He did his engineering, got a job, and was called up for early promotion, but he refused to accept it. Dreams cannot be planned but their execution can. In the case of Avinash Kuri, it was different or said, complicated. He liked acting since his childhood but didn’t know how to take the next step. Being an outsider it was challenging to get into the film industry, but he did and how? With the help of passion, determination and hard work he made this almost impossible journey, possible.
“Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
real beginning of a journey
His father served the Indian Army, and hence, Avinash lived most of his early life in the Army cantonments. It is an old saying that you could see the signs of what the baby would become while he is in the cradle. When Avinash was just two years old, he used to copy the actions of his grandfather. Skip some years, and you would find a bit grown-up Avinash doing mimicry of elders using cotton as a mustache. Slowly he was getting attached to the world of acting. After coming back from school, he used to watch movies on Doordarshan and Zee Cinema. Every movie he watched took him closer to dreaming about being an actor.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings
But, like other Indian kids, Avinash also used to think about pursuing his father's career. Moreover, all of his friends were army wards and a notion that everyone has to serve the army got stuck in his head.
The heart loved acting
His life couldn’t be complete without acting. It was a thread that bound his life in some way. Whenever he used to watch the films of angry young man Amitabh Bachchan, or dancing Govinda, or romantic Shah Rukh Khan, or dreaming Dev Anand, he fell more in love with acting. That atmosphere on screen was a feeling he wanted to experience in his life. When he was in his fifth standard, he watched a Vinod Khanna film, based on life of bandits. He loved the film and the very next day he, along with his friends, created a bandit story of their own and enacted it during a free period of school.
One of his wishes was to make a film on an Army jawan from the non-officer ranks since it was a subject yet to be explored. But were these acting and story making ideas of any use? No one around him knew how to reach there, so the situation never allowed him to be serious about these ideas.
The incident that crashed his dreams
“Don’t let your fear decide your future.”- Shalane Flanagan
One day, in school, his English teacher asked the students to write an essay on “What do I want to become when I grew up?” Avinash wrote that he wanted to be a soldier in the army and did not share his hidden want of becoming an actor. But one of his classmates wrote that he wanted to be an actor and elaborated his dreams beautifully. The teacher asked him to read out the essay which he did enthusiastically. After he read it out, the teacher started shouting at him for choosing such a stupid career path. It was obviously wrong on her part to do that, but that incident shattered the sparks of becoming an actor that was growing in the head of Avinash and he stopped watching movies afterward. This incident even led him to criticize the people who watched movies, and he instead advised them to focus on their studies. But his participation in extracurricular activities like acting, dancing and group singing did not stop. The guy loved acting had now even stopped watching movies, what was going to happen ahead?
Engineering- a blessing in disguise
In high school, his classmates and other students around him were crazy about doing engineering and Avinash decided to go with the flow and started preparing for it. His mother was not in favor of him joining the army, and hence, engineering was the final option left with him. The Army Institute of Technology, Pune was his next destination. Ragging was indeed frequent those days, and in the first semester, Avinash also had to go through it. The seniors would order the juniors to entertain them, and no junior liked being humiliated in that way but Avinash started enjoying those artistic ragging sessions as he did his tasks with full conviction. It was just a matter of time that the seniors began calling him in their rooms to get entertained. He used to do mimicry, an imaginary news bulletin, or on occasions tell them a never-ending story. Behind all these fun scenes lied a realization about what he actually wanted to do. He found that his destiny is in entertaining people and he was born to drive people’s emotions. He found a different power in entertaining people, to move them emotionally with his acts, ability to inspire them, to make them laugh. This was the push that he was, in a manner, searching for. After this, he didn’t miss even a single cultural event in college and soon became famous throughout the campus for his entertainment quotient.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
The Actor in him took a flight
In the third year of engineering, Avinash decided to pursue a career in acting, but he still wasn’t sure whether acting is his true love or a temporary infatuation. The second prominent concern for him is to convince his parents. So, for the latter one, he started dropping hints about his inclination towards acting. And with a confused mind and heart, Avinash completed his graduation and started working as a Software engineer in a tractor manufacturing company called John Deere. Meanwhile, he was trying to figure out between his dreams and practical journey. To reach the result, Avinash decided to join a theatre group with the thought that if he gets himself exhausted after the office, he might give up on the idea of acting. Or if this idea doesn't work, he was sure that he would be in a better position to judge the next course of action.
“The true success is the person who invented himself.” – Al Goldstein
But time starts passing and unbelievably, the love for acting started spreading its roots deeper into his heart. The thought of quitting acting never returns! Soon, he did his first professional theatre play “Khamosh Adalat Jaari Hai” and while doing that he also made some friends there. Later, he along with his friend started a theatre group and did two shows of his next play called “Long Live Revolution” which was co-written and co-directed by him. While being in the theatre journey, he continued making more friends from the acting circle. By this time, he had completed 3 years in his job at John Deere and was informed about receiving an exceptional early promotion. It was such a big thing for anyone, but the very next day after hearing this news, Avinash opted to resign from the company and shifted to Mumbai. Why did he do that? Because he knew if he accepted the promotion, he would get further away from his dreams and might not be able to pursue them later on. A choice had to be made between acting and the job promotion, Avinash decided to choose the former.
When talent got inspired
You don't need much to get inspired, Avinash found his inspirations in little things. From being the reason behind his parents smile to the classy movies and then some motivational quotes also added their tint in inspiring Avinash.
Inspiration, when got mixed with efforts, gives beautiful results. To get the best out of him, he decided to join a few pieces of training. Avinash did Atul Monga’s Cinema Acting Workshop, who is famous for training the star cast of the super hit film ‘Gully Boy,’ ‘NH10’, and ‘Phillauri.’ He also attended Lalit Parimoo’s ‘Abhinay Yog Theatre Workshop’. And as hoped, these workshops helped him in brushing up his techniques.
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” – W. Clement Stone
Challenges on his way
No success comes without challenges. After leaving the job, Avinash had to prove to everyone else and himself that he took the right decision, with keeping in mind that the path leading to the film industry was not an easy one. Rejection of few auditions planted a seed of doubt in his mind regarding the decision of quitting his well-settled job. However, Avinash's love for his dream was more generous than all, having acting holding the supreme position in his life. With the intention of making things perfect, he began studying and observing every minute details. But, then the thought of losing everything has started popping into his mind, turning him more concerned about his vulnerabilities than his strength. This worry made him conscious while performing, and in turn, started hindering his performances; performances in which he was very good at earlier times. During his journey, the biggest challenge he faced was to make himself understand that it's okay to fail sometimes if you are aiming to achieve something big!
When Success hugs him
“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”
Then comes a time in his life, when all his hard work started paying off. He started getting offers for feature films and advertisements one after the other, which made him realize the fact that if you have passion and dedication, one day you will reach your destination. The milestone of his career is one of the upcoming feature films ‘Nirmal Anand Ki Puppy’ in which he played the role of a taxi driver. With full devotion, Avinash entered into the skin of a character, and without hesitating for a second, he continues to fulfill whatever his character demands. From learning car driving skills to practicing in a uniform of a driver, and to spend time on roadside tea stalls, he did everything to make a big impression through this small role.
The most challenging thing at times is to convince your own self. You can convince everyone around you but doing that with yourself could be really difficult, and Avinash Kuri took almost a decade to realize that he really wanted to be an actor. His life story is par excellence and is itself as a movie. He completed engineering, grabbed a job, got an early promotion call, and at that very moment decided to call it quits. The acting was is his passion, and he went on to do everything he could to achieve it.