Anupam Kher inspires Kellogg students with wit

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By  Asian Media USA
Evanston, IL:
The legendary Indian actor, Anupam Kher, gave a riveting speech entitled  The Best Lesson is Failure — at the Kellogg School of Business Management in Northwestern University on September 20.

The talk was focused on his lifelong perseverance and progress despite numerous obstacles and failures. Using his humor and profound storytelling techniques, he captivated the crowded classroom with several students, professors, and community members alike.

The Kellogg atrium bustled with busy people as enthusiastic Indian-American students waited for the arrival of the iconic Kher. Silence spread across the room when Kher casually walked in. Within seconds students began to approach the friendly persona to shake hands and take photos as others gazed on in absolute awe.

Dean Dipak Jain of the Kellogg School of Business Management, along with Snheal Shah, president of the India Business Club, welcomed and introduced the award winning actor and philanthropist.

Kher combined humor and wisdom when speaking of his adversities in becoming the successful actor. As a small-town boy from a lower-middle class family, he dreamed of being different but struggled because he lacked interest in academics and had poor athletic ability. In fact, a coach had once told him that “the only way he could ever get second place in a race was if he was the only one running.”  Kher managed to differentiate himself from his classmates by utilizing his comical talents and soon realized that he wanted to become an actor. 

After stealing money from his mother’s purse, he ran away and enrolled himself in an acting school. He was mesmerized by the expansive acting literature he en-countered which he had never dreamed of existing.  He would wake up everyday hours be-fore class to do acting and speech exercises. Even with all his hard work, he struggled finding work for years but his big break came when he landed a role in Mahesh Bhatt’s Saaransh.

When rumors spread that he was being replaced with another actor, Kher furiously packed his bags and decided to go back home. But before leaving he wanted to share his frustration with the director. He climbed up six flights of stairs and yelled at Bhatt and ended his dramatic rant by placing a “Brahmin’s curse” on him. As Kher proudly marched back to his cab, Bhatt called out to him, offering him the lead role because of his theatrical performance. Bhatt later inquired if the candid performance was planned.

Kher illusively demonstrated that perseverance could lead to great heights and that failure was never a dead-end for the determined.

After his speech, Kher took questions from the mesmerized audience. He ended the unforgettable afternoon by simply saying, “We can do it, that’s it.”

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