Anup Jalota as Sai Baba
He is 67 and is thoroughly enjoying his recent stint in acting. After a stint on the reality show Bigg Boss 12 two years ago at the age of 65, India’s foremost bhajan singer Anup Jalota who was seen recently as politician Bajpayee in the Anushka Sharma produced web series Paatal Lok is now making his full-fledged appearance in not one but two films. The first of them Satya Sai Baba will release later this month while the other made by one of his students will come out later this year.
Not many maybe aware that Jalota has worked in starring roles, albeit withg a smaller screen time in some 12 films earlier. He was seen earlier in the 1978 film Sampoorna Sant Darshanam, then in Chintamani Surdas where he essayed Tansen and in the 2011 film Tere Mere Phere. But this is his first lead role.
“People have seen me singing bhajans and even romantic songs and after Bigg Boss, now they will see me acting,” he smiles.
Interestingly Jalota says that it was the prophecy of Satya Sai Baba that sees him essaying the role of the godman. “I used to accompany my father (singer Purushottam Das Jalota) as a child and I was fortunate that I sang once before Baba. I have met him on various occasions and my first meeting was when I was 12 years old and he called me ‘Chhote Baba’. When I asked him the reason, he said you will know one day. And now I realise that 55 years later when I am playing him in a biopic,” says the veteran vocalist.
Anup says playing Satya Sai Baba was a rather easy ask for him. “I knew him for so many years and I have seen and observed him. So playing him was not tough. I had to mimic him, but I had to ensure that it was not a caricature. I had to make sure that people do not think something is wrong. I won’t be modest, but when I saw the film, I felt that I did well,” adds the Bhajan Samrat.
Jalota asserts that despite the fear of the coronavirus and the absence of mainstream stars in the film, it will do well. “Sathya Sai Baba is the biggest superstar. The film will release all over the world and people will come and appreciate the movie,” says Jalota about the film directed by Vicky Ranawat with Jackie Shroff, Sadhika Randhawa, Kishori Shahane and others.