A calm smile, soothing accent and regular impeccable performances on screen are factors which combine to define Rakesh Chaturvedi Om who has worked in successful and socially relevant films like Padman Kesari and Mee Raqsam. Moreover, he is also a writer, director and producer. Here is a sneak peek into his life, more specifically into his school days.
Belonging to an upper-middle-class family in the city of Kanpur, Rakesh lived the life of a common man. In school, he was a shy kid who would largely remain unnoticeable to teachers but with friends, he was unstoppable. It was an interesting journey for him where he also realised his potential for acting which he later went on to pursue as a career. Once, in a school competition, students were asked to prepare a monologue and he also participated in it. The script he prepared for the performance was based on the relationship between his dad and his uncle. Rakesh took days to prepare for the monologue and when he finally delivered the performance, it was loved by one and all. He secured the first position and was awarded an Oxford dictionary which he has preserved till date. The actor fondly remembers his friends and the good time he spent in school. Just like all of us, he feels the time flew quickly and debarred him from having more fun at school.
He was not very good at studies and when he secured 60% marks in 12th standard’s open book examination, it came as a surprise for everyone. He would bunk school to play cricket and watch movies. Once, he and his brother bunked tuitions a day before their English exam and watched three movies consecutively. He loved watching cinema and had decided to move forward towards becoming an actor but was let down by society. People threw taunts at him for choosing such a career path. It was tough for him to convince his family but eventually, it happened and he began his dream journey.
It was only when he came to Mumbai he realised that he was also a good writer. From there on, the multi-talented man never stopped. He wrote scripts, short stories, etc. and continued working hard. One man who always inspires and stands by him is Naseeruddin Shah– the veteran actor played the role of a father figure and mentored him in tough times to stop him from doubting his abilities.
A word of advice He wants to change the idea of education in India and the predetermined mindset of parents and the people in general. According to him, education should become more practical and people should give weightage to what children like and avoid forcing their dreams on them. Rakesh likes to spend time with the younger generation and have conversations with them to inspire and get inspired by the latest minds. He advises the youngsters to follow their passion and live in the moment.