The journey of Dr Pradeep Verma, from studying medical science to plunging into theatrical art, has always been fascinating.
After the release of his film, Chaman Bahaar, trichologist and cosmetologist, Dr Verma, spoke to Free Press about his trip from Gandhi Medical College in Bhopal to Filmistan in Mumbai.
Written and directed by Apurva Dhar Badgaiyann, Chaman Bahaar is produced by Yoodlee Films. The movie has been recently released on Netflix.
Dr Verma who hails from Rewa has worked in various movies like Rajneeti, Aarakshan, Chakravyuh, Gali Gali Chor Hai and Awesome Mausam. It is, however, Chaman Bahaar through which he earned fame and got offers for more films. He had been doing theatre in Bhopal from 2003-12 and shifted to Mumbai in 2013.
About his joining theatre, the 34-year-old cosmetologist said when he had been in class eight he saw a play ‘Charandas Chor’ by Habib Tanveer on the campus of Rewa University. His father worked as a junior superintendent of works there. At that time, he was not acquainted with the name of Habib Tanveer. He just saw his photographs in the university souvenirs.
After the play was over, everyone including the then Governor, a former minister and the former vice chancellor gave Tanveer a standing ovation. “I began to think who the man was,” he said.
Dr Verma he made up his mind to make a career in acting, but there was no theatre in Rewa then. He was preparing for studying medical science as well as searching for a city where theatre exists. Acting is his passion and he wanted to make it a profession, but his parents wanted him to have a good education before joining theatre, Dr Verma said.
He got admission to medical Gandhi Medical College for studying MBBS. Dr Verma said he could take admission to medical colleges in Delhi and in other places, but his love for theatre brought him to Bhopal where he worked under Alakhnandan and Aloke Chatterjee. Habib Tanveer, too, guided him, though for a few days, Dr Verma said.
He studied medical science in the day and attended theatre classes in the evening. Nevertheless, he was away from stage during examinations. Now, he is settled in Mumbai, and attends patients on appointment.
About Chaman Bahaar he said it revolves around a small town Panwalla (betel seller) who falls in love with a schoolgirl who lives opposite his shop before even meeting her. “I am playing the role of elder brother of lead actor Jitendra Kumar in it,” the actor said. Shot in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, the movie was released on Netflix on June 19 due to the corona pandemic, he said.
Dr Verma who is in Bhopal has been working for 18 hours a day for the past one month treating the corona patients. He said came to Bhopal for some personal work, but he was stranded because of the pandemic. He also got a call from the Maharashtra Government to take care of the corona patients because of lack of doctors there. Whether he is in Mumbai or in Bhopal he is ready to serve the people, because he is a doctor, Dr Verma said.