September 5 is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India and many Bollywood fans also celebrate the day as Pankaj Tripathi’s birthday. The Mirzapur star had once said that he does not know the exact date of his birth and he was born on a festival – Jiutiya. But, Pankaj also said in his 2022 interview with Samdish that he now believes his birthday is on September 5 as that is when most of fans celebrate it.
He was born on Jiutiya festival in 1976, but his brother forgot the date while enrolling him in school and the teacher suggested September 5. Pankaj also confirmed that he does not celebrate birthdays but believes it is September 5 now as his fans send him all the love on that day. (Also read: Richa, Pankaj, Varun star in new Fukrey 3 posters, fans miss Ali Fazal)
As much as he is known for his trademark subtle acting highlighted by a peculiar sense of humour, Pankaj Tripathi is also appreciated for his simplicity and honesty away from the camera. As his fans celebrate his birthday on Tuesday, we take a look at some of the most interesting quotes by Pankaj that teach important life lessons:
‘Chahat thi, bechaini nahi’
In a December 2020 interview with Hindustan Times, Pankaj was asked if he ever wanted to be the hero in his films. He said, “Of course, I wanted to be a hero. But I am a content being. I am never too upset with that which is not present. Most people want to improvise their position and strive for progress. I am very content with all that I already have. Chahat zarur thi, lekin bechaini nahi thi (I did want to become the hero, but was not desperate for it).”
‘Do not be a victim of situations, own them’
In his 2020 interview with Hindustan Times, Pankaj had denied having any ‘sad struggle story. “I remember I had no work and my wife used to teach in a school in Mumbai and she used to run the house all alone. Our basic necessities used to be fulfilled by her salary. But I don’t think I had a very sad struggle story. I never had to sit under the street light or sleep on the railway station. We were staying in a small one-room kitchen house and those days were also amazing,” he said.
Save time for real conversations
In a 2019 interview with ETimes, Pankaj said WhatsApp is a headache for him and his problem is that he needs to respond the moment he sees a message. “I used WhatsApp for seven days, five years ago, and many groups were formed. Now there’s an option of ‘leave the group’ on the medium and that’s something again which I can’t do, so I left WhatsApp. With no app, there won’t be a choice between quitting or staying in a group. For me to block someone, leave a group or not to reply to a message is something very difficult. Even now, I reply to all the SMS or calls that I get. Sometimes I’m in the shoot and can’t call back or reply to a message immediately but if I remember about it even a week later that falaana had called and I didn’t return his call, I will call him back then too. So that’s one major drawback of mine.”
Recalling the first time he met Manoj Bajpayee, Pankaj told Kapil Sharma on his TV show in 2020 that he was working as a kitchen staff in the hotel where Manoj was staying. He went in Manoj’s room to deliver an order and met him. Later, Manoj happened to leave behind a pair of slippers when he checked out of the hotel. “I said don’t submit it, give it to me. Kyun? Eklavya ki tarah agar main inke khadau mein apna paer daal lu (Why? If like Eklavya I, too, could put my feet in his slipper)…” Pankaj said and his voice broke as he got emotional.
Focus on work, not the hype
Asked if he ever felt jealous, Pankaj told Rajya Sabha TV in a 2016 interview that he never felt the need to hire a PR agency. “I do feel jealous at times, though that is rare. I even feel that I lack something as a human being, I do not feel jealousy or anger too often. It is the era of markets, every actor is a product. I am not a product, I am an actor. I do not want to hire a PR agency and get news items like ‘I gained weight, or I lost weight’ for some role in the newspapers. That is the job of an actor, not news. People ask me to get a PR. But I want people to remember me for my work.”