I remember watching the blue-eyed romantic Tariq in the 2011 film Always Kabhi Kabhi and falling in love with him. It's over a decade now since then, and that guy is still winning my heart. Satyajeet Dubey had a breakthrough role last year in the medical drama Mumbai Diaries 26/11, and recently he built on that momentum with his impeccable portrayal in Bestseller.
My conversations with him are always deep, introspective and intellectual, and this time was no different. Satyajeet saw a big change in his career after the success of Mumbai Diaries last year, and when I ask him to put it in words, he has an honest reply for me.
"There is more acceptance and more love for me. It reinstilled my faith in the fact that I need to follow my heart and my instincts and keep doing what I am doing the way I am doing it. I am becoming more comfortable with my craft and the more you are at ease with it, the more beautifully you can portray the different characters you want to put out there. Because of Mumbai Diaries, a lot of people got to know about me, despite the fact that I have been around for 10 years. And it's alright because everyone has their own journey. It only made it all the more special for me because I realised that if I can stand out in an ensemble like that, then I am ready to headline the shows and films I am going to do from now on. I am pretty confident in that. The path is of course difficult, but it's no fun if it is easy."
Even after spending a decade in the industry, Satyajeet is still often referred to as the new kid on the block. While I have followed his journey since 2011, as I ask him how does he feel when people still call him new, he is as amused.
"How crazy is that! But honestly, the fact is that I started very young at the age of 17. It was not just about acting but also about sustaining in Mumbai, so I had to work. And before being an actor, I was doing some odd jobs to survive and it was an issue. When I got my first film Always Kabhi Kabhi, it was with Red Chillies Entertainment and Shah Rukh Khan sir was producing it while I was one of the leads. In retrospect, when I look at it, it was like the universe telling me that this is what I am made for. It was clear that this is where I belonged and now if I screw it up, it was up to me.
The actor adds,
"After that, for the whole 10 years, there were back-to-back heartbreaks and rejections every week. But it's not about how hard you get hit, it's about getting up and still moving forward, and I did it. I am now in a comfortable space where I am embracing what I am becoming."
I have always been in awe of Satyajeet and I still continue to be. It just feels great to see that now the whole world is taking a note of it. He deserves a lot more and now, with projects like Mumbai Diaries 26/11 and Bestseller, he is on his way to achieving that.