The legendary actor Kanwaljit Singh, who has built a reputation as a devoted friend, a fatherly figure, and—most importantly—an extravagant actor in a number of films dating back to the 70s & 80s, recently spoke about his journey from Saharanpur to Mumbai, from aspiring for something out of the box to becoming an accomplished and renowned Bollywood actor on Jay-Ho! The Jay Kumar Show. In his interview with host Jay Kumar, Kanwaljit spoke about how acting was not his initial aspiration but something he merely tried his hand in.
Before enrolling at The Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Kanwaljit has tried his hand applying to the government exams which ruled people’s aspirations, from NDA and UPSC to SSB. However, destiny has its own plans and as Kanwaljit claims, “ I didn't aspire to be an actor. I am a small town boy from Saharanpur, so my main motto was to come out from there.” He applied for the NDA and had passed the UPSC, SSB, and Pilot Aptitude Battery test, but due to a minor hearing defect, he was offered a desk job. He next attempted for the Merchant Navy, although there were also some issues. “I later discovered an application for acting and submitted it along with three photos.” Such were his unlikely beginnings to acting and he frankly confesses how he wouldn't have considered a career in movies especially since he didn't have a godfather, godmother, or godsister who worked in the industry. “My father was a government employee and we are a middle-class household. It was a big deal back then, therefore he wanted me to be an IAS”, Kanwaljit explained his motivation and his initial days.
However, thankfully for audiences everywhere, Kanwaljit Singh received multiple opportunities in a row attributable to his talent and commitment to his work. And before long, he received acclaim for his work in films such as "Shankar Hussain," "Jeevan Dhaara," "Satte Pe Satta," "Ashanti," and "Seepeeyan". He also continued to experience stardom in the phenomenally popular television show "Buniyaad," where his character Satbir captured millions of hearts.
It's interesting to note that Kanwaljit was unaware of Buniyaad's outstanding reviews and popularity. It was and still is people's affection, the actor claims. “I was unaware of Buniyaad's fame. We used to receive 2000 rupees for a single episode. We used to shoot from morning 7 am to 11 pm at night. As we were shooting inside, audiences outside were enthralled. And, I was unable to see my own show at that time because I did not have a television either.’
Well, destiny planned for his smooth stay in the world of acting and Buniyaad served as the ‘buniyaad’ or foundation for Kanwaljit's incredibly prosperous and successful future. With Kanwaljit at Jay-Ho! The Jay Kumar Show, we couldn’t ask for more inspiration with his passion for work, confidence in self and patience for the right thing at the right time. He genuinely embodies the words of renowned social activist Harriet Tubman, who said, ‘Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’