Actor Sahil Mehta, who has become popular since he played Tegi in the web series Tabbar, has film on his mind all the time. But when he returns to his hometown of Delhi, he remains enthusiastic about his life on campus. An alumnus of Shivaji College, Delhi University (DU), he had a great time when he recently visited his alma mater. From eating pakodas with bread in the university cafeteria to meeting his teachers and indulging in theater with the current party of his university’s dram-soc, Vayam, he did it all!

Being a DU graduate played a key role in his decision to take up acting as a profession, says the 25-year-old who recently starred in films such as the Akshay Kumar starrer Raksha Bandhan and Janhvi Kapoor starrer Good luck Jerry. “There’s a lot I learned from my time at DU and performing in nukkad naataks. We have learned to enjoy all the different kinds of sounds that surround us, such as birds chirping, wheels screeching or someone’s footsteps. I ended up implementing all of these in a scene for Good luck Jerry.”

But joining DU was not always the plan for this boy from Paharganj. “I had considered graduating in another city, but felt that my father didn’t want me to leave home. My grandma told me, ‘Shivaji College kitna pas hai, you can just walk down, issi mein le le admission,’ says Mehta, who graduated in 2018 with a BSc (Hons) in biochemistry.

In retrospect, he agrees that everything turned out fine. “The proximity turned out to be one of the advantages in the end. There were times when my best friend and I would chill at my house during breaks between classes, eat ghar ka garma garam khana, chat, and then go back to college,” the actor says, reviewing his #CampusKeDin. For Mehta, it’s all about home sweet home. “It doesn’t matter where I go, I make it a point to return home as soon as I get the chance. The satisfaction I get from living here with my family is unparalleled,” he says.

Sahil Mehta bonded with the current members of Vayam - Shivaji College theater association - during his recent trip to the college.  (Photo: Manish Rajput/HT)
Sahil Mehta bonded with the current members of Vayam – Shivaji College theater association – during his recent trip to the college. (Photo: Manish Rajput/HT)

Currently based from Gurugram, Mehta feels the urge to make a comparison between Delhi and the Millennium City. “The atmosphere of Delhi is always different. Aaj bhi main Paharganj jata hoon toh lagta hai main yahan ka boss hoon!” he says, adding: “One of my favorite things about the place I grew up in is the proximity to the local markets. For example, you can just walk out and buy a pack of crisps in a heartbeat. But in Gurugram I have to drive to a supermarket.”

When the conversation turns to his childhood in the capital, a twinkle appears in his eye. “Dilli mein chhole kulche and faalse waale bahut famous hain. These suppliers have an interesting way of addressing their customers, by modulating their voices. It fascinated me so much that I would practice it for hours,” he recalls.

He told us how such experiences contributed to his desire to take up acting and tells us: “I remember how an elderly Sudama was playing in one of the jagrans in our society. Moments later, that actor without makeup sat down next to me. I was completely mesmerized. Then I decided to do something similar.”

During this trip to his lectures, the actor had the opportunity to meet Sunita Singh, his professor of biochemistry. Singh said: “He was a good boy, but his presence was a problem. I remember every time I saw him in college I would say sarcastically it’s nice to see you. But now I’m not being sarcastic. Now when I see that he is doing well, it reminds me of that time and it is with great pleasure that I tell my children that he was my student!”

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