Haardik Puran Gabbi is one of Chandigarh’s favourite theatre icons, who has inculcated undying spirit & passion in his love for the art. An alumni of GGDSD College, Haardik had won the Best Actor Award – Youth Fest, 2015and2016 for playing the role of a dedicated, protective son turning into a cannibal who ends up killing his family and eating his own father and a Ichchadhari naagthe next year. But the story does not end here, this versatile achiever has stepped into the big screen and is working as an Assistant Director in an Indian romantic drama film directed by Anand L. Rai, jointly produced by Red Chillies Entertainmentand Colour Yellow Productions starring Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif.
As a child, Haardik was into computers & music, little did he know that destiny had something so marvellous in store. It was only when his father Govardhan Gabbi a reknown Punjabi writer persuaded him to watch a play which was directed by Ms. Anita Shabdish , and later he ended up doing a role in the same. He assisted her for 1.5 years and ever since then, there has been no turning back. “My kick-start in acting was all about acceptance. It was more about what I am, and not who & how I am”, said Haardik.
Tell us something about your journey, so far?
Till my school life got over, I was a part of over 250 street plays in just a matter of 2-3 months with a group called ‘Roopak Kala Welfare Society’headed by Sangeeta Gupta,However, stepping into college lead to a paradigm growth trajectory. It all started when I became a part of the theatre group called, ‘Sarv Saksham’. I auditioned for the Youth Fest and ended up bagging the lead role in the first go for the Youth Fest. For the succeeding two years, I brought laurels to the college but that in no way could tame my love for theatre. I became the President of Sarv Saksham group in the last year of my college.
My passion for music has also been an indispensable part of my journey, so far and I translate that passion by being the Lead guitarist in ‘Qissa The Band’.Where I even write and compose.
What is best part about being a theatre artist? If you were to choose from theatre or film industry which one would you pick? Why?
I feel that being an artist itself is a wonderful thing. It makes you exclusive and always endows you with something to cherish about . An artist is never off duty – consciously & sub- consciously forme unconsciously aswell,he is always working and that is what I love the most about being a artist.
For me, it has never beenabout theatre or film industry, I have always chosen art amidst everything and will persist to do so. I believe that anything art, is everything me.
Thinking back over your career till date, what have been your greatest accomplishments till date?
It would definitely be winning the Best Actor Award – Youth Fest 2016 in the third year of my college, after rigorous hard work and learning for the past 4-5 yearsand of course working as a AD in the film Zero,it’s euphoric.
Which is the most fun role you’ve ever played?
I have been fortunate enough to have played various fun roles all this while. According to me, fun implies when there are more layers to a character. The more things I get to know when I create and research fora new characterIend up finding a lot about myself,that’s the idea of fun to me. Mentioned below are three ‘fun’roles I played in my college life:
1st Year: I played a character of a 50-year old king Nana Fadnavis, who was a rapist & a molester. The play was titled as Ghasiram Kotwal. It being completely opposite to my personality, it was a really challenging yet, learning experience.
2nd Year: I played a character of a dedicated and a protective son named Chaudhary who turns into a cannibal. It was a challenge altogether.
3rd Year: I played a character of an Ichcha Dhari Naag – Appana/Nagapafrom the famous play “ Nagamandala’ written by Girish Karnad.
What were the major challenges that you had to face, so far?
I have been really lucky to have a very supportive family and the major challenge was in my craft itself.
I’ll give you one example
The role of “Chaudhary” – A dedicated, protective son turning into a cannibal who ends up killing his family and eating his own father – took a big toll over me. It drained me both mentally and physically evenupto the point where I had to attend therapy sessions But, also helped me win The Best Actor Award for the same and it changed my thought process altogether so, it was worth it.
Tell us something about your upcoming projects?
I am working as an Assistant Director in the Zero which is an upcoming 2018 Indian romantic drama film directed by Anand L. Rai, jointly produced by Red Chillies Entertainmentand Colour Yellow Productionsstarring Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. I couldn’t really ask for a better start than this project. Learning from the best is a lifetime experience in itself.
Who is your pillar of support?
My parents, selected friends, teachers and directors I have worked with till date and my sister, Wamiqa Gabbi, a leading actress of Film Industry has been my pillar of support.
Your source of inspiration?
I can get inspired by just looking at dry painton wall but if you need names
Danial Day Lewis , Quentin Tarantino , Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Manoj Bajpai, I think you’ll run out of pages if I start naming everyone.
A piece of advice for aspiring actors?
At the onset, I would like to quote Stanislavski, “Love art in yourself, and not yourself in art.”I live by this and always remember, that it’s an art and not a popularity contest. It requires as much discipline, hard work, theoretical and practical knowledge as any other field would. Watch more listen more live more.
About the Author:
A stout believer of the doctrine of karma, and definitely an optimist. Bhavya suffers from a childhood syndrome, of laughing at serious situations and the same translates in her writings in the form of disastrous wit. Food, music and books are the definition of immense happiness.