekta was out of town but she was prepared for it as I had hinted at it. She took it sportingly and we are still on wonderful terms," says Amar.

Why suspense film for a beginning? "Love stories have a bad record, they are risky. After Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai in 1999, tell me which love story has been a major hit? But we still remember Khiladi that happened ten years ago. Now suspense films are a better bet." And bet, he has absolutely no airs, he talks to you as a friend, goes for a long drive, comes to New Delhi "four-five times a year, stay in Green Park and eat lots of paani puri stopping the car anywhere I want. I never let myself miss the small pleasures of life."

A home bug who does not like going to discos, Amar defines himself as "humble, confident and amazing" who is all geared up for a comic role in Jodi Kya Banegi by Raman Kumar, as Vijayan Thapar in J.P. Dutta's LOC, Reema Sen's Ghost and Partho Ghosh's Aik Baar Kaho.

Ask this talkative guy about his choice of roles and he is quick to respond, "Ever since "Saas Bahu" experience, I am very careful about choosing roles. I don't want to get typecast." But why did he accept Dev Anand's Censor for an insignificant role?

"He is so great, I could not say no to him."

Looking for "some good negative roles" Amar has no plans to go back to small screen.

RANA A. SIDDIQUI

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