Q: Tell us something about this programme Power Within.
A: Power Within will be launched officially early next year
in February or March. Till then I will continue doing what I'm
doing. For the last almost two years I have been lecturing at
various places, which come under the bracket of motivational
lectures. The idea is to spread my optimism. I'm a great optimist
and I have lived a life which has had its own ups and downs
and I have never indulged in self-pity or bitterness. So basically
the idea is to make people understand that there is no point
dwelling upon your shortcomings, failures or setbacks. One should
turn them into something positive because the only way to live
is to live optimistically and the only way to live is to decide
to be happy.
Q: What prompted you to become a motivational speaker?
A: I believe that if you have not made a difference in anybody's
life, life is not worth it. Also my autobiographical play "Kuch
Bhi Ho Sakta Hai" was the major thing that prompted me
to go deeper into this. I was always positive and optimistic
but this play was the culmination of all those things that zeroed
down on my philosophy of life that anything is possible. That's
when I decided to do something about this programme.
Q: What do you think goes in your favour as a motivational
A: What is my plus point in giving these lectures is that I
have lived it, I don't have to borrow examples, I don't have
to read a book and say that this is written in that book, my
theory is based on my book, my life. So since it's on a life
lived, it's a culmination of that, it's much more direct. That's
why I don't make powerpoint presentations or I don't write notes.
I just understand the kind of audience that I get and then talk.
I always feel that being yourself can be the most difficult
thing in the world and can also be the easiest thing in the
world. You need to choose and I choose being myself.
Q: Till now where all have you lectured?
A: I have done it in Kellogg School of Management, University
of Maryland, Illinois Institute of Technology. In India, I have
taken lectures in various organizations of corporates like Tata,
Chartered Accountants Organization of Bombay, many IITs, IIMS,
Q: So what has the audience response been like till
A: The response is fantastic. Lots of people come up to me
and say that it actually made a difference to their lives. I'm
a people-oriented person and wherever I have spoken, it has
made a difference in people's mindsets or at least they have
done a certain kind of retrospection. Also my lectures are based
on a certain kind of humour because I make maximum fun of myself;
that makes it interesting. Then there is a lot of audience participation.
I get a member of the audience on stage and tell him to get
rid of his inhibitions and stuff; so it's a very interactive
kind of thing.
Q: Do you remember any of your weak moments when someone
A: When I was a struggling actor that was the most difficult
part of my life, those three years from 1981 to 1984 till I
got "Saaransh" were tough. But I survived on motivational
lives. I survived on autobiographies of Charlie Chaplin, "Lust
For Life" - autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh, Mahatma
Gandhi's autobiography and even Pandit Nehru's. Then I realized
that these great people have also gone through so much, so what
if I'm also going through tough times, I'll make it one day
and then I'll talk about my life. That kept me going. Even my
grandfather's stories helped me; I used to remember them.
Q: You are an actor, you have acting schools, a talent
company, a foundation, your own play and many other things.
How do you manage so many things together? How do you balance
A: My grandfather used to say that a busy man has time for
everything; so I follow that.
Q: You said that you have always been an optimist,
but have you ever regretted anything that you have done personally
A: No I don't look at life like that. I have no regrets, I'm
very happy to be born in the family I've been born in, comical,
strange, all kinds of people. I don't look at regrets. I feel
sad and disappointed sometimes but the optimist in me is so
strong that it washes everything else.