While every other star kid begins gearing up for a Bollywood debut right in their teens, Boman Irani faced the camera for the first time at the age of 42. The maverick actor, whose life has been a total mixed bag of aspirations and ways to fulfill them, can be an inspiration to any age group. As the powerful performer turns 58 today, we look back at his journey to understand why Boman had no qualms about being a waiter and even running a family shop, until he found his real calling – camera!
Boman has confessed to having multiple issues while growing up. He had a speech problem, he used to lisp. He suffered from dyslexia and wasn’t great at academics too. He found a job as a waiter at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and worked there for two years. But certain issues at home led to him managing his family shop which he did for 14 long years, until he thought there was more he had to explore and bought a camera.
Starting from a clicking a photograph for Rs 25 to getting 300 dollars for each, Boman soon found his calling. But a chance meeting with choreographer Shiamak Davar introduced him to theatre. After doing plays for several years, Vidhu Vinod Chopra spotted him and after much persuasion from both him and Rajkumar Hirani, Boman agreed to do Munnabhai M.B.B.S.
Apart from being a professional photographer, voice-over artiste and even a singer, Boman has been a part of Bollywood for the past 17 years now. He has worked in films like 3 Idiots, Main Hoon Na, Veer-Zaara, Lakshya, No Entry, Bluffmaster, Being Cyrus, Don, Jolly LLB, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Housefull and Happy New Year, apart from Munnabhai series.
Boman’s most memorable roles are that of Dr Asthana in Munnabhai M.B.B.S. and Viru Sahastrabuddhe aka Virus in 3 Idiots. In all his films, he has made sure to give his character a distinct feature, something that you can do only if you are a keen observer. In fact, it is said that the lisp he had in 3 Idiots was inspired from his own childhood. Today, he has worked with the biggest names in the industry from Shah Rukh Khan to Aamir Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan.
Boman is the perfect example of being an outsider, yet taking Bollywood by storm. Seeing him, our trust in age being no bar only gets resurrected. Here’s to a man who never seizes to dream and never stops in working towards his dreams.
Happy birthday Boman Irani!