Meet Nakul Vaid, the actor who invested his money and act in Assamese film

A performer who prefers to let his work speak on his behalf has been doing a commendable job in Mumbai and elsewhere. Starting from ‘Ab Tak Chappan’ to ‘Chak De! India’, Nakul Vaid has done a variety of roles. Nakul was also seen in a crucial role in Assamese film ‘Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xipare’ (As the River Flows) by Bidyut Kotoky several years back. Again he has played a vital part in another Assamese film ‘Rainbow Fields’ based on Assam agitation.

Rainbow Fields or ‘Xhoihobote Dhemalite’ is a sensitive portrayal about children growing up amid violence during the Assam agitation in 1980s, which leaves an indelible mark on their psyche and how that later influences their destinies. The film is semi-autobiographical in nature, being inspired by true incidents from the director’s life.

Now, the film is doing online campaign to gather funds for release in Assam and elsewhere through a crowd-funding campaign with Wishberry.in. The film won the Best Foreign Film in the Hollywood International Cinefest recently.

Nakul Vaid (right) with a co-actor during the shooting

Nakul shares his experience with TNM in an exclusive interview.  Here are parts of the excerpts:

Q. How was your experience in working with ‘Rainbow Fields’, your second Assamese film?

Ans: It was a lovely experience for me – both professionally and personally. I’ve known Bidyut for since ‘As the River Flows’ days. When he approached me for the role, he made it clear that I should do it only if I like the script.

I liked the script and when Bidyut offered me the main role, I didn’t know if I should be happy or sad as I again need to learn Assamese which was pretty tough for me.

Then we went through the whole drill of learning. That’s how I came on board.

Last time during the ‘As the River Flows’ we had an Assamese language trainer, Jyoti, who would come to Mumbai and teach us but this time there were nobody as these people had already gone to Assam.

I had to go to Assam for a day to shoot and in that one day they had to teach me the whole script and I was also shooting. In four-five days I had to learn everything. So, it was a herculean task for me.

The tough part was…you know what the other person is speaking to you because you know the script but you don’t really follow the dialogues. I would never know when I had to start my dialogue. So, sometimes it was slightly difficult.

During the course of shooting, the character who was speaking to me was holding a big bottle gourd and what I did was I told him to give the gourd to me when I had to start my dialogue. As it was heavy and it makes sense. So, things were like that.

Q. You are one of the rare actors who would put their money and then act. Why this is so?

Ans: As I told you I know Bidyut for a long time and personally we are good friends. But he made it clear that I should only do the film if I really liked it. I liked the script and decided to go ahead. When I became part of it, I realized it to be a special one. It needed money and that’s it.

It may be labeled as producer, as charity or as help… but it was very natural.

I was deeply moved when I saw everyone put their best foot forward. Some of them have travelled to Guwahati from Mumbai in train – a 36 hours journey without reservations, in very harsh conditions like spending time in the corridors and toilets.

Victor Banerjee (right) with others in the set

Q. You also let go one commercial advertisement shoot for this film. Is that true?

Ans: There was something but that’s fine. Because, once you are committed, you are expected to do and you have to do. If I have given you time for an interview and then I can’t say that I need to talk to my friends. That’s not fair to you and to me as well as a professional. So, that’s it.

Q. And what’s the logic of taking Re 1 cheque from the producer?

Ans: See you have to take remuneration and the producers think that you must take something. As a professional, I need to take something. So, even that one rupee is the remuneration for me. Everyone is satisfied.

Q. This is your second film with Bidyut after ‘As the River Flows’. How do you find him to work with?

Ans: We all are professionals and now I think professionalism is not a great word anymore. Because I feel there has to be something personal. Now, all of us are over professional. It needs to be cut.

When you are too professional, it’s boring. But the fun is when you can get it little easy and little bit of unprofessionalism to say…may be due to lack of better words. It’s like little bit of friendship or the personal thing which comes in the picture. It has happened with Bidyut.

Here you can enjoy and can do the things you like. He keeps us all secured. He always gives you the due and respect.

Q. Why did you decide to do the film? Because of the friendship or because of the script?

Ans: See, I would have done his film in any case. But yes, it’s definitely a very good script. It’s very powerful as well and it’s a story which needs to be told. These are the reasons why I did the film and friendship is the bonus in it.

Q. How could you connect to the subject which is Assam agitation?

Ans: Emotions are common to everyone. It’s a human story and it connects. It also connects as because the film is a lot about the children. So, you can relate to it.

And of course, later on I came to know about the Assam agitation. It’s not like that I was completely oblivious to it.

You can also contribute by clicking the link Wishberry.in

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Abdul Gani is a Guwahati-based journalist. He can be reached through: