One doesn’t get a chance to rub shoulders with an acting stalwart like the Big B and Zakir managed to learn several life lessons by being with him on the sets “Once Amitabh Bachchan enters the sets, he doesn’t leave till pack-up is called. He keeps working on his scenes, practicing all the time, only leaving for his vanity to answer nature’s call. Watching him work and the way he prepares for his role is very inspirational! We were once shooting in Film City studios and despite the afternoon heat, he sat under the scorching sun while we all looked for shade. Inspired by him, all of us also joined him; you feel conscious when such a senior actor throws no tantrums!” he exults.
Zakir hails from Delhi but had always dreamed of making it big in Mumbai. The ‘Angrezi Medium’ actor points out that everyone is an outsider in Bollywood till they establish themselves. “Ever since this industry began, it has always been about outsiders. Everyone has to start somewhere. Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan–all came from outside the industry and earned a name for themselves. There are a few groups who think that they are the insiders but their own seniors and parents have also arrived from outside the industry and struggled to get there. There are a few people whose words are followed, but that happens in all industries. It all depends on winning the audience and making a mark,” he observes.
Point out that he and music maestro Zakir Hussain are namesakes and the actor laughs. “Since we share the same name, people often confuse me with Ustaad Zakir Hussain,and call me to perform at events. I have to clarify that I am the actor and not Ustaad Zakir Hussain ji,” he chuckles.