For actor Gulshan Grover, bagging a seat in Shri Ram College of Commerce, (SRCC), Delhi University (DU) was the ultimate goal, and it boosted his self-confidence.
“ I had to get more than 90% to get in. So, I couldn’t contain my happiness when the admission was confirmed,” says the actor, The years spent at DU gave him strength, vision and a foundation for his acting career.“As DU’s winter festivals [cultural fests] were fantastic and interactive, I rose as an actor,” says Grover. who has been praised for the portrayal of villainous characters in films such as Ram Lakhan (1989) and Dilwale (1994). Grover, who lived on the outskirts of Delhi, had to change three buses everyday to reach the university. Speaking fondly of that time, he says, “I used to walk six-seven kilometres, from my place, to Zakhira [in West Delhi] and then take a bus to Kashmiri Gate or Kamla Nagar to reach the University.”
“On Sundays, we’d have big fantastic, legit parties. Shri Ram is not a wild college. It’s not a college where anybody can afford to be wild”
Grover shares that he would often stay back at the hostel, to rehearse for plays and at times for group studies too. “I loved the life of hostellers. I envied them. We looked at the hostel boys as ‘Oh my god, what a life, how lucky they are’. They didn’t have to go back [home] and stand in the queue in the morning, to wait for the university special bus and dread missing it because then one would have to change three buses to reach college! They would go back to the hostel, change, and eat some nice lunch and rest.” Grover adds that he would go outside the campus with his friends, to the little shacks for bread pakoras and tea. “We would have a khata (account) running somewhere (laughs), where we ate and pay weekly or monthly, depending on the money in our pocket,” he says. Another thing he enjoyed about his time at SRCC, was the “fantastic” and “legit” parties on Sundays. However, he adds, “Shri Ram is not a wild college. It’s not a college where anybody can afford to be wild.”
Grover became the president of the Fine Arts Society at SRCC and still remembers his camaraderie with his seniors. “Arun Jaitley [present Finance Minister] was our senior. We learnt a lot from his dynamic leadership qualities. Rajat Sharma was a heavy duty winner in debates and was fiery and would work in a systematic way. Being the president of the society, I was responsible for sending him to different colleges in the university, and I used to be 100 percent sure that he would bring a gold medal for the college,” he says. .
“Arun Jaitley [present Finance Minister] was our senior. We learnt a lot from his dynamic leadership qualities. Rajat Sharma was a heavy duty winner in debates and was fiery and would work in a systematic way.”
When he ventured in Bollywood, it was the lessons learnt at SRCC that made him take wise career decisions. “The film industry wanted you to have work [experience] in films. There was no clear way to become an actor in Bollywood. As I had not been to Mumbai, I didn’t even know where it was and how it worked. But I had learnt the value of building a brand because of the commerce I studied at SRCC. It was extremely useful to me in understanding and deciphering the entertainment business when I came here (Mumbai) to work in Bollywood,” he signs off.