Gangaajal, Ab Tak Chhappan, Lagaan, the Gangs of Wasseypur cameo are just some of the numerous memorable movie acts by Yashpal Sharma. The ever so versatile actor has been in the industry for over a decade and the audiences just cannot get enough of him. Such is the quality of his art that he is loved more in Bihar than in his home state, Haryana. Here’s a look at his journey right from his rising days of school and college to all that he is currently doing for the growth of regional cinema in Haryana.
Shy school life
A Haryana born guy, Yashpal belonged to a poor family and studied in a government school. The centre of education lacked many facilities and there was no provision of learning English till 5th standard. Even the basic alphabets of the language were taught from the 6th standard onwards. The school’s ceilings leaked during rain and hence, students were given a holiday on such days. Due to lack of space, classes would also be held under the tree with a small blackboard nailed into its trunk and students seated on the ground. There was no provision of male teachers until the fifth standard. On the personal front, Sharma was a shy child and would never get into an argument with anybody which helped him have a quiet but memorable school time.
The struggling days of college
By the time he got into college, he had developed an interest in acting which started with performances in the cultural Raamleela organised in his locality. Because of his amazing acting skills, he would be specifically requested by the college authorities to take part in plays and other theatrical events. After suffering the loss of his mother, he began working outside to help the family’s financial needs. Yashpal gave tuitions, repaired punctures, cleaned utensils, etc. He would work in the day, attend college in the night and do theatre afterwards. A fan of poets like Rahat Indori, Dushyant Kumar, his first stage success came when he recited the poem ‘21st century’ in college for which he had prepared day and night with complete zeal. Moments before the performance, he had his legs trembling and nervousness swirling throughout his body. Sharma’s determination to deliver the best proved vital and he clinched the first prize in the event. Thereafter, wherever he recited that poem, it won him nothing but the first prize. His amazing hold in languages like Bhojpuri, Bihari, Bundeli, etc. was because in childhood, his neighbourhood was filled with people coming from similar states and him having acquaintance with most of them. He feels that the aforementioned languages are down to earth and reflect ‘Indianness’.
For the growth of cinema
Though he is a mainstream Hindi Cinema actor, Sharma does a lot to promote regional cinema, precisely Haryanvi, which remains an ignored entity despite being full of talent. He wishes to transform the art of cinema in Haryana someday and bring it to the forefront like its counterpart states UP, Bihar, Assam, etc. He wants to open a school and bring theatre education to the mainstream right from the beginning of a child’s academic years.
Advice to the young guns
After working for so many years, he feels it is always important to do what one is good at. It helps in achieving clarity of thoughts which is important to achieve success. He observes that the passion and determination he showed towards acting were two distinct things that helped him reach where he is today.