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Early Gigs

Life Before Prime Time

From saree salesgirl to lower division clerk: first jobs of the famous

Life Before Prime Time
Life Before Prime Time
outlookindia.com
2019-02-08T11:16:30+05:30

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was a railway ticket collector—many know that now, including, we guess, the IIT graduates who passed him by at Kharagpur station 17 years ago. What do Akshay Kumar and Rajnikanth have in common bes­­ides Robot 2.0? A nondescript first job—Kumar waited tables in Bangkok while learning martial arts; the Tamil superstar was a bus conductor with the Bangalore Transport Service. So how many of us take notice of those we talk to, glance at or drive past, while at their day jobs? If you ever saw a lanky factory watchman, called Naw­a­zuddin Siddiqui for inst­ance, would you guess he was biding his time for his cal­ling as a Bol­lywood star?

Of course, Siddiqui probably didn’t know that even when he enrolled in the National School of Drama—the watchman’s job at a toy factory kept him going while at the institute. Before that, his first jobs included a brief stint as chemist in a factory in Baroda. And when was the last time you saw an accountant and wondered if he could be the next Vijay Sethu­pathi? Before the horror flick Pizza (2012) turned him into a star of Tamil new wave cinema, Sethu­pathi kept ledgers at a textile showroom—one of his many stints with num­bers bef­ore box office statistics beckoned.

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