BAFTA-nominated actor Adarsh Gourav says a middle-class upbringing in smalltown Jamshedpur had its advantage. It helped him experience a wider perspective of life. Gourav has received a BAFTA nomination in the Best Actor category for his starring role of Balram Halwai in “The White Tiger”. Balram is a lower-class boy from the backwaters of Bihar, who moves to swanky Gurgaon. Adarsh, who did his schooling in Jamshedpur, subsequently relocated with his family in Mumbai.
On the advantage of being middle class, Adarsh said, “I think the fact that you do not get everything in life that you want, and how to deal with it (is an advantage). If I give a small example, at the age of nine, if I wanted a pair of Nike shoes, I wouldn’t get that because either there was no showroom of Nike back then or my father thought it was an unnecessary expenses. It wouldn’t have been the same with a boy from a wealthy family. Not that I was upset or anything but we always knew what we could afford and what we couldn’t. Having said that since my parents had a huge passion for travelling, we would go on a family vacation every year.”
He continued, “We did not go abroad for those vacations but in India, as child, I have travelled everywhere, and I know how beautiful my country is. We went to Himachal Pradesh, we went to Goa and also different places in South India. I felt the diversity, and whenever we travelled by train, we would chat with fellow passengers and the journeys were filled with memory.”
“I know the advantage of being middle-class. My spectrum towards life is wider because I have interacted with people from different walks of life. My compassion and empathy towards other people and their condition is more. I value my privilege of having good food, going to a good school, living in a good house and everything that my parents have given me. Honestly, I do not want to change those values,” he summed up.
–By Arundhuti Banerjee