Carrying the urge to visit the place where he “ate, slept and lived” during his time at Hindu College, Saqib Saleem was seen surveying the corridors to find the markers that seem to have vanished. “The college seems changed, I am trying to find the familiar spots to recollect memories”, remarked the ‘Mere Dad ki Maruti’ actor.
He ultimately pitched his feet in the familiar space of the college ground, chuckling, “the ground wasn’t this lush back then, I still have bruises of sustaining injuries while making dives.” Saleem, who is in the city for the shoot of a movie where he plays a gym trainer from Lajpat Nagar, was part of the college cricket team. Saleem has also represented Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi in cricket.
With an inquiring gaze, he turns towards Jai Pal Singh, his college cricket coach, who pilots him, to know if the tube-well, where the “cricket boys” used to bathe after their practice, was still there. In a firm manner, Singh enunciates, “There are two of them now.” Only that, they’re used to water the field now and haven’t hosted a player in a long time. The glorious days of Hindu College cricket team are gone, laments Singh. Other sports like football and basketball are at the helm and the field looks greener. Whoever feeds off the tube-well sustains.
“You won’t believe how I ended up in Mumbai. I was dating a senior who later went to Mumbai to be an actress. I went to stay with her as she said long distance won’t work. We broke up in three months. I stayed back, became an actor.” However, before becoming an actor, he also worked with brands like Pepsi and KFC in advertisements, featuring in an ad with Ranbhir Kapoor as well.
“During his admission interview, we asked for his father’s occupation. He mentioned his father’s restaurant chain. Both the ends met as it was lunch time and we were hungry”, recalls Singh. Saleem inquired the college Prime Minister if BA Programme, the course he pursed at the college, still called the ‘BA-AP course’. The latter nodded.
In a college punctuated by new infrastructure, the actor was finally elated at being told about the familiar Manish Bread pakode waala, who still caters to both the cricketers and other students.