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STORIES OF ACADEMICS AND ACTING

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

TV Actor Shantanu Maheshwari talks about his college days and acting career

I was a student of HR College of Commerce and Economics at Churchgate. Our college building is one simple building with a medium sized campus and our HR canteen of course which is quite famous, and serves some of the yummiest Chinese dishes and dosa!

I had applied through the cultural quota as I had a lot of participation certificates from various events but somehow didn't get in which did upset me, and on the same day I happened to bump into the Vice Principal in the corridor and asked him what the cut off was since I had a lot of certificates to put in for the cultural quota, and so he did have a look at them finally and asked another professor to put me up for an audition for the cultural quota admission. I remember having danced to the song Aai Pappi from Kismat Konnection for the audition and then I finally got my admission into B.Com through cultural quota. And about my first day of college, I didn't attend college from the first week itself but started attending it from the second week onwards, and I remember being quite nervous and scared! I was born and brought up in Kolkata and shifted to Mumbai only a few days before college began, so this was a new city for me. From figuring out my classrooms and lecture timings to identifying my professors was all quite confusing in the beginning, but then I got used to it all quite well!

Coming to Mumbai and experiencing the true feel of college life here in one of the city's best college's was one of the most fun experiences of my life!  I used to travel to college by the Western Railway local train. Dancing around, participating in all the festivals and events- specially all the dance events and of course bunking lectures to sit in the canteen and gorge on yummy food is something I will always miss!

We mainly hung out in our college canteen because the food was just amazing! We also went to the Samrat restaurant sometimes next to our college, but somehow I was never very confident of placing an order at a restaurant, so I would always avoid going to outside. We would all hang out college terrace asl our dance practices for festivals would happen there. My friends circle was a mix of the studious bunch who were preparing for CA and my gang who I would participate with in dance events and festivals!

I remember an embarrassing moment during our college festivals when I was performing on stage a girl screamed ‘I love you Shantanu' from the audience! I would always use the cultural quota excuse to bunk lectures and attend all our fun dance practices which were just great! Now when I get invited to judge dance events at college festivals, it really brings back a lot of memories of us on stage, nervous and waiting for a response from the judges. Today I feel privileged to sit and judge kids in competitions just a few years younger to me! It feels quite strange sometimes, but quite cool going back to my own college as a judge!

Whatever I have studied till date has taught me a lot in life, and built up my confidence, thoughts, ideas and knowledge in ways I sometimes don't even realize! I mean even having a basic conversation with someone today is because we have all been educated well, so I do feel that education is the key to everything we have achieved in life till date!

As told to Monarose Sheila Pereira

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