UNLOCKING NAUTANKI NO. 1: AYUSHMANN KHURRANA

Ayushmann Khurrana has without doubt established himself step-by-step & stone-by-stone in an industry, that is largely driven by power, moolah, star-power & luck and talent to a certain extent. Khurrana lacked in the first three driving forces but managed to make his ground through luck and talent and certainly through careful planning and lots of hardwork. His latest venture has landed him the role of a nautanki, quite literally. In Rohan Sippy’s Nautanki Saala, he plays the role of a theater director who is trying his best to weave a modern-day Ramayana.

Khurrana is breaking no fresh ground here, he has been active in theater for 5 years. He was also the founder-member of DAV College’s Aaghaaz and Manchtantra, which are active theater groups in Chandigarh. Quick-witted, good-looking, multi-talented and hilarious, Khurrana is a complete package and is slowly and steadily building his fan base with the commercial and critical success of his debut film, Vicky Donor.

A careful tracing of his career reveals how he has created a niche for himself, not just in Bollywood, but also in the anchoring space and television within a short span of 5 years:

In 2007, he won MTV Roadies Season 2. Later he started working as a radio jockey in BIG FM, Delhi and hosted the show Big Chai – Maan Na Maan, Main Tera Ayushmann. The same year he also won won the Young Achievers Award.

Moving on to 2008, Khurrana joined MTV as a Video Jockey with Pepsi MTV Wassup, The Voice of Youngistaan. He also acted in MTV shows like MTV Fully Faltoo Movies Cheque De India and Jaadoo Ek Baar. Cheque De India was a spoof on Chak De! India in which Khurrana played the role of Fakir Khan, Kabir Khan’s (Shahrukh Khan) alter-ego. Speaking of Shahrukh Khan, there have been speculations of Ayushmann trying to ape Shahrukh Khan and of the various similarities that there are to how both landed in the film fraternity. Both Shahrukh and Ayushmann are from Northern India, both married their childhood sweethearts, both acted in television before setting foot on the silver screen and both had no Godfathers in the film industry and are completely self-made.

Cutting back to Khurrana’s career:

In 2009, Ayushmann continued his association with MTV with VJing shows like Fantastic Five, Gone in 60 Seconds, MTV Roadies Hell Down Under auditions and MTV Rock On auditions. This year, his career took a new turn and ventured into the commercial Television space, with him co-anchoring India’s Got Talent on Colors TV.

In 2010, Khurrana anchored full time and was a part of the envious anchoring team of Extra Innings T20 for Indian Premier League Season 3 on SET Max with Gaurav Kapur, Samir Kochhar and Angad Bedi.

In 2011, Khurrana anchored the dance-based reality show Just Dance on STAR Plus judged by Hrithik Roshan, Vaibhavi Merchant and Farah Khan which fetched him Indian Television Academy Award as the Best Anchor of 2011.

In 2012 Ayushmann won the Cosmopolitan Fun and Fearless Male 2012 Award for Best TV anchor and the Star Parivaar 2012 award for Best Anchor for his show Just Dance. The year also marked the release of his debut movie Vicky Donor which won him many accolades including the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut and Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer.

Speaking of his acting skills, Ayushmann comes across as a complete natural onscreen. Gaurav Malani (film critic) says, “Khurrana is so natural that it never seems he’s acting but rather gliding through the role. He is a pro at both the comedy and emotional scenes.”Khurrana is all brawn and brains, an overload of talent and definitely someone to look out for amongst new-comers in Bollywood. Don’t miss his dramebaazi in Nautanki Saala releasing on April 12, 2013.

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