I’m Ashish Lal. By education, I’m a B.Tech. from IIT Delhi but presently I’m an Actor and am also heading a film production company. Strange, it might seem, but that’s the way it is. People ask me why film acting after IIT or did you not waste 4 years there? My only answer is “you never know when you realize your life’s most passionate dream…when I did, should I have looked at those 4 years gone by or those 80years left! Anyways, you can contribute much more to the world or country if you do what you’re passionate about and not what you did when you had no clue about your real passion in life.” What do you say?
My stint with theater started few years back when I went for my 1st role in a play in IIT Delhi’s Fachcha Skit during the 14 days Freshers “Interaction Period”. I was supposed to do Tommy Dogfood ad by mimicking dogs of Bollywood stars, yes, not Bollywood actors but dogs of their actors! There were thousands of guys jam packed in Seminar Hall. At IIT D, there is a cut-throat competition among hostels and any kind of hooting was prevalent. When I went on stage with a board on which was written “Tommy Dogfood”, other hostels (I was in Vindhyachal Hostel) guys started hooting “Kutte Saale Kutte Dog Bhag Ja Yahan Se”. I laugh today but that was the 1st time I was in a play, a teenager kid straight out from 12th standard thrown in front of thousands of “insensitive” IITans, you can imagine what would have been my mental state. Anyways, I mimicked Dev Anand’s Kutta and suddenly hooting almost stopped. Then I mimicked Mithun Da’s Kutta. Everyone clapped and there was a pin drop silence. Someone tried to hoot but I remember several guys saying “Abe chup chup, sun sun kya ho raha hai”. That was enough to boost my confidence. Next I mimicked Shahrukh Khan’s Kutta and everyone clapped and then again pin drop silence. This went on and on till I finished after about 5min. Applause, applause, nobody had ever seen such a mimicry of dogs. I had never heard more claps in my life before, never!
There was no looking back. I went on to do several plays of professional standards for sure and went on getting less and less marks (read CGPA) in the exams. I became Cultural Secretary and then House Secretary, wrote several plays, directed quite a few (also won “The Best Director of IIT Delhi” award in my 1st play) and acted in number of plays. Many told me that finally what counts is the CGPA and you’ve in fact wasted 4 years of your life. Now I look back and see why this Universe conspired me to do whatever I did. 2 months in the job and I knew that my calling in life is films and nothing in the world! I really feel gratitude for the Universe to let me realize my passion in life which many people die not even coming close to realizing. I planned so that I could be financially stable enough to quit job. Finally after working for over a couple of years in the corporate world, on 24th July, 2009, I celebrated my Independence Day! Today I am partner in a film production company and now am ready to go for the kill – become Lead Actor in Bollywood this year itself in 2010 in our first feature film!