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Getting the words right



DROPPING ANCHOR: Aman Verma turning a new leaf. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu.

EARLIER AMAN Yatan Verma would be satisfied after doing a substantial role of a man from the age of 25 to 55 in a play for Channel 9. "That is my best performance till date," he declares. Now what satisfies him most is "the cheque that I get after blabbering smartly as an anchor," he has the audacity to proclaim.

"When you write my cheque, please write it according to the amount of bak-bak I do on stage today," he requested the organisers during the launch of Sony TV's Indian Idol singing talent hunt in Mumbai recently.

But he does not subsist on blabbering alone. "An anchor needs to be well read and must have a command of the language. In India I have noticed that many anchors do not take care of their Urdu diction, nor do they try to be perfect in Hindi. They think crowing in much attempted accented English will do. That sounds pathetic on stage. The fact that I don't have a great voice pushed me to work on my language while anchoring," Aman emphasises his point after a flop stage show there.

"I couldn't have helped it. The worst part is, in most of the programmes the anchor is the last person to get the script, it happened today too. And that's why anchors get little time to prepare for a better performance than the previous one.

Towards anchoring

For Aman compering shows was not a career choice in mind. "After college I saw that most of my friends went on to become doctors, engineers and even actors. I had nothing in mind for a career, but I was passionate about theatre. So I started working towards anchoring, which I thought was different and challenging," he recalls.

To improve his Urdu diction, he would listen to Dilip Kumar's dialogues, read Faiz's poetry and Urdu literature. Though he thinks that his language is an asset, he views anchoring in India as still in its early stages.

"We don't rehearse for lack of time and freedom. Most shows are formatted. So there is little scope for creativity on stage. Everything has to be surrendered to the wishes of the organisers," he rues.

And yet he is seen in shows quite regularly. "You must know how to market yourself, be in touch with the right kind of people in the business; all for security reasons you know!"

For the same reason, watch him as the hero in the film Paigham opposite Juhi Babbar. "The film is a love story set in 1947. It is also considered Rajesh Khanna's comeback film," he informs.

RANA SIDDIQUI

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