Cover Story – Ayushmann Khurrana on being the non-conformist

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Some actors get into the skin of a character, And then there Are some who plumb the soul of a character. It’s almost as if you can see the eddies and current churning within. Ayushmann Khurranna is that kind of actor. He interiorises his performances, and there’s everything on display. The hurt, the angst, the healing. He’s really the complete package.

Just when you think he embodies the middle class boy next door with his breezy romances, he takes up cause-based issues, be it Article 15, Shubhmangal Zyaada Saavdhan, or the more recent Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui. His latest outing, Anek, is about inclusivity and how regions separate human beings from one another. Pertinent in today’s times with growing anarchy and communal forces making all the inappropriate noises. Does language bind us together or take us far away from the language of love and harmony?

And with Ayushmann toplining a project, you know it will be of a certain standard and sensibility. To call him a changeling artiste would be reducing him to a cliche, but he’s all that and more. He defies categorisation. He’s like water seamlessly taking the shape of the vessel he’s in. Be it Shoojit Sircar, Abhishek Kapoor, or Anubhav Sinha, like the strings of the sitar, he can be tuned to fit into the rhythm and harmony. Watching him perform with these makers is like watching a jugalbandi of exalted stature. There is emotion, there is pain, and there is engagement. It’s this engagement that makes him show his soul to you. He won’t turn away from the truth, no matter how much it hurts. That’s why Ayushmann will also be able to show every single time how it’s done right.


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