There is Good News for the genial Sikh singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh. He is all set to be the first turbaned Sikh to be honoured with a wax statue at Madame Tussauds. Diljit can barely contain his excitement when I caught up with him on Monday morning. He had just returned from an international trip and headed straight to Chandigarh to shoot for Karan Johar’s Good News.
Says Diljit, “I am still pinching myself. When I got that call from them (Tussaud’s) informing me that they want to do my statue my response was, ‘Mera kyon?’ What have I achieved?” It is a matter of augmented pride that Diljit would be the first turbaned Sikh to get his own wax statue at Tussaud’s. Says Diljit with proportionate pride, “Before me another Sikh Milkha Singhji was honoured at Tussaud’s. But his statue did not have him in a turban. So I think I’m the first turbaned Sardar to be featured at Tussaud’s. I am humbled for all the love of Indians I get from all over the world.”
The date for the installation of the statue had to be postponed. Says Diljit, “The day it was to happen our army office Abhinandanji was captured. That was not the right time to do a happy event. Now they’re waiting for me to give them another date to install the statue as soon as I find the time. But I am apprehensive about setting a date. Times are so volatile, you never know in the morning what will happen in the afternoon.”
Roles for Diljit are intrinsically restricted. “Since I am a turbaned Sardar I can only play Sardar roles. Either that, or producers should be willing to alter the script to accommodate my physical appearance. But I won’t call this a restriction. It is my good fortune that I am the first Sikh to be playing lead roles in Hindi films.”
The affable Sardar who has regaled us with strong understated performances in Udta Punjab and Soorma says he is having a blast shooting with Akshay Kumar in Chandigarh for the Karan Johar production Good News. “Shooting with Akshay Paaji is like a picnic. We’ve almost wrapped up the shooting. Kab shuroo hua kab khatam pataa hi nahin chala.”
Did Akshay play his famous pranks on Diljit? “No no. No such thing. I’ve grown up watching his films. I can’t dream of doing masti with him. But he makes everyone so comfortable on the sets. He is an inspiration to all of us.”
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