Hobby Talk: 'Scam 1992...' actor reveals his love for fitness

Pratik Gandhi became a household owing to the success of his web series, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. His nuanced portrayal of Harshad Mehta won him several accolades and critical acclaim. The actor will next be seen in the romantic comedy Atithi Bhooto Bhava, which also stars Jackie Shroff and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s niece and actress Sharmin Segal. We caught up with the busy actor for a chat about his hobbies and how he manages to take out time for them amid a busy schedule. Excerpts:

Tell us about your hobby.

I play the tabla and I like outdoor games and carrom, working out and exploring different martial arts forms. I watch videos for different combat styles and at times, I even try them.

Your work entails a lot of travelling, how do you make time for workouts?

Working out is one hobby that I can carry out anytime, anywhere because I don’t workout in a gym. Whenever I get the chance, I try to innovate the martial arts I watch on TV. People generally take a cigarette break or ‘chai break’. When there is a break I workout and in the bargain, I end up doing multiple workout sessions of five minutes each during the day.

What are your takeaways from this?

I guess respecting your body is one of the basic things that people should do. Working out is not about building six-pack abs, it’s about the whole well-being of a person. You should be mentally fit too.

It is something that I look forward to when I get up in the morning. You look forward to doing it the next day. With a regular workout of a particular type, you eventually excel in that area and it boosts your enthusiasm and fuels your excitement. It teaches you to manage your emotions.

When and how did you get into fitness?

In my school, gymnastics was something we learnt early on. I have seen my classmates enjoying artistic gymnastics and skating. Our teacher, Badrika Ben from Surat, made me do my first 180-degree split. She made us also do a handstand, cartwheels and splits. Subsequently, I joined karate. Self-defence is also a good form of workout.

Does your hobby involve other people?

It involves people who share my interests and those who are experts in the field. I like exchanging notes with them.

Do you miss it when you are unable to exercise?

When I am down with any kind of sickness for a few days, or if I’m travelling for long stretches or if I am having a hectic schedule, I miss my workout sessions a lot. However, I do a very simple exercises like wrist work out when I am sitting down for my makeup. It could be an exercise related to my neck, elbows or knee joints.

Has your hobby evolved into a passion?

It oscillates between being a hobby and turning into a passion.

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