Bolton today, Bollywood tomorrow
EVER imagined yourself starring alongside the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan, or fantasised about having sexy time with Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen or the lascivious Shilpa Shetty?
Well, for one mild-mannered doctor, the dream of starring in a Bollywood film has come true. Mahesh Kumar has downed scalpels to play the role of villainous rogue Khader Bhai in Ramesh Aravind’s Accident.
The head of radiology at Pennine Acute Trust, which runs hospitals in Oldham, Rochdale, Bury and north Manchester, Dr Kumar used up his annual leave to head to Bangalore, delighted to swap his day-job analysing x-ray screens for a chance to appear on the big screen.
In the film the 43-year-old, who lives in Bolton, runs a nightclub and pirate DVD empire – as far from the wards of rain-soaked Lancashire's hospitals as one can imagine – murdering, dancing and singing amok.
The lead is played by Aravind, a school friend of Kumar, whose character Sawanth suspects his wife's death was murder, setting him on a collision course with his on-screen foe, with the entire movie filmed in Kannada, the language of Karnataka.
"Some of my friends are involved in mainstream film production, and they just said that the role would suit me, so did I want to do it?" he recalled.
"I simply couldn't resist it! I had a great time playing this villain, who leads a gang involved in CD/DVD piracy."
The doc says acting helps him wind down after a hard day's work, and urges others to take it up. "Everyone should have a hobby to help them cope with stress," he added.
"I've always been interested in creative art since stage plays at school. Acting gives me a real buzz and encourages me to think laterally. Everyone should have a hobby to break the stress of monotony.
"It's really exciting to see the film get released here in the UK, and we're obviously hoping that more dates will be added to its run.
"I'm not giving up my professional role just yet, nothing would take me away from my clinical work, but this was a great thing to do. I had a fantastic time."
Though he has no plans to give up his day job, there have been several instances in the past of people leaving behind regular professions and making it big in Bollwood, Shekhar Kapur being one of the most famous.
Kapur qualified as a chartered accountant aged 22 and moved to Britain to work in accountancy and management consultancy, only achieving success on the silver screen when he was in his late thirties, directing hit films Masoom, Mr India and Bandit Queen, before heading to Hollywood and winning Oscars for Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
So there you have it, all you accountants and doctors out there, all you teachers and civil servants, pharmacists and engineers, you too could make it to Bollywood, and all the fame, wealth and women that come with it.
Now, has anyone got Aamir Khan's number?
• Bollywood World
• Planet Bollywood