Audiences may know and adore him for his impeccable acting in some of the milestones of Indian cinema, and the most recently in ‘Panchayat 2’, actor Raghubir Yadav is equally versatile when it comes to other forms of creative expression.
An alumnus of the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD), Yadav has performed as an actor and singer in more than 70 plays and about 2,500 shows, travelling in caravans, living in tents and performing from makeshift stages in villages and small towns across the country with the Parsi Theatre Company.
He has been with the Rangoli Puppet Theatre, Lucknow, where he performed with glove puppets. He has also contributed to music, sets, costumes and masks.
A true artiste, Raghubir spoke about his craft, the importance of a huge risk appetite and working on projects which are aimed at children or involve working with them.
For him, music is a part of his habits. He may not always get the time to polish his vocal skills, but he does riyaaz at every opportunity that he gets. Interestingly, acting happened to him because of music.
The senior actor said, “I became an actor in the first place because of music. I have done theatre which was predominantly related to music. I was in the Parsi theatre where music was an integral part. I spent six years there (1967 to 1973) before venturing into cinema. The singers and actors there sang with their heart. That is something that I learnt and imbibed from them.”
And that holds true, the actor has composed and sang in films. Remember the song ‘Mehngai Dayain’ from ‘Peepli Live’, yes that’s Raghubir lending the razorsharp edge to the song’s poetry with his vocal chords.
In addition, he has performed as a singer and composer in films like ‘Maya Memsaab’, ‘Massey Sahib’, ‘Rudaali’, ‘Samar’, ‘Darna Mana hai’, ‘Billu’, ‘Dilli 6’ and countless TVCs.
Every artiste seeks fun in their work, the same drives Raghubir’s passion as well. But his avenue for fun is the risk that’s involved with every new creative work. He shares, “There is no fun without risk. All my life I have only taken risks. I left my home when I was young, taking a plunge without a safety net is a risk right?” he stops to check the IANS correspondent’s reaction.
Having received an affirmative response, he continues, “What matters is your intent and your vision. Success might come to you a bit late but you have to keep at it, work honestly and try your best. Persistence and perseverance are the biggest assets for any artiste.”
“I never felt that I was taking a risk. And whatever challenges I take, I see them as an opportunity to learn something new. I have always focused on learning new things. I’ll be a learner forever.”
The actor has lent his voice to the title track of a kid’s show ‘HaGoLa’ which airs on Sony Yay! Ask him what is the best thing about working in projects that are related to kids and he says, “Children are honest and very emotive. So whenever you are creating something for kids you have to trade really carefully.”
Speaking from his monumental experience, he adds: “I did ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ because I wanted to do it for kids and to create something which kids will like. You have to put in the same honesty and emotions like a kid. Words like ‘commercial’ and all the other industry jargon do not usually work for kids and all that matters is that you are responsible while creating work for the kids and you have to have a pure heart.”
Signing off, he says: “I personally have a lot of fun while working for the kids and you can see that with my works like ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ and ‘Aasman Se Gira’.”
–By Akshay Acharya