La Familia: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s journey inspires Shamas; Actor’s brother shares interesting anecdotes
Whenever one mentions Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the first few names that come to our mind are Gangs of Wasseypur, Manto, The Lunchbox, Badlapur and even Sacred Games. The actor is one of the most respected artists of Indian cinema. However, while we know a lot about Nawaz – the actor, we don’t know much about Nawaz – the person. Which is why for this week’s La Familia, we reached out to his filmmaker-brother, Shamas Siddiqui to know more about Nawaz. Shamas reveals that as a child while Nawaz was very disciplined in the house, he was extremely mischievous outside.
“My father would never lose his temper, but whenever he got into a quarrel with someone it was always because of some mischief that Nawaz bhai might have done. His mischieves were always in good fun though,” laughs Shamas, who is 10 years younger to his actor sibling. He even shared an interesting anecdote from Siddiqui ‘s childhood. “Whenever Mom asked one of us to get something from the market, Nawaz Bhai would always catch us enroute our way back home. He would first check the bag, and if it had sweets in it, he would take a few pieces from it and would tell us to make sure that our mother never finds out about it. But when she eventually did, she would blame us, and we couldn’t even tell her that it was Nawaz bhai who gulped down those sweets and not us.”
However, Shamas adds that Nawaz would also look after his younger siblings. “He would comb our hair and would make us wear our school uniforms. In fact, even today I need my shoes cleaned, clothes ironed and hair combed properly, and I imbibed all these good habits from Nawaz bhai. Also, since we came from a Zamindar family, education wasn’t given much of a priority in our family back then. But Nawaz bhai knew its importance and motivated us to study hard. In fact, he was quite strict with us in that matter,” Shamas recalls.
The filmmaker shares another incident. “One winter morning we were all gearing up to study. The routine was for us to first take a bath and then sit for it. However, another brother of mine Faiz was feeling lazy to take a bath that day. So he just went to the bathroom and soaked his towel in the water to show that he did take a bath. But when Nawaz bhai found out about this mischief, he just picked up Faiz and threw him in a tub of chilled water. Faiz never repeated that mistake again,” laughs Shamas.
Shamas informs that Nawazuddin was always interested in performing arts, but found his passion for acting much later. “As a child Nawaz bhai loved attending the Ram Leela plays in our village, Budhana. In Standard 12, he was a part of the mock parliament sessions, and later when he was doing his BSc (Bachelor of Science) from a university in Haridwar, he did a situational play which changed the game for him. There was one moment during the play when he makes everyone laugh, and by the end he makes the audience cry. Even his entry, which he made from where the audience members were seated, had been extremely well received. This motivated him to take on the path of acting. Our father was a movie buff too. Nawaz bhai’s journey is nothing short of an inspiration for all of us,” Shamas concludes.