FarHan Akhtar up closeIndian actor, singer, writer and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar performed at the Hyatt Regency, in Kathmandu, on Saturday. The show organised by Nazzy Entertainment saw famous Nepali singers Nattu Shah and Adrian Pradhan join Akhtar on stage.
Indian actor, singer, writer and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar performed at the Hyatt Regency, in Kathmandu, on Saturday. The show organised by Nazzy Entertainment saw famous Nepali singers Nattu Shah and Adrian Pradhan join Akhtar on stage. The acclaimed actor and singer sang 20 hit songs from his films including Tum Ho Toh from Rock On, Senorita from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and Zinda from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. During the show, Akhtar also performed an original song called Chuley Aasman from a social campaign he launched in 2013—Men against rape and Discrimination (MARD). Akhtar, who first visited Nepal in late ’80s when he was a school boy, said he was excited to be back; “The feeling is as good as the first time.” The Post’s Alisha Sijapati interviewed Akhtar before the show. Excerpts:
You have visited Nepal for the first time in 30 years, how do you feel?
This is the second time I have visited Nepal. The only thing I recall from that trip 30 years ago is walking uphill somewhere to witness the sunrise—it was spectacular. Returning to Kathmandu after three decades is obviously exciting. We have had many Nepalis interested in having our shows in the country and being here is unbelievable. The feeling is as good as the first time.
How did the idea of performing in Nepal shape up?
We have been doing concerts all over the world for the past five years now—Australia, Middle East, the US. We were very close to performing in Nepal three years ago but somehow things did not materialise. I am so glad now that it has finally happened. In the social media sites, we have always received feedback and requests from the Nepali fans to come over to Nepal for a concert. It all feels amazing to finally have made the fans’ wish come true.
Have you listened to any Nepali songs before?
I can’t say I have. Over the years, Nepali folk tunes have made their way into Hindi cinema. I am aware of Nepali folk tunes. I am aware of the kind of melodies that originated from Nepal. I am also well aware of the talented singers from Nepal who have come and participated in Indian shows.
Quite a few legendary singers like Asha Bhosle have crooned Nepali songs in the past; do you also have interests as such?
I would absolutely love to! In fact, I recently sang a Telegu song for a Mahesh Babu film. It was an amazing experience and this only opens door to a larger audience to reach out to. I’d love to do songs in languages that are different from mine. If a Nepali band would like to collaborate, why not?
You are a renowned personality with acclaims as an actor, filmmaker, producer, and a singer; how do you juggle the four?
With all honesty, they just happen as you want to. I really don’t feel there is rocket science for managing time. When your heart is into it, you’ll automatically take out time. You’ll find the time to do it. If your heart is into it, you’ll find the time anyway and, if not, you’ll let it pass.
In one of your interviews, you mentioned that a person asked you to clear your throat before performing for a concert; how do you handle such kind of criticism?
Well, eventually, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. There are musicians whose music I like a lot and some noted ones who I dislike. Just because I dislike them doesn’t mean they are bad musicians; that just makes them different from what I want to listen to. Everyone has their own taste in music. If someone doesn’t like my music, they have all the freedom to change the channel, listen to someone else. This is what we all do.
Out of all the four roles you play efficiently, which role do you enjoy the most as a filmmaker, actor, producer or a singer?
It’s a difficult question to answer. I enjoy entertaining people, be it through anything. There is a certain degree of self expression that you get in music, which is limiting at times in films because you are playing a certain role in the movies. On the contrary, when you are performing on the stage, you are truer to yourself; the more you become who you are, the more the audience respects it and appreciates it. To me, music gives me the opportunity to be myself and that is something I love about music.
What’s your next plan?
We are producing movies, and also simulataneously writing independent music. I am not sure about what’s next for me as an actor or director.
Is there any special place in Nepal that you’d love to visit?
I’d love to go to Pokhara. A friend of mine is an avid biker. He does a lot of trekking and mountain biking. Pokhara has amazing wilderness and biking paths and a vibrant folk culture that I would like to discover.