In Delhi for the promotions of his upcoming film ‘Mom’, we meet Nawazuddin Siddiqui at a hotel in Janpath and begin with a customary “Welcome to Delhi”. But the National School of Drama (NSD) alumnus reminds us that we don’t need to treat him as a guest. “Delhi is like a second home to me,” says Nawaz with a smile. Chatting with Delhi Times, the actor speaks at length about how Delhi is almost a character in the film, his ritual of going to NSD on every Delhi visit to get “breathing space and connect to my past self”, and the two real-life theatre artists who inspired his character in Mom.   Nawaz studied at the NSD in the 1990s, which was followed by a long phase of struggle before he eventually made his mark in Bollywood. He admits that Delhi is where he learnt the ABC of acting and that he misses no chance to visit the school that taught him all this. He tells us, “Whenever I come to Delhi, I definitely go to NSD because that is one place where I get breathing space. I feel I’m still the same Nawaz, koi change nahin aaya itne saalon mein. I go there to connect with my past self. That feeling is very different from anything else. Even if it is for a minute or two, I make it a point to go there. There is a yoga hall there, where I used to sit and practise for 18 hours a day – with only a bottle of water and no food – and just internalize the character I was playing and try to get under its skin, rehearsing scene after scene. That is why I still go to NSD – because that’s where I attained my first enlightenment, where I started acquiring my first bits of knowledge about acting.”  The Times  of  India : 3rd. July,17


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